Latest News  Fagg heads to Blackpool for North West Stages
Thursday, February 12, 2017



Rob (left) during his time competing in the Canadian Championship and Michael (right)
following a podium appearance on two wheels.

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Archive News

 By Mark Corlett (https://www.facebook.com/Markspics)
 
 
 

Having been prevented from starting the recent Cambrian Rally (ultimately cancelled due to snow and ice), leading local co-driver Rob Fagg will get his rally year underway this weekend as he contests the Legend Fires North West Stages.

In doing so the Kirk Michael man will re-unite with Arron Newby in the TEG Sport Subaru, attempting to go one place better than last year when the 2013 and 2014 Manx Rally Championship winners finished as runner-up.

The event is the biggest rally in the north west, backed by John Stone, a familiar visitor to contest events on-island. From a Blackpool base the sealed surface stages take place along the Fylde coast, including Blackpool and Fleetwood promenades, Weeton Army Barracks and the docks at Fleetwood.

It’s an event, and stages that Newby and Robert Graham & Co Quantity Surveyors backed Fagg are familiar with having

undertaken Safety Car duties in 2014 and 2015 ahead of contesting the full event last year. Despite the relatively short nature of the tests, the event offers its own unique challenge which the crew are fully aware off.

“The stages on Friday night will certainly be a challenge, heading along the Blackpool promenade front in the dark trying to pick out braking points for the narrow junctions with a rock face one side and sea wall in very close proximity there’s no room for error. Add to that the potential for waves to crash over the sea wall and you have got a short but tricky stage” explained Fagg, “The Fleetwood Docks stage will require ultimate concentration to get around safely with the route marked by cones. We need to ensure we get through safely but you can’t afford to drop too much time to the other crews”.

Saturday throws a further two venues into the mix as crews tackle Fleetwood Promenade and Weeton Army Barracks. The latter is renowned for hidden rally ending kerbs while both see crews complete multiple laps and run the risk of being effected by other crews so it’s never straight forward.

“You really have to show Weeton some respect, push too hard and it’s all too easy to hit one of the many kerbs and it can be all over” commented Burger Man Catering supported Fagg, “There’s also a very tricky middle section which depend on weather can have a large water splash as well proving very slippery as cars pull out mud from the verges”.

Four tests on Friday night are followed by a daunting 18-stage Saturday before the tea-time finish having covered 70 stage miles.

Newby and Fagg will start at number 3, behind last year’s winner Simon Bowen (Subaru WRC) and two time former winner Tony Bardy (Ford Focus WRC), with another former winner Eian Pritchard behind in the Focus WRC that son Jason has driven to Manx National rally hat-trick glory. Completing the top five is event sponsor and former winner of the event Stone in his Fiesta S2500.

They will certainly be starting in good company and hoping to add there name to the previous winners list with JR Hinchliffe Plumbing and Heating backed Rob looking forward to sitting alongside Arron once more.

“Its 12 months since we were last out together, even longer since we competed in S17. Being back in a proven car which itself has been developed we certainly have the chance to be in the mix for honours come Saturday night”.

While he was also keen to get 2017 underway.

“I am defiantly looking forward to getting the season underway following the unfortunate delay, it seems a while since I was last out back in November on the Grizedale Stages, time seems to pass so quickly” explained Rob, “I must also thank again my personal sponsors, without them competing away from home would be much harder.

Rob is supported in 2017 by Robert Graham & Co Quantity Surveyors, JR Hinchliffe Plumbing and Heating, Burger Man Catering and Fastime Stopwatches (www.astopwatch.com)