Cumbrian Frank Bird got the better of some of the best drivers in the country as he swept to victory on the Ford Parts Cheviot Stages Rally.

The 22-year-old from Penrith led from start to finish to emerge over half a minute clear of his nearest rival after 60 miles of stages.

It came in the final round of the Protyre Motorsport UK Asphalt Rally Championship, on the sealed roads of the Otterburn military range in Northumberland.

It was the first time competing in an asphalt rally for Bird since May, due to his commitments in the Fanatec GT World Cup Europe Sprint and Endurance Championships at the wheel of the Team WRT Audi R8 LMS.

The opening stage saw Bird quickest by three seconds as he maintained the lead after SS2 despite dropping time, and the advantage was increased on the next two stages to hold a 17 second lead after four stages.

Bird and co-driver Dom Buckley continued to build their advantage and emerged victorious by 31 seconds over Scottish crew Gordon Morrison and co-driver Hannah McKillop (Ford Fiesta R5).

Bird said: “I’d have been happy with a podium all things considered so I’m a little bit surprised to take the win, especially given the quality of the opposition.

“It was our first time out in the car and it ran faultlessly, so thanks to the team for another great job. Thanks to Jack for a great job on the notes and of course my dad and our sponsors.

"It was good to be back out again in the rally car and I look forward to our next event at Oulton Park next month.”