Super Season Start For Culina Palletforce Racing
The newly-formed Culina Palletforce Racing team made a solid start on the opening event of its 2013 MSA British Rally Championship campaign when both team drivers completed the Pirelli Richard Burns Foundation Rally today in Carlisle.
John MacCrone led the way with a fantastic fifth overall after setting his, and the team's, first fastest stage time on the last test to jump two places on the leaderboard. He was followed home by Peter Taylor in a super seventh place after the 77-mile, two-day event through Kielder Forest.
The Pirelli Rally was a tough way to kick off the new season. Not only are the super high-speed stages some of the fastest and most ferocious in the series but, for both team drivers, it was their first competitive outings in the new CA1 Sport-prepared Citroen DS3 rally cars.
The gravel special stages across Kielder are renowned for their ability to catch out unwary drivers and their deep ditches lie in wait for anyone pushing too hard.
Speedy Scot MacCrone, however, was also competing for the first time with new co-driver, and former British rally champion, Phil Pugh. They were quick right from the off and matched times with the top British crews on the opening tests. But a puncture on stage five on Saturday slowed their challenge when they lost over three minutes to the other drivers and dropped back to 14th place.
However, 23-year-old MacCrone powered his way through today's four gravel stages in Kershope forest on the hunt for a top-ten finish. He set two second fastest times and went quickest overall on the final 9.66 mile dash through Glen Dhu to leapfrog his way up the leaderboard – jumping an incredible seven places and finishing the event in fifth overall.
Major fleet investment for Palletforce founder member
PALLETFORCE founder member Wm Armstrong is continuing its programme of modernisation with a £650,000 investment in its 90-strong fleet.
The family-run firm which celebrated its 85th anniversary last year has replaced nine of its vehicles with new Renault rigid four and six wheel curtain siders.
These new trucks are branded with Palletforce, the UK and Europe's leading palletised distribution network, livery and are also fitted with one-and-a-half-tonne tail lifts.
"We have established a programme to replace and renew existing vehicles within our fleet as well as an expansion plan," said Geof Armstrong, co-owner and director of Wm Armstrong.
"Not only will this investment build awareness of the Wm Armstrong and Palletforce brand in Scotland but it will also help us to enhance fleet efficiency which allows us to compete in a tight marketplace and offer an exceptional service to customers."
Last year Wm Armstrong replaced 40 per cent of its vehicles as part of its rolling modernisation programme to ensure its fleet is run at maximum efficiency.
Two new members for Palletforce
PALLETFORCE, the UK and Europe's leading palletised distribution network, has announced the addition of two new shareholder members.
BM Stafford in Hetton-le-Hole, Durham, and James Nuttall Transport in Rochdale, are the latest members to join the Palletforce network of more than 100 depots.
"Both of these companies have demonstrated the same commitment to quality and passion for excellent service that runs throughout Palletforce," said Michael Conroy, Chief Executive of Palletforce.
"Adding two more well-established and well-regarded members to the Palletforce team will further strengthen the network and supports our growth strategy throughout the UK and Europe."
As a family-run firm now being led by the third generation, BM Stafford has a long tradition of providing reliable service from its north east base.
"If you look at it like premiership football, we see Palletforce as being at the top of the league and we want to be associated with a recognisable large brand with a reputation for quality," said Mark Stafford, Director at BM Stafford.
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