Latest News  Newby and Fagg sweep to North West Glory
Wednesday, March 1, 2017


Newby and Fagg take the sharp hairpin at Fleetwood

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 Newby and Fagg sweep to North West glory... READ
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
 Fagg heads to Blackpool for North West Stages... READ
Thursday, February 23, 2017
 Fagg kicks off 2017 in North Wales... READ
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
 Fagg teams up with TT ace Dunlop... READ
Saturday, September 12, 2015
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Thursday, May 15, 2014
 Fagg starts title defence with Jurby win... READ
Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Archive News

 By Andrew Shepherd (http://www.rallying-images.com/)  
 

Kirk Michael co-driver Rob Fagg started his 2017 rally year in the best possible manner, guiding TEG Sport driver Arron Newby to victory on last weekend's Legend Fires North West Stages in testing conditions.

The event is the region’s biggest stage rally, based in Blackpool and featuring stages along the Fylde coast.

Newby and Fagg had their usual (double Manx championship winning) Subaru Impreza in fine fettle after a winter overhaul that the 22 year-old Carnforth driver followed up by taking back to back victories on single venue events since Christmas.

The pair were aiming to go one better than last year when they ran out runners-up to the Subaru WRC of Simon Bowen on the event, and knew as Friday night’s four stage leg got underway that it is traditionally a high attrition event despite the short, sharp nature of the stages.

“The pace at the front is high, as is the quality of the entry, but mistakes are heavily penalised with kerbs and multi-lap stages, so you have to find the balance,” said Fagg before Friday night’s start.

With storm Doris bringing heavy rain and high winds, the pair found themselves in sixth place, nine seconds off the pace of Keith Richardson (Ford Escort Cosworth) on the opening test at Fleetwood Docks, though the leading time amongst the pre-event favourites in slippery conditions.

Bowen went fastest on the second run of the same test to join Newby in a tie for fifth place, but the TEG pair leapt to the top of the leaderboard, fastest as the event moved to Blackpool promenade, Bowen in hot pursuit just 1s behind.

On the final stage of the night however the new leaders were baulked slightly by catching another crew, surrendering the overnight lead back to Bowen by 4s. The pair were however happy to sit second overnight, meaning they would not be first on the road when the rally resumed.

Saturday dawned with rain threatening and strong winds, and with it a change in the lead before the first action of an 18-stage day had even taken place, as Bowen and co-driver Richard Robinson booked out of the start control early, incurring a 10s penalty.

Unaware, the pair duelled over Fleetwood promenade, Bowen narrowly fastest on the first run and the pair tying on the second, before last year’s winners inexplicably booked into another time control early, this time incurring a full one minute penalty, leaving Newby and Fagg 25 s ahead of Mathew Roberts/Sarah Edwards’ Mitsubishi Evo 9.

After two more runs at Fleetwood Docks that lead grew to 42s as the event headed for the Weeton Army Barracks and its notorious kerbs. Whilst frontrunner Tony Bardy ripped off a wheel and strut, the lead Subaru was also in trouble, damaging the steering.

“On our second run we merge in at 30s intervals with those doing their first. We caught the car in front early in the stage and when attempting to pass made heavy contact with a kerb. Fortunately we headed for service next and were able to change the bent steering arm without loss although we did drop a small amount of time on the stage,” explained Fagg.

With the advantage now 55s over a resurgent Bowen who had blazed back into contention, and with 12 tests still to come, the approach could have become conservative. But with eight stages before the next service (two runs at each of the four stage venues), the pair blazed away, fastest on four and second on the other four!

With Bowen succumbing to clutch failure they arrived at final service with a 1m39s lead over the Ford Focus WRC of Eian Pritchard/Steven McPhee.

“Four stages to go. Now we must make sure we control the pace and make no mistakes, these stages can bite all too quickly. We need to bring the car to the finish and reward the team for all their hard word,” said Fagg.

The plan worked, three fastest times over the final loop securing a 2m12s victory margin over Pritchard, with Roberts completing the podium in third.

“We are both delighted to take victory on this years event, although it’s a shame that Simon (Bowen) has not made the finish after such a good battle. This victory though is dedicated to the team, we didn’t give them an easy time today but they fixed everything that was required and gave us the best equipment to get us to the finish and top spot.”

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)