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Stone Cadwell14Legend Fires Rally Team driver John Stone continued his great start to 2014 by taking a hard fought victory on today’s TJS Self Drive Alan Healy Memorial Stages Rally held at Cadwell Park in Lincolnshire.

After a brilliant fourth place finish on the recent Tour of Epynt which got his REIS MSA Asphalt Rally Championship challenge underway, the Blackburn driver was in action again driving the Dom Buckley-prepared Legend Fires Skoda Fabia WRC in preparation for the upcoming Manx National Rally.

Along with Welsh co-driver Carl Williamson, the pair were second fastest on the rain-hit opening stage to Tristan Pye/Stewart Merry but a stunning time seven seconds faster than the opposition over the six mile SS2 on a drying track saw them hit the front.

However, a mistake on SS3 cost the pair around 20 seconds and such was the pace of the competition, they dropped to equal third but soon, Stone was on the charge and at the half way halt he was just seven seconds adrift of leader David Tinn in the Proton as the battle entered the second half.

For the next three stages, the two leaders literally traded seconds and going into the penultimate stage, a big push by Stone and misfortune striking Tinn saw them emerge with a lead of over a minute over new second placed man Tristan Pye, whereby Stone extended that to one minute and 14 seconds at the end of a gruelling day.

The victory was John’s first since June 2012 when he won the Enville Stages at Anglesey and just as important; the team go to the next round of the REIS MSA Asphalt Rally Championship with important data and settings for the Skoda.

John Stone: “The plan was always to fit in an event between Epynt and the Manx as we just need time in the car and today’s rally fitted the bill perfectly. Conditions were tricky early on but I made a mistake and dropped a lot of time on SS3 which gave David the opportunity he was looking for. We saw we had taken time out of him on SS9 and then we saw him parked up which was sad as it would have been a good battle and very close. I’m pleased to have broken my duck with Buckleys and we worked on some very important suspension and other settings which should prove beneficial in the Isle of Man.”

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Results – TJS Self Drive Alan Healy Memorial Stages Rally

1.  John Stone/Carl Williamson – Skoda Fabia WRC – 0:44:00
2.  Tristan Pye/Stewart Merry – Subaru Impreza – 0:45:14
3.  Johnnie Ellis/Dave Green – Subaru Impreza – 0:45:20
4.  Alan Oldfield/Steve McNulty – Proton Millington – 0:45:40
5.  Craig Pennington/Wayne Priest – Mitsubishi Evo IX – 0:45:52
6.  Andrew Bayliss/Chris Sharpe-Simkiss – BMW M3 Compact – 0:45:58
7.  Martin Hodgson/Tony Jones – Ford Escort Mk2 – 0:45:59
8.  Royston Carey/Bridge Carey – Renault Clio – 0:46:03
9.  Simon Chapman/Michael Calvert – Metro 6R4 – 0:46:06
10.  Pete Gibson/Josh Davison – Mitsubishi Evo 6 – 0:46:16

Image courtesy of Kenton Rose, Auto Focus Photography:  John Stone and Carl Williamson on their way to victory at Cadwell park today

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