Ian Barnes completed his return to the sport by finishing third in class at the Wyedean Forest Rally.

Driving the Bicester Major Motorsport’s historic MK1 Escort, Swindon-based Barnes began tentatively in his first rally for six months.

But that plan was abandoned as he and co-driver and co-driver Melanie Holmes charged up the field to finish 15th.

“The car felt the best it has ever been,” said Barnes. “I am pleased we finished, relieved the car isn’t wrecked and happy we are getting more pace.”

His next event is the Rally North Wales on April 5.