Newby finishes second despite torrential rain

Arron Newby and Rob Fagg finished second on the Legend Fires North West Stages Rally. Picture: Marcus Andrews.
Arron Newby and Rob Fagg finished second on the Legend Fires North West Stages Rally. Picture: Marcus Andrews.

Following 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.

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.