Emotional win for MacCrone in Mull Rally
- 20th October 2016, 4:25am
Twelve months after being involved in a terrible crash which claimed the life of his close friend and co-driver, Andy Mort, John MacCrone claimed an emotional win in the Beatson’s Mull Rally in the UK last weekend.
Piloting his Ford Fiesta R5, and reunited with co-driver Stuart Loudon, with whom he took victory in 2013, MacCrone won a thrilling battle with his old rival, nine-time winner Calum Duffy.
The pair were separated by just 18-seconds as they entered the final 15-mile test at Glen Aros/Calgary Bay, in the pitch black of the Inner Hebridean island, at 1.24am.
As the two drivers strived to shave every second they could off their time, it was Duffy who topped the timesheet, stopping the clock in 13mins 16secs.
In an incredible finish, MacCrone was slower, managing 13m24s, but the gap was enough to ensure he took the win by just 10s, at the end of 18 stages and a dramatic 160 miles.
MacCrone, understandably, was overcome by the emotion of the victory, sitting in his Fiesta with his head in his hands, being comforted by Loudon for minutes after they had crossed the finish line.
And after being comforted further by family and team members, MacCrone emerged from the car to first be hugged by Duffy, and then dedicate the win to Andy.
“It’s been a difficult year for me,” he said, fighting to control his voice, and glancing at the tribute, ‘Morty’, on his car.
“This win’s for Andrew; that’s all that’s on my mind at the moment. I’m happy to have done it for him.”
To come back to contest the rally again, just a year after the high profile crash — and with the weight on his shoulders — MacCrone showed his strength of character. To win it was, perhaps, destiny.
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