Mammoth 70-car entry anticipated by organising Darlington club
Three past winners head competitive line-up
Penrith’s Paul Bird & Thirsk’s Chris Wise among top names
Croft Circuit’s mega year of motor sport begins in spectacular sideways style this Sunday (22 January) with the Jack Frost Stages Rally, organised by the Darlington & District Motor Club.
The DDMC anticipates a high calibre entry of in excess of 70 cars for its annual rally. In all competitors face eight competitive timed special stages held on a variety of configurations within the Croft Circuit boundaries. The action is scheduled to start at just after 9.00am.
Tickets for Sunday’s Jack Frost Stages Rally at Croft cost just £10 per adult (payable on the gate) with admission for children aged 15 and under FREE all day. Public will also have access to the main service area where they can catch up with drivers and watch crews working on cars in between stages. For more information visit the new-look www.croftcircuit.co.uk website or call the circuit office on 01325 721815 .
Aiming for a record-breaking fourth consecutive victory on the event will be Penrith’s Paul Bird in his sensational Ford Focus WRC 07, but he faces some mighty opposition. Indeed, two other previous winners are entered, namely Thirsk’s Chris Wise (2007 & 2008) in his mighty Metro 6R4 and Leek’s Dave Holland (2001) in his Ford Escort Mk2.
Bird commented: “Although I’ve won the last three Jack Frost rallies none of them have been easy and this year’s event will also be very tough as there are a number of drivers capable of winning. Croft is my local circuit and Darlington & District Motor Club runs a great rally so this is one event I always look forward to.”
Wise added: “It’s a friendly rivalry between Paul and I out of the cars, but when the event starts there’s definitely some needle. I normally get ahead of him in the early stages but then he seems to warm up and get into his stride – maybe that’s when he has his bacon sarnie! I’ve had extensive work done to the Metro and a fresh engine fitted. I won’t be hanging about.” Notably Wise is the owner of AUTOGAS 2000, the expert fuel conversion company sponsoring the event which is also supported by Cartersport.
Elsewhere rising star Chris Anderson (Ford Fiesta) of Bishop Auckland and stunt driver Paul Swift (Escort Mk2) from Darlington are both fresh from stellar performances in the recent Christmas Stages Rally at Croft (Mon 2 Jan) and also in with very real shouts of victory. Another ‘one to watch’ will be Morpeth’s Tony Thompson in his evocative Vauxhall Chevette HSR.
Darlington & District Motor Club Chairman Terry Wright said: “The Jack Frost often lives up to its name, making the initial stages very tricky as competitors try to hold onto cars on sheet ice. Cars start at 30-second intervals making this a fast and furious event.”
Meanwhile the ‘Jack Frost’ marks the start of a busy year for the DDMC at Croft with the club’s ultra-successful motor racing championship, the Northern Saloon & Sports Car Championship (NSSCC), scheduled for a number of appearances on track later in the season (see croftcircuit.co.uk for full 2012 motor sport fixture list).