STONE rally driver Julian Jones opened his defence of the Kingsway Insurance Heart of England Rally Championship at the MIRA proving ground near Nuneaton this week.
He came in at round two, the Quinton MC organised Horiba D'Isis Rally, writes Michael Davies (Rally2Report).
In his recently purchased second Ford Escort Mk2, Jones was out to familiarise himself with this new car but, having had successful campaigns in this championship before, he was still seeded at number eight out of a field of 80 entries.
Bemoaning what he thought was a wrong choice of tyre, he still maintained his flat out approach to undertaking his sport and at times this caught him out.
His late braking style did not suit the tyres and several clouds of smoke were evidence of locking brakes and the cause of flat tyres.
A never-give-up attitude and more than a little skill saw Jones finish the event in seventh overall and fourth in class.
Meanwhile, Bari Willmot from Rugeley competed in a lower engine class, the class A up to 1400 cc, and looks to accumulate class points in each championship round.
After finishing 35th overall with Clare Bird co-driving, from a seeded position of 34th, he just about held his own while achieving a fifth in class.
The next round of the championship, the Red Dragon IT Stages, on May 24 is at the former RAF Airforce base of Down Ampney.