Once again, the Legend Fires North West Stages Rally in Blackpool was the first event of the Team’s calendar. Unlike last year’s stormy event, this year the weather was more calm, but with some fog to keep the crews on their toes. There were 5 stages on the Friday evening. Following the first of three visits to the Service on the Saturday, the rest of the day should have seen the crews competing on another 22 stages. Unfortunately, an incident involving a car further up the start list meant that Stages 22 and 23 were cancelled.
Following on from last month’s Selection Day, this event was the first opportunity for some of the crews to work together. For one of the drivers, this was his first opportunity to compete behind the wheel, so finishing the event first in class was a remarkable feat, all the more so as the latter part of the event was driven with two-wheel drive. Perhaps he benefited from having last year’s champion co-driver alongside him. Whatever it was, the event bodes well for an exciting year’s rallying for the Team.
Arriving just in time to be fitted for the event was a set of six new hoods, generously supplied by Exmoor Trim. These were made using a new arrangement of panels, which appear to fit better than the previous hoods, resulting in less flapping and noise at speed. As well as new hoods, the Land Rovers were fitted out with new boots. The Michelin Latitude Cross tyres gave better grip than the previous Synchrone tyres and also proved to be quieter.