John Pritchard enjoyed an icy welcome to the 2010 Fiesta Sport Challenge when the former Skoda Trophy Champion battled against treacherous conditions to bring his Copart Finder, KC Auto, U Pull It and Top Signs backed Ford Fiesta ST home third amongst the registered contenders.

Prichard and co-driver Chris Williams faced seven snow lined stages across the Lake Districts and whilst there was minimal grip on the icy roads in the early morning, as the day progressed it became much harder to understand the levels of grip as the bright sunshine thawed out the ice in the open but large patches remained in the deep shade, waiting to catch out the unsuspecting!

After encountering numerous spins and off road excursions in the early stages as Pritchard got used to the car in extreme conditions, he found himself well down the leader board, but with a better understanding of the road conditions he improved on his performance on every stage and eventually returned to Cockermouth late on Saturday afternoon in a very respectable 40th overall and fifth in class.

"I don't think I have ever tackled conditions like that before!" he said. "The first pair of stages resembled an ice rink and our rally nearly ended on stage two when we spun and slid backwards down the road for about 100 metres

"The car was fantastic and I can see where I need to improve. The hardest part of coming back after a ten-year break is having the confidence to commit to the notes but fair play to Chris he was great all day long."

by Geoff Mayes