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Newby NW16aFollowing several months of research and development with the TEG Sport B13-specification Subaru Impreza, Carnforth rally star Arron Newby put it to the perfect test by claiming a fantastic runner-up place on this weekend’s Legend Fires North West Stages Rally.

The Blackpool-based event proved the perfect setting to test the car following the recent developments, especially with a strong entry of World Rally Cars and it being relatively local to the team’s Lancashire headquarters. However, such was the intensity of work still going on, the team arrived later than expected at scrutineering but made the Friday night start without any problems.

The aim of the rally was to gather as much data from the car as possible as well as making up for Arron’s and Manx co driver Rob Fagg’s enforced sabbatical  on what was to be their debut on the actual rally, although they have been on course car duties in the past.

With torrential rain and high winds greeting competitors at the start, the opening stage at Lytham Hall saw the event not get off to a great start as Arron dropped time with an overshoot to end SS1 in 26th place. However, he was soon back in his stride and went quickest on the next two stages before arriving at the overnight halt in a brilliant second place overall, and just six seconds adrift of former double winner Tony Bardy in his Ford Focus WRC.

With the weather not improving, the battle continued throughout Saturday with Newby swapping the top places with Tony Bardy and Simon Bowen throughout the day, including taking the lead after SS7.  Hardly ever out of the top three times on any of the 24 stages, the VP Fuels and Pirelli-backed TEG Sport Subaru pair were fastest on a further two stages before arriving back at the ceremonial finish in Blackpool in second place overall, just half a minute behind winner Bowen in his Subaru Impreza WRC and a minute to the good over Bardy in third.

Newby NW16bArron Newby: “I’ve had a fantastic weekend, it’s been a while since I’ve been out in a car competitively, the new car is all new to me and we have had very limited testing time so I was pretty nervous and apprehensive on Friday night.  It was good to battle with WRC machinery the first time out and true to TEG Sport, they gave me an amazing car, it ran faultlessly throughout the rally and I can’t wait to get back out in it again. Rob did a great job as always and it was nice to have him back in the car with me.  Thanks to all my sponsors and TEG Sport, without them all I couldn’t compete and in particular, thanks to the marshals and the organisers for enduring the appalling conditions and still delivering a fantastic event.”

Stuart Newby, TEG Sport Team Owner:  “We were all pretty nervous going to this rally, especially with the last minute dramas we faced prior to scrutineering. But it all came good; Arron drove with maturity in a new car in treacherous conditions so we couldn’t ask much more than that from him. We have a few tweaks to do to the car, but are really pleased how the weekend went. To be challenging some very good drivers in WRCs was very encouraging and we are delighted with the result. The Pirelli tyres were awesome all weekend as normal, the car ran perfectly and the whole team did a fantastic job as ever, so thanks to them and all our sponsors too. A special thanks to the marshals who were the heroes of the weekend for standing out in those conditions.”

Legend Fires North West Stages Rally – Overall Results
1  Simon Bowen/Richard Robinson – Subaru Impreza WRC – 1:30:54
2  Arron Newby/Rob Fagg – Subaru Impreza – 1:31:26
3  Tony Bardy/Neil Colman – Ford Focus WRC – 1:32:21
4  Tristan Pye/Andrew Falconer – Subaru Impreza – 1:32:29
5  Damian Cole/Paul Morris – Ford Escort – 1:37:16
6  Andrew Fenwick/Andrew Roughead – Proton S2000 – 1:37:51

Pictures courtesy of Marcus and Phill Andrews

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