Motorsport history was made at the weekend when the 2019 Legend Fires North West Stages Rally, in partnership with Simpson’s Skoda, became the first closed road motorsport event to be held in North West England.
Friday night’s ceremonial start in Garstang town centre drew huge crowds to witness competitors flagged away by Garstang mayor, Leah Hynes.
A carnival-type atmosphere was created as cars lined the streets with the crowds entertained by the Samba Espirito drum band.
Spectators returned in their thousands for Saturday’s special stages with those at Nicky Nook and Staynall proving particularly popular.
Hambleton duo Simon Bowen and Richard Robinson set the early pace in their Subaru Impreza WRC, leading after three stages, but sadly for them, clutch failure put an early halt to their rally.
Come the finish, after more than 50 miles of timed to the second competition, only five seconds separated the top three cars with victory going to Carlisle’s Peter Taylor and his Newcastle-based co-driver, Andrew Roughead, in a Ford Fiesta WRC.
Blackpool South Shore Motor Club’s John Stone, whose Legend Fires company are the long-term main sponsor, was 11th in his Ford Fiesta WRC.