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Manx National - 09-10 May 08

Posted: May 13, 2008 2:54 PM - 11769 Hits

Round 3 - 2008 ANCRO MSA National Rally Championship
Round 2 - 2008 MSA Asphalt Rally Championship

  • Evans/Mullally win baby Manx

Photo: Roy Dempster

Jonny Greer Report

Posted: May 13, 2008 2:54 PM

The third round of the Mitsubishi challenge the Manx national Rally held on the 9th and 10th of may marked the first of two rounds to be held outside mainland UK and on Tarmac roads instead of the traditional Forest stages. The rally based in the Isle of man capital, Douglas, which is no stranger to high caliber sporting events the isle of man TT starts in little over two weeks, got under way with five classic night stages on the Friday including the port Erin super special.

Jonathan Greer,19 from Carryduff who is contesting the entire evolution challenge in 2008 was seeded at car 30 and was optimistic about his chances having taken his first fiesta sporting trophy victory on the island last year and was hoping to score some solid points after misfortunes in the opening two rounds.

After the first leg of five stages Jonathan lay sixth in the challenge in what was a closely fought affair, after the overnight halt crews would have nine stages to face on Saturday and the ever changing weather conditions.

The second day proved that Jonathan could keep the pace with the evo challenge front runners and managed a couple of top three times to finish fourth after the events fourteen stages. The event was won by Keith Cronin, with Jonny’s DGM teammate Neil McCance second and championship leader Daniel Barry in third making it and Irish 1,2,3,4. Jonathan Now lies in Ninth Place in the championship following his first points score.

“The points are vital for us, with there being one drop round two non finishes has really hurt us, I am looking forward to the next round in Severn and getting back onto the gravel surface, the Welsh forests are the stages I really enjoy driving”

Jonathan’s next event is the Jim Clark international the second round of the British Rally championship on the 23/24th of May also a tarmac based event which marks the first of three tarmac events in a row, the championship visits the Isle of Man in July and Jonny’s Home rally the Ulster in August.

The next round of the Evolution Challenge sees the first of three rounds held in the Welsh forests. The Severn Valley rally on the 31st may uses renowned Rally GB stages. The round also marks the mid point in the championship and once it is complete only three rounds will remain. With only a week between The Jim Clark and Severn Valley it will be all hands on deck in the DGM camp over the coming weeks.

Barry retains Mitsubishi Championship lead after Manx adventure

Posted: May 12, 2008 4:56 PM

After overcoming an incident-packed weekend, Daniel Barry from Enniskerry, together with his co-driver Mark Bowens from Castlemartr, crossed the finish line of this weekend’s RBS International Manx Rally to claim third place in round three of the Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge and, in doing so, continues to lead the one-make championship for Group N (production specification) Mitsubishis.

Famous for its TT motorcycle races, the Isle of Man has become a mecca for motorsport, largely because the authorities have the ability to close public roads for racing and rallying. For Daniel, this was the first event of the season to take place on a tarmac surface, the previous rallies all held on gravel forestry tracks. Due to the nature of the island’s roads, events on the Isle of Man have a reputation for their demanding and arduous nature, a facture that certainly applied to Daniel’s weekend!

The rally got underway on Friday night with five stages before the overnight halt and, after a good run through the opening stage, 1.5 miles through the coastal town of Port Erin, Daniel immediately found himself on the pace of the Mitsubishi front-runners.

However, on the very next stage the first of a catalogue of problems emerged, when a shock absorber became damaged - not ideal when negotiating the bumpy Manx lanes. Even so, Daniel kept everything under control, but then on stage four the rear differential stopped working and he had no choice but to drive steadily for the remainder of the evening, ending the day an uncharacteristic fifth in the Evolution Challenge standings,

With rain falling overnight, grip levels were extremely unpredictable for the first loop of three stages on Saturday morning – a factor discovered by Daniel when he slid wide on a left-hander in SS7 and clouted a steel post with the rear of his Mitsubishi. The subsequent impact removed the lights and a large proportion of the off-side rear wing, but fortunately there was no mechanical damage and the 24-year old Irishman continued, having lost only a handful of seconds in the incident.

Back in service, the team did their best to repair the car and Daniel set-off for the next three stages intent on making up for lost time. But there was more excitement to come when, in stage 11, the bolts connecting the prop-shaft to the rear differential sheared and, at the end of the stage, Daniel resourcefully fixed the problem in order to make it back to the second service halt of the day. Still lying fifth in the Evo Challenge and, with his car now restored to full working order mechanically, if not cosmetically, Daniel decided to up the pace for the remaining three stages. On the penultimate test he moved up to fourth and, with the leader of the Mitsubishi pack delayed because of a puncture, Daniel was relieved to make it back in Douglas to finish third in the Evolution Challenge, third in the production class and an impressive eighth overall.

“What a rally”! exclaimed Daniel at the finish. “There were a number of times when I thought we were not going to make it, but we pushed on regardless and I’m delighted with the result – especially as we retain our lead of the Mitsubishi Evolution Challenge. I also have to thank the team for keeping me in the event.”

With the next event just three weeks away, the Barry Motorsport team will have their work cut-out to repair the car in time for the Severn Valley National Rally on 31st May, when the surface reverts to gravel and the forests of mid-Wales.

Daniel’s 2007 campaign is supported by: Tech-Plus, Irish Transport & Shipping, BPI Telecom, Henco under-floor heating and SC Signs.

Cronin/Shinnors claim Manx Mitsubishi victory

Posted: May 12, 2008 1:56 PM


Photo: Roy Dempster


Keith Cronin recorded his very first Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge victory on this weekend’s RBS International Manx Rally when, with co-driver Greg Shinnors, he took the lead after Richard Cathcart/Martin Brady suffered a puncture and then mechanical problems on the penultimate stage.

After winning last year’s Evolution Challenge on the island, Neil McCance delivered another top-class performance to finish second, whilst Daniel Barry managed to cling onto his championship lead after surviving a host of incidents throughout the event to claim third place and his 100% podium position finish record this season. The Isle of Man’s demanding tarmac roads lived up to their reputation of providing competitors with one of the toughest tests of the season, when 12 Evolution Challenge crews met up with teams contesting the Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship, the Richard Egger Insurance MSA Asphalt Rally Championship and others just entering the 120-mile rally on an individual basis, to provide a total entry of 124 cars.

The first of the rally’s five stages on Friday evening got underway with a run through the South West coast town of Port Erin, Nik Elsmore setting the fastest time just 0.3 seconds ahead of Cathcart, with Miles Johnston 0.2 seconds further back in third.

Albeit the highest Evo Challenge seed, McCance was the slowest Mitsubishi through the stage, having been caught out on cold tyres causing him to spin on the second corner. However, the Ulsterman redeemed himself on SS2, when he climbed back up to third place, behind Cronin and Cathcart - who were now the pace-setters.

After a further three stages, competitors arrived at the Douglas TT grandstand for the overnight halt, where the time sheets showed Cathcart in charge with a healthy 25 second advantage over Cronin, who was a further 25 seconds ahead of McCance.

Outside the Evo Challenge top three, others reported their Friday night out in the Manx lanes was not as successful: Although in fourth, round one winner David Bogie was struggling to find the right set-up for his brand new ‘tarmac-spec’ Evo, whilst just behind, championship leader Barry had suffered a broken rear shock absorber on SS2 and then rear differential problems on SS4. Elsmore’s had also dropped back, his early advantage eradicated following a spin on SS3 and a puncture on SS5.

Manx debutants included Simon Harraway, who lost time with a spin during the evening and David Meredith, whose run of bad luck continued when a driveshaft broke as he left the line on SS4. For Daniel Sigurdarson, the event was proving to be a real education, as this was the first time the Icelandic rally champion had ever competed on tarmac, and if it was not for clipping a road-side rock on the first stage, it would have been a perfect start to his asphalt debut.

Saturday featured a further nine stages, the first loop of three providing drivers with challenge, the rapidly drying overnight rain causing unpredictable levels of grip. Worst affected was SS7, a point proved first by Bogie, who spun, clipped a bank and removed his car’s rear spoiler. Next to fall foul of the slippery conditions was Barry, who demolished the rear of his car – luckily without sustaining any mechanical damage.

Harraway was another who succumbed to the perils of stage seven, spoiling a chance of a good result when he got stuck in a ditch, lost nearly six minutes and then had to continue with bent suspension.

However, for Sigurdarson his promising start suddenly turned into a dramatic finish on SS8, when his car stepped out of line on a fast and bumpy narrow section of road, impact with a tree sending his car into a series of spins and rolls between the solid Manx banks. With his Evo IX in ruins, both he and his co-driver Isak Gudjonsson were taken to the local hospital for a check-up, where thankfully both were discharged later that day with nothing worse than bruises and a suspected fracture in Sigurdarson’s hand.

At the first service halt of the day, the scoreboard showed Catchcart now leading by 38 seconds, with Cronin 31 ahead of McCance. Plagued by a season of bad luck so far, David Meredith had no choice but to retire at this point, when his car’s clutch stopped working due to a sheared hydraulic coupling.

With roads drying out and teams now getting to grips with suspension settings, speeds for Saturday’s second batch of three stages continued to rise. But the improved conditions didn’t seem to help Bogie, who clipped a bank on stage 10, which flipped his car onto its roof and, although continuing, the consequent delay caused him to exceed his maximum lateness.

Johnston reported a lucky escape on SS11, when contact with a kerb caused a wheel to remove itself from the car and disappear over the side of a cliff, a swift change in the stage allowing him to make it back to the second service halt.

With just three stages left to go, Cathcart’s lead in the Evolution Challenge looked unassailable, but when he unknowingly clipped something at the side of the road in SS13 and punctured the nearside front wheel, his chances of a dominant victory rapidly dropped away. Then, with further damage sustained to the front hub and surrounding components before the end of the stage, it was Cronin who arrived in Douglas ahead of the Evo Challenge field. After an agonising wait, it was revealed that Cathcart’s 11th hour problems had caused him to exceed his maximum lateness and was therefore un-classified in the results, a bitter blow to what was an outstanding display of driving. His retirement elevated McCance to second, whilst Barry not only had to overcome his SS7 dramas, but also managed to climb back up to third – even after having to replace the bolts in his car’s propshaft between the stages – the fight to the finish enabling him to retain his championship lead.

His strategy for keeping out of trouble saw a solid drive from Jonny Greer reward him with fourth place and his first haul of Evo Challenge points this season. Having adopted a similar stance, Elsmore finished fifth and was pleased to complete the event unscathed, following his well-publicised accident in 2007.

For Jonathan Sparks there was a final sting in the tail, when a certain points finish was denied after transmission troubles brought his rally to a standstill on the very last stage.

At the finish a delighted Keith Cronin said:
“It’s great to take my first Evolution Challenge win. This weekend was a case of learning the car on tarmac and building up the speed as the rally went on. We just kept plugging away and had almost accepted we were going to finish second, but in rallying, it’s not over until it’s over and, although I feel for Richard (Cathcart), this result has really made a difference to our championship hopes.”

Evo Challenge competitors now have just three weeks to prepare for round four, the Severn Valley National Rally on 31st May, when the championship switches back to a gravel surface and the forests of mid-Wales - and, with a different winner on each of the three rounds so far, the title chase is still wide open.

The 2008 Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge is backed by Mitsubishi Motors UK and Ralliart, with support from its associate sponsors: Pirelli tyres, Speedline Corse wheels, Sparco racewear, Performance Friction Brakes, Sunoco Race Fuels, ADR Motorsport, Walkinshaw Performance and PIAA lights, who sponsor the junior award for under 25 year old drivers.

Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge - Round Three Results
1 Keith Cronin (Cork)/Greg Shinnors (Limerick) 1:45:11.6
2 Neil McCance (Comber)/Graham Hopewell (Worcester) 1:45:58.9
3 Daniel Barry (Enniskerry)/Mark Bowens (Cork) 1:47:36.7
4 Jonathan Greer (Carryduff)/Jonny Hart (Moneyrea) 1:47:55.8
5 Nik Elsmore (Coleford)/Paul Wakeley (Llanelli) 1:49:05.7
6 Miles Johnston (York)/Louise Sutherland (Hawick) 1:56:05.3
7 Simon Harraway (Weston-super-Mare)/Craig Drew (Bream) 2:02:36.3

Retirements
SS8 Daniel Siguardarson (Iceland)/Isak Gudjonsson (Iceland) - Accident
SS9 David Meredith (Dolgellau)/Dai Roberts (Carmarthen) - Clutch
SS10 David Bogie (Dumfries)/Kevin Rae (Hawick) – Accident/OTL
SS13 Richard Cathcart (Enniskillen)/Martin Brady (Navan) - Puncture/OTL
SS14 Jonathan Sparks (Glastonbury)/Chris Davies (Abergavenny) - Driveshaft


MSA ASPHALT RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP REVIEW

Posted: May 12, 2008 1:40 PM

The return of MELVYN EVANS & SEAN MULLALLY to the Richard Egger Insurance MSA Asphalt Rally Championship was marked in style by an outright victory on the RBS International Rally in their Subaru Impreza WRC. Having missed the opening round of the series, they put in a consummate display to take what, in Evans’ case, was his second win on the Isle of Man.

Fastest time on the second of the fourteen stages put Evans/Mullally into a lead they maintained throughout the remainder of the event and it goes without saying that they have each opened their accounts with maximum points scores.

Championship leaders after the Tour of Epynt, DAVID KYNASTON/ANDY RUSSELL, brought their Audi A3 Quattro back to the finish at the TT Grandstand in Douglas in 4th place – one better than last year! – and, had it not been for time lost behind a preceding car that had been damaged in an accident, the Devonians would, likely as not, have finished on the podium. For his efforts, ‘DK’ was awarded the John Price Rallying ‘Star Drive’ salver at the awards ceremony on the Saturday evening.

Meanwhile, JOHN PRICE, himself, & CAROLINE were the next Championship contenders in the results. It’s a decade now since they took outright victory on the Manx and a Top 10 finish this time in their MG Metro 6R4 is testament to both the standard of preparation of what is without question the quickest car of its type still actively competing at this level, and the skill of the 12-times Asphalt Champion! …

A solid run by defending Asphalt Champion STEVE SIMPSON, reunited with winning co-driver MARK BOOTH on this occasion in his Hyundai Accent WRC, sees him move into the lead of Class A8 at the one-third stage, while JOHN STONE/LEE CARTER recorded another good points finish in Class B13 in their Legend Fires Metro 6R4.

SIMON MAUGER/BRIAN CAMMACK continued where they left off on Epynt with a class win in their Ford Escort which currently gives them a healthy lead in B12. However, they will not need reminding that there is a long way to go and DAVE PRICE, who took second-placed points on the Manx in his Ford Escort Mk6 RWD, will have other ideas as to the eventual destination of the award!

The Mitsubishi Lancers of CHRIS MARSHALL/SIMON HUNTER & TOMMI GRAHAM/MIKE BAILEY finished line astern in Class B13, while GRAHAM HOLLIS/ ASHLEY TRIMBLE (Ford Escort RS) took their second consecutive maximum in B11. Trimble lives on the Isle of Man and third in class, behind two all-Manx crews, sets them up nicely for the next phase of the Championship.

The similar car of PETE HUGHES/CHRIS EVANS was less than half-a-minute behind Hollis after 120 miles of stages and, having retired on Epynt, they will be pleased to have got a result under their belt.

IAN COPPING (Ford Fiesta RWD) took his second consecutive points finish and MARTIN NEWSON/PETER MORRIS put the disappointment of non-finishes on their last two visits to the Isle of Man behind them with a maximum (their second this year) in their MG ZR. Fellow ZR crew ROLAND JONES/ANDY WYNN also recorded their second finish in a row, while the third such car in the entry – that of DYLAN EVANS/PAUL ROBERTS, was rewarded with a win in the Championship in N1.

Each event in the Richard Egger Insurance MSA Asphalt Rally Championship presents a challenge to competitors, but the closed public roads on the Isle of Man don’t take prisoners, especially when it is dry – as was the case at the weekend! The list of retirements included over a third of the original starters and, unfortunately, it included a number of Championship-registered drivers who, nevertheless, deserve a mention :

* David Mann (Subaru Impreza WRC) Engine fire
* Steve Fleck (Subaru Impreza WRC) Engine failure
* Mark Jasper (MG Metro 6R4) Gearbox
* Paul Curphey (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO9) Suspension
* Andy Gwynne (Citroen Saxo) Engine
* Dave West (Peugeot 306 Maxi) Head gasket
* Lee Perry (Ford Escort Cosworth) Fuel
* Paul Harewood (Vauxhall Astra) Differential
* Geoff Glover (Vauxhall Astra RWD) Gearbox
* Richard Butler (Honda Civic Type ‘R’) Engine

The above, especially, now have a race against time to prepare for the next round of the Championship, the Jim Clark National Rally, which takes place on 24th May.

Meanwhile, the BTRDA Asphalt Rally Series contenders will be in action on the Tamdown Millbrook Stages Rally on Spring Bank Holiday Monday 26th May.

MAXIMUM MANX POINTS FOR DUCKWORTH ON MSA GRAVEL CHAMPIONSHIP

Posted: May 12, 2008 1:22 PM

Evans Wins But ANCRO Returnee Roger Claims Pirelli GRC Honours

Welshman Melvyn Evans took his second victory in the RBS International Manx Rally today as Roger Duckworth claimed the honours in the 2008 Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship as he finished second overall.

Evans and Irish co-driver Sean Mullally finished 50.9 seconds ahead of Duckworth and co-driver Mark Broomfield in their Subaru Impreza WRC to win the event for the first time since 2002.

Duckworth and Broomfield were making a return to competition following their accident on the Cork 20 International Rally in October and despite losing a considerable amount of time on stage seven with a clutch slipping, posted a solid performance to take maximum points in the ANCRO-organised 2008 Pirelli Gravel Rally Championship in their Subaru Impreza WRC.

"We've had a good run," Duckworth said. "That's the sixth time we've been second on this event! It's been good and I'm happy with the comeback we've made after the Cork 20 and to get the points in the championship but I'm upset not to have won the Tony Davies award for the fastest times through the two Kella stages."

Championship leaders Jon Ingram and co-driver Ian Allsop, who won round two, finished third in their different, hired, right-hand drive Subaru Impreza WRC. The crew battled through several problems and were doubtful if they would continue at the restart on Saturday after they had an issue with the gearbox. They also had a problem with the diff on the first stage on Saturday but battled back to make the podium and increase their lead to 13 points.

Irish crew Keith Cronin and Greg Shinnors finished fifth overall, first in Group N, took third place in the Gravel Championship and won the Mitsubishi Evo Challenge. It was Cronin's first time in the Isle of Man and he showed some good pace despite a puncture on the final stage in his Mitsubishi Evo 9 to end up behind the Audi A3 Quattro of David Kynaston/Andy Russell.

Neil McCance and Graham Hopewell were sixth in their Mitsubishi Evo and second in Group N followed by Stephen Moore and Tony McHugh in the Ford Focus WRC. Daniel Barry and Mark Bowens overcame the odds to finish eighth overall and sixth in the Gravel series in their Mitsubishi Evo. At one point the pair thought they would not make the finish after they picked up substantial damage to the rear end of their car on stage seven.

Reigning champions Marcus Dodd and Andrew Bargery rounded off the top ten in their Hyundai Accent WRC behind the Metro 6R4 of John and Caroline Price. Dodd had been a solid third overall heading into the final stage but an off cost them a considerable amount of time after they had earlier struggled with a puncture and a turbo problem.

Bad luck of the rally went to Richard Cathcart and Martin Brady in their Group N Mitsubishi Evo machine. The pair had shown blistering form on their first visit to the Manx stages and were fourth and leading Group N ahead of the penultimate test before a puncture and a lost wheel cost them enough time to put them OTL.

The Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship will return in a brief three weeks for round four, the Builth Wells-based Severn Valley Rally on Saturday 30 May.

PEREZ TOUGHS IT OUT AT THE MANX

Posted: May 12, 2008 1:19 PM

Kick Energy rally driver Steve Perez returned to the RBS International Rally on the Isle of Man and claimed a creditable 14th place finish at the end of the two day event.

Driving the Ford Focus WRC with co driver Howard Davies on the notes in round three of the Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship, the Clay Cross driver had to overcome a series of problems on Friday evening's leg which caused an intermittent electrical problem and left the crew in 31st position at the overnight halt.

However, with the problem fixed at the service halt, the 2004 ANCRO National Champion had to charge his way up the leaderboard on Saturday and at half way through the day was up to 19th before battling to a 14th place at the Douglas finish late this afternoon.

Commenting afterwards, Perez said: "We had a few problems on Friday when the car cut out on every stage when we used the handbrake. We sorted the problem overnight but then got held up after a car had gone off this morning and then caught another on a later stage. The end of the rally went much better and I was starting to get my confidence back. It's been full of trials and tribulations but I'm pleased to have finished and I would like to have finished higher but the problems on Friday night cost us a lot."

Results / Photos

Posted: May 12, 2008 1:17 PM

1 Melvyn Evans/Sean Mullally (Subaru Impreza WRC) GpN 1h:41m:40.0s
2 Roger Duckworth/Mark Broomfield (Subaru Impreza WRC) GpN 1:42:30.9
3 Jon Ingram/Ian Allsop (Subaru Impreza WRC) GpN 1:44:06.3
4 David Kynaston/Andy Russell (Audi A3 Quattro) GpN 1:44:12.9
5 Keith Cronin/Greg Shinnors (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) GpN 1:45:11.6
6 Neil McCance/Graham Hopewell (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) GpN 1:45:58.9
7 Stephen Moore/Tony McHugh (Ford Focus WRC) GpN 1:46:24.1
8 Daniel Barry/Mark Bowens (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) GpN 1:47:36.7
9 John Price/Caroline Price (MG Metro 6R4) GpN 1:47:39.3
10 Marcus Dodd/Andrew Bargery (Hyundai Accent WRC) GpN 1:47:46.0

Mitsubishis compete for Island honours

Posted: May 1, 2008 10:09 PM

The RBS International Manx Rally has traditionally become the first all-asphalt event in the UK Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge calendar and this year is no exception. Taking place on 9th & 10th May, the championship’s annual visit to the Isle of Man means a change of surface from that of the gravel forestry rounds in rounds one and two, a factor which may well reveal a different winner – as it did last year.

2007 saw Neil McCance take his very first Evo Challenge victory on the island and in the light of his former victory, the Ulsterman starts as first Mitsubishi seed next weekend.

He is followed by this year’s round one winner David Bogie, who will be looking to put his round two and 2007 Manx memories behind him, both events seeing the talented young Scot experience off-road excursions. He will therefore be looking for a good points haul to ensure he keeps his championship hopes in tact.

Next Evo Challenger to leave the start line will be the current series leader Daniel Barry, who’s scored two second places so far this season. He is followed by round two winner and a man that is likely to go well whatever the surface, Richard Cathcart.

He is followed by Nik Elsmore, another driver who is still trying to put the experience of last year’s Manx Rally behind him, but with the video footage used in the opening sequence of the Pirelli MSA Gravel Championship’s television programmes, he is unlikely to forget his spectacular accident too easily.

Young Ulsterman Jonny Greer is next to take the green light and hopes that this time he can finally get some points on the board, having had to endure a series of frustrating mechanical issues in the first two rounds.

Simon Harraway is another looking for better fortune and his first points score, whilst just behind him is the very quick Daniel Sigurdarson. This will be the Icelandic Champion’s first ever 100% tarmac rally and he is relishing his maiden visit to the Isle of Man – a baptism of fire if ever there was one!

Next in line is another driver relatively unfamiliar with asphalt, Keith Cronin, who is yet to show his true colours this season and will certainly want to go further than he did in round two, having left the road on the very first stage. Behind him is a man who says he enjoys the challenge of the Manx roads, Miles Johnston, who could well achieve his best Evo Challenge result so far next weekend.

Rounding up the list of 12 Evo Challenge runners are Jonathan Sparks and David Meredith, both drivers in with an excellent chance of claiming a good points in this event and certainly looking to improve on their seeding.

However, notable by his absence is 2007 championship runner-up and second on the Isle of Man last year, Seb Ling, who is taking a sabbatical following his stage one accident and subsequent zero points score in round two.

The RBS International Manx Rally is a round of the Richard Egger Insurance MSA Asphalt Rally Championship, as well as the Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship. These, together with a number of individually entered crews, adds up to a total start list of 124 cars, 12 of which are the Evolution Challenge entries.

The event gets underway at 7.00pm on Friday evening and features five stages before the overnight halt and then a further nine stages on Saturday, the total of which provides a competitive distance of 120 miles.

The 2008 Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge is backed by Mitsubishi Motors UK and Ralliart, with support from its associate sponsors: Pirelli tyres, Speedline Corse wheels, Sparco racewear, Performance Friction Brakes, Sunoco Race Fuels, ADR Motorsport, Walkinshaw Performance and PIAA lights, who sponsor the junior award for under 25 year old drivers.

Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge entries
(in start number order)
17 Neil McCance (Comber)/Graham Hopewell (Worcester)
18 David Bogie (Dumfries)/Kevin Rae (Hawick) (J)
23 Richard Cathcart (Enniskillen)/Martin Brady (Navan)
24 Daniel Barry (Enniskerry)/Mark Bowens (Cork) (J)
29 Nik Elsmore (Coleford)/Paul Wakeley (Llanelli)
30 Jonathan Greer (Carryduff)/Jonny Hart (Moneyrea) (J)
40 Simon Harraway (Weston-super-Mare)/Craig Drew (Bream)
41 Daniel Siguardarson (Iceland)/Isak Gudjonsson (Iceland)
45 Keith Cronin (Bantry)/Greg Shinnors (Limerick) (J)
46 Miles Johnston (York)/Ian Bevan (Holywell)
53 Jonathan Sparks (Glastonbury)/Chris Davies (Abergavenny)
54 David Meredith (Dolgellau)/Dai Roberts (Carmarthen)
(J) = Junior driver

MSA Asphalt Rally Championship - MANN FOR ALL SURFACES!

Posted: April 30, 2008 2:49 PM

Contenders for the Richard Egger Insurance MSA Asphalt Rally Championship arrive on the Isle of Man in preparation for the second round of this year’s series, the RBS International Manx Rally (9/10th May), with three former event winners and two former champions amongst their number.

DAVID MANN/ALUN COOK (Subaru Impreza WRC) were victorious in 2003 on their way to securing the National Gravel Rally Championship crown that same year. This time, they have set their sights on a similar goal within the MSA Asphalt Rally Championship and, having opened their account with a healthy points score on the Epynt Military Ranges in the Brecon Beacons, are hopeful of progressing still further this weekend.

MELVYN EVANS, co-driven on this occasion by SEAN MULLALLY, took the spoils in 2002 in a Ford Escort WRC but he, too, now drives an Impreza WRC S11. Having been absent from the opening round on Epynt, the pair will be looking to get their Asphalt Championship campaign under way.

The third former event winner also doubles as an Asphalt Championship winner – on no less than twelve occasions! JOHN PRICE can rest easy in the knowledge that his tally of victories is never going to be equalled, let alone beaten and it is also unlikely that the five titles amassed by his co-driver wife CAROLINE will ever be eclipsed. Synonymous with the iconic MG Metro 6R4, these two have been an integral part of asphalt rallying in the UK for more years than either would care to admit! Their Manx win came a decade ago, in 1998, while their most recent Championship title was in 2005.

Just last year ‘JP’ & Caroline were in contention for yet another Championship victory right up to the final round. However, it was not to be as an accident on the opening stage of the Cheviot National Rally, on the Otterburn Ranges, put them out of the event and allowed season-long leaders STEVE SIMPSON/MARK BOOTH (Hyundai Accent WRC) to add their names to the impressive list of Asphalt Championship winners since the series was first introduced 25 years ago.

Simpson returns in his quest to take back-to-back titles, while DAVID KYNASTON/ ANDY RUSSELL (Audi A3 Quattro) would dearly love to add another to their first which came in 2006. The Devonian crew arrive on the island as Championship leaders following a maximum score on Epynt but will be under no illusions as to the task facing them.

Joining the ranks of Metro 6R4 crews, JOHN STONE/LEE CARTER & MARK JASPER/DON WHYATT have cars which, like that of the Prices, are without doubt the quickest and smartest examples still competing at the highest level. The sound of the normally aspirated V6 engine being driven flat-out has always been a great crowd-pleaser and will bring spectators out in droves!

Mitsubishi Lancers appear in the hands of TOMMI GRAHAM/MIKE BAILEY, who were 3rd overall in the 2007 Asphalt Championship, and former Group N winners CHRIS MARSHALL/SIMON HUNTER, whilst there is a solitary Ford Escort Cosworth for LEE PERRY/PETER WILLIAMS.

ROBERT TOUT leads the Group N runners in his Mitsubishi Lancer EVO9, while the battle for two-wheel drive honours is shaping up to be quite some contest! An excellent run over Epynt saw SIMON MAUGER/BRIAN CAMMACK bring their Ford Escort RS home to 5th in the points, with the similar car of GRAHAM HOLLIS/ ASHLEY TRIMBLE in close attendance. The Darrian T90 of ASHLEY FIELD/JANICE HOOLEY and DAVID WEST (Peugeot 306 Maxi) are also in there fighting.

West leads the ‘Front-Wheel Drive’ category from the Honda Civic Type ‘R’ of RICHARD BUTLER/MATT DUBBER, with Championship newcomers TRACEY-LOUISE & GARRY MUIR next in their Citroen AX. Meanwhile, Mauger, Hollis and Field occupy the first three ‘Rear-Wheel Drive’ places, ahead of the Vauxhall Astra RWD of GEOFF GLOVER/CHARLIE TURNER & IAN COPPING’s Ford Fiesta RWD.

DAVE PRICE (Ford Escort MkVI RWD) suffered a fraught start to the season with retirement on Epynt after a hub broke on the second stage. His efforts to get amongst the ‘movers and shakers’ in the ‘Rear-Wheel Drive’ category will start again on the Manx.

MG ZRs feature prominently in the small-engine classes, with NIKI HARTLEY/ PETER GRANT leading N1 and MARTIN NEWSON/PETER MORRIS & ROLAND JONES/ANDY WYNN neck and neck in A5.

Amongst those looking to the Isle of Man for an opportunity to get their season back on track are RICHARD CLEWS/BARRY JAMES & PAUL HAREWOOD/BOB JONES. Clews’ Peugeot 106 was an early casualty on Epynt, while Harewood’s Vauxhall Astra didn’t reach the end of the opening stage after a driveshaft failed.

Over the years, the RBS International Manx Rally has built up a reputation as a hugely enjoyable, but very tough, event and one which competitors return to time and time again. The vagaries of the British climate can play a part in the eventual outcome but, with precious few exceptions, it is experience that counts – and there’s only one way to get that!…

McNulty Enters Manx - Entry List available

Posted: April 27, 2008 10:27 PM

Entry list on event website:

Kenny McKinstry Enters Manx National

Posted: April 7, 2008 10:19 PM

List of Entries to date on event website:

Regulations Available / Changes to Reece Timetable for 2008

Posted: March 12, 2008 10:13 AM

  • Regulations Available
  • Changes to Reece Timetable for 2008

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