Fine fourth keeps Stone in contention

John Stone in action

John Stone in action

First published in Sport

JOHN Stone continued his bid for the MSA Asphalt Rally Championship with another strong performance on the Tyneside Stages.

Driving the Legend Fires Skoda Fabia WRC, the Blackburn businessman finished a fighting fourth after a day of high speed action on the military roads of the Scottish Borders.

The result leaves Stone still leading the series.

“We had a combination of sun, showers and then sun again so I’m pleased with fourth place,” said Stone. “We had a good battle with John Indri and we pipped him in the end and it’s good to maintain the lead in the championship.

“We now have our five scores in the bag so are missing the next couple of rounds so hopefully we are still in contention at the final round.”

Fifth fastest on the opening stage, they upped the pace on SS2 to move briefly up to fourth but the tricky conditions which have been the hallmark of the series so far continued with tyre choice proving to be difficult once more.

Maintaining station for the opening loop of stages, the Dom Buckley Motorsport IRS-prepared car and its experienced crew slotted into fifth place as they became embroiled in a battle for fourth with the Subaru of Indri.

After SS7, Indri held a 24 second advantage over Stone but gradually, the Legend Fires pair reeled him in and with a huge effort on SS11, managed to grab fourth.

They then cemented their place with a fine drive on SS 12 before the final two stages were cancelled.

The latest result added to the third place finish last time out as well as two other fourths and one fifth place finish so far this season meaning John and Carl will now look towards the final round back on Otterburn to try to secure the title.

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