Cumbrian racing driver Frank Bird successfully defended a top title at Oulton Park in Cheshire.

Bird and co-driver Jack Morton enjoyed another comprehensive win at the Salford Van Hire Neil Howard Stages Rally held at Oulton Park.

Penrith’s Bird led from start to finish in testing conditions.

In their Dom Buckley Motorsport-prepared Ford Fiesta Rally2, they finished 12 seconds quicker than their nearest rival in the opening stage, before extending their advantage to 33 seconds by the halfway mark.

They continued to dominate and eventually won 67 seconds ahead of their nearest rivals, three-time winners Steve Simpson and Chris Williams.

Bird, who won six of the eight stages, said: “It was another great day back at Oulton Park for the Neil Howard Stages which saw us come out on top and defend our title.

“Conditions were pretty tricky all day so once we got in the groove of things, we just kept it neat and tidy with no risk and brought it back for the win.

“The car felt great all day so thanks to the Dom Buckley team and to Jack for an excellent job as normal. As ever, a massive thanks to my dad and our sponsors.”

Bird’s next outing is at the Swift Signs and Shirts Winter Stages Rally at Croft.