Kawasaki boss wins Grizedale Stages Rally

Paul Bird: I'm made up as this was the one rally I was missing from my CV and whilst I've not contested it every year, it has somehow eluded me!
After nine years of waiting, Kawasaki World Superbike Team boss Paul Bird finally got his hands on the winner's trophy with a comprehensive start to finish victory on Saturday's Coniston-based Coppermines Grizedale Stages Rally in his native Lake District.

Driving the, Vent-Axia and Kick Energy-backed Ford Focus WRC07, Bird and new Scottish co-driver Kirsty Riddick won all six stages to emerge victorious by a minute and forty-seven seconds ahead of the Subaru of Alex Allingham.

With changeable weather conditions throughout the day, Bird led by 23 seconds after SS1 in Grizedale South and extended that to 47 seconds after Grizedale North as they headed for first service.

The short and tricky tests in Dunnerdale saw the pair extend their lead to over a minute at second service and despite taking it cautiously through the final two stages in Grizedale, the former ANCRO champion eased to a comfortable win.

"I'm made up as this was the one rally I was missing from my CV and whilst I've not contested it every year, it has somehow eluded me!" said Bird. "We had no problems at all and Kirsty did a great job, although I kept telling her to shout at me as the intercom wasn't great and she's so softly spoken!

"I was also suffering a bit with an old collarbone injury from my motocross days, but we took it easy in all fairness, especially in the last couple of stages as I didn't want a puncture."

Bird will next be in action on the Specsavers Christmas Stages Rally, which takes place on Saturday January 2 at Croft Circuit, where he is looking to add to the victories he took in 2002 and 2003.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Paul Bird and Kirsty Riddick on their way to winning the Coppermines Grizedale Stages Rally. December 2009 [Pic credit: Ian Hardy]
Paul Bird, German WSBK 2009
Paul Bird, Czech WSBK 2009

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pp916 - Unregistered

December 07, 2009 5:16 PM

There's plenty of stuff about Rossi playing in cars in the off-season so why not somebody else who is part of the bike world? Its a pity those Grizedale stages aren't in the RAC rally any more, along with the other north of England stages, now its just a TV race round south/mid Wales....

pp916 - Unregistered

December 09, 2009 10:23 AM

I believe he gets a lot of press time because he's got a very good PR team working for him.....a rather delicious Aussie girl that used to work in F1 if she's still there.....and publicity is a good thing in that it keeps his profile and therefore that of his team high, which does no harm in attracting him or hate him he's no mug...... Oh, and envy is such an ugly character trait..... :)

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