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Teenage ace Frank Bird is set to compliment his impressive circuit racing career when he takes to the rally stages this year following a successful test today in the PBM team’s Ford Focus WRC 07.

The 19-year-old Penrith-born star put the Dom Buckley Motorsport-prepared car through its paces at a damp Teesside Autodrome in Middlesbrough and at the end of the day-long test, declared he was looking forward to competing in earnest in the Frank Bird Poultry Ltd, Be Wiser Insurance and Hager-backed car.

It means Frank will have a busy 2019 season ahead of him as he looks to combine his season in single-seater Formula Renault Eurocup with various outings in sports car endurance racing and that of the odd stage rally too, hopefully commencing with the Donington Park Rally on Sunday 3rd March.

Frank drove the car on gravel last year and was equally impressive but plans on a few asphalt events before taking it into the forests. He has secured the services of Hexham’s Jack Morton as co-driver who has been part of the Cumbrian PBM team for a couple of years.

Frank Bird: “I’ve really enjoyed driving the rally car here, it’s been great fun but a little different to what I’m used to. It’s a lot heavier but has a lot more power and having someone sat next to you is different so it took a while to get acquainted with everything but it soon all clicked into place. I especially enjoyed using the handbrake to slide it round corners! Hopefully we can get a run at Donington Park next month and put what I’ve learned into practice on an actual event. Thanks to my dad and the Dom Buckley Motorsport team for the opportunity today, it’s been awesome!”

Paul Bird, Team Owner: “Frank has a busy year this year with his single-seater and GT programme and at his age, it does no harm to drive as many different cars as possible. He’s already faster than I ever went around here so things are looking good. We plan on keeping the car so it’s nice to see him out in it and the way he was throwing it around today looked like he’d been driving it for ages. Frank suggested having a go in it and with the support of Neil Buckley to run the car, it’s something we are all looking forward to and seeing how he improves as the year goes on.”

Assuming Frank gets a run on the Donington Park Rally (he’s currently on the reserve list), the car will be displaying decals supporting the PBM team’s charity of choice for this year which is Hospice at Home Carlisle and North Lakeland. Already the team has raised over £1000 this year with various other fund-raising events lined up. Further details on the charity can be found at:

Pictures (courtesy of Cartersport): Frank Bird in action and in the driver’s seat of the PBM Ford Focus WRC.

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