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Two months after sweeping to victory on the MGJ Engineering Brands Hatch Winter Stages Rally and following a successful ALMS GT campaign in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Cumbrian driver Frank Bird was back in action when he contested the Legend Fires North West Stages Rally and came away with an impressive top five finish.

Making his debut on the event which dad Paul won on three occasions, Frank, from Penrith and Lake District-based co-driver Jack Morton were hoping for another strong showing in the Dom Buckley Motorsport-prepared and Frank Bird Poultry-backed Ford Fiesta Rally2 with assistance from Hager, MCE, Dragon Energy and Vodiac.

The unique event ran over fourteen stages of closed roads around Preston and Garstang and up against the cream of British and indeed World rallying, and with it being the first event of its kind for Frank, he sensibly played himself in and ran inside the top ten for the opening loop of stages held in dry conditions.

Climbing to seventh at first service, the team made some adjustments to the car and the improvements saw the pair climb to fifth following the second loop of stages and continuing to set top four times, by the finish ramp, Frank had climbed to fifth place overall.

Frank Bird: A good day overall on my debut on the Legend Fires North West Stages. The stages were extremely fast and demanding which kept us very much on our toes. We had a little mishap on the first stage with a half spin but then after that made some changes to the car and the pace improved a lot, so I was very happy about that. Big thanks to Jack alongside me who had his work cut out with some stages, but he did a fantastic job and also thanks to the team for the work on the car. P5 at the finish after lying 14th on the first stage was a decent result so a great recovery and I thoroughly enjoyed the day. Thanks to all the organisers for a mega event and finally to all the sponsors and my dad for making it happen.”

Legend Fires North West Stages Rally 2022

1 Chris Ingram/Craig Drew Škoda Fabia 51m 27s
2 Paul MacKinnon/Paul Beaton Ford Fiesta Rally + 52s
3 Mark Kelly/Neil Colman Ford Fiesta R5 +1m 08s
4 Neil Simpson/Michael Gibson Škoda Fabia Rally2 +1m 24s
5 Frank Bird/Jack Morton Ford Fiesta Rally2 +2m 01s
6 Simon Bowen/Richard Robinson Ford Fiesta S2000T +2m 18s

Pictures courtesy of James Ward/

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