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Manx National Rally - 6-7 May 11

Posted: September 13, 2011 11:58 AM - 6613 Hits

Round 2 - 2011 MSA Asphalt Rally Championship


Photo: CMWI.NET

In Car

Posted: September 13, 2011 11:58 AM

Melvyn Evans/Patrick Walsh (Subaru Impreza WRC) SS6


Damian Cole / Phil Mills (Ford Focus WRC) SS4

Video: TV Programme

Posted: September 13, 2011 11:57 AM

MSA ASPHALT CHAMPIONSHIP 2011 - EVANS ABOVE THE COMPETITION!…

Posted: September 13, 2011 11:49 AM

2009 REIS MSA Asphalt Rally Champion Melvyn Evans registered for this year’s series at Signing-On for the second round, the Manx Telecom Rally, and went on to win it in convincing style. However, as is so often the case, that simple fact does not tell the whole story!...

40% of the original starters were REIS Championship-registered competitors, including Paul Bird who was attempting to become the first person to win the rally on three consecutive occasions. The Cumbrian and co-driver Kirsty Riddick began as they meant to continue, setting fastest time on the opening stage through Port Erin in their Ford Focus WRC and maintaining their advantage through to the overnight halt. Evans, winner of the Manx in 2002 & 2008, and co-driver Patrick Walsh were running in 2nd place in their Subaru Impreza WRC such that, when Bird retired after hitting a bank on the second stage on Saturday morning, the Welshman was in prime spot to inherit the lead. Such were the dramas experienced by the chasing pack that, by the time cars began arriving on the quay in Peel for the finish, Evans was nearly four minutes ahead of his nearest rival after 118 miles of stages!

Manxman George Collister had been running as high as 2nd in his Mitsubishi Lancer EVO3 but, as the pace began to tell, an oil leak forced him to ease off over the closing stages. He should, nevertheless, be pleased with 4th overall and a good haul of points on his first Championship event.

John Stone had former British Rally Champion Co-driver Ian Grindrod sitting beside him in his Skoda Fabia WRC for this event and, although it was Grindrod’s first full event in a World Rally Car, his vast experience of the Manx roads paid dividends. 5th overall was the final result and, for the second year running, Stone returned home to Blackburn as leader of the MSA Asphalt Rally Championship. Behind him, the Subaru Imprezas of Graham Coffey/David Gamblin and David Hardie/John McCulloch both recorded Top Ten finishes on an event made doubly difficult by the changing weather conditions.

One of the happiest men on the Isle of Man at the finish was John Indri whose Darrian T90 GTR took 11th spot. On his first visit to the event for a decade – and he didn’t finish that one! – he was running as high as 5th when intercom failure at the start of a loop of stages caused much consternation and waving of hands inside the cockpit! For his efforts in guiding a two-wheel drive car to such a strong finish, he was awarded the John Horton Motorsport Management ‘Star Performer’ at the Awards Ceremony in Peel.

Newcomer James Grint’s first visit to the island in his Mitsubishi Lancer EVO9 was rewarded with top Championship Group N points, with the Subaru Impreza of Neil Arden/Giles Corbett finishing just behind him. Meanwhile, Class B13 was widely represented throughout the entry with Chris Marshall/Simon Hunter (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO5), Eliot Dunmore/Susanna Kenniston (Subaru Impreza) and Adrian Spencer/Mark Hewitt (Subaru Impreza) all recording Top 20 finishes.

Other Championship crews who survived the rigours of the event to reach the finish were :

    * Jim Sharp/Mike Baird Subaru Impreza 22nd
    * Craig Jose/Nigel Hewett Peugeot 205 24th
    * Christopher Lloyd/Gerwyn Barry Ford Escort MkII 25th/1st in class (Millington Challenge Winners)
    * Paul Clapham/Colin Watson Peugeot 106 29th
    * Tommi Graham/Mike Bailey Ford Escort MkII 30th (2nd Millington Challenge)
The retirement list accounted for half the original starters in the National ‘A’ event and included five of the top six seeds! In addition to Bird/Riddick, Dave Pattison/Paul Whittaker’s attempt to win three consecutive Manx Auto Sport-organised events evaporated after their Mitsubishi Lancer EVO6 had a body-bending off on Friday evening. Defending REIS Asphalt Champion Damian Cole and ‘guest’ co-driver Phil Mills lost 3rd place when their Ford Focus WRC ground to a halt with electronic throttle problems on Saturday morning and series leader prior to the Manx Steve Simpson, with Rob Fagg drafted in for the event, didn’t actually start the first stage after his Subaru Impreza’s clutch failed.

2006 & 2008 Asphalt Champions David Kynaston/Andy Russell had moved their Audi A3 Quattro into 3rd place after four stages, but an accident on the fifth cost them enough time – not to mention body damage – to render any further participation in the event worthless. Gary Nuttall/Mark Perryman’s Hyundai Accent WRC didn’t get that far – it was a second stage retirement for them, as it was for the Ford Puma of Roger Donnan.

Geoff Glover/Bob Brown’s Vauxhall Astra RWD succumbed to rear suspension failure on SS9, three stages after James Belton’s Impreza had gone out with gearbox maladies. However, spare a thought for Championship newcomers Danny Davies/James Hood whose Vauxhall Corsa stopped on SS14, almost in sight of the finish!...

The Manx Telecom ‘B’ Rally attracted a couple of Championship-registered crews who endured vastly differing fortunes. Paul Culverwell/Jo Saddington finished 5th and took a class win in their Peugeot 205 RWD, while Tim Bridge/Frank McAlister’s rally ended upside down when their Peugeot 206 inverted itself on SS6!

Next stop for the REIS MSA Asphalt Rally Championship is Kelso for the Jim Clark National Rally (27/28th May). No peace for the wicked – or anyone else!

Photos

Posted: September 13, 2011 11:48 AM

Manx Bad Luck For Bird

Posted: September 12, 2011 2:32 PM

Penrith rally driver Paul Bird's hopes of a record breaking third successive win on the Manx Telecom Rally were dashed early today when he slid off the road and into retirement on SS7.

Along with Scottish co driver Kirsty Riddick, the Frank Bird Poultry-sponsored Ford Focus WRC driver was in command after leading overnight by nearly half a minute in the changeable conditions around the Manx lanes but dropped time on this morning's first stage due to a wrong tyre choice.

The former ANCRO National Champion pushed hard to try and make up time and ended up understeering into a ditch and whereby he eventually extricated the car, too much time had been lost for him to continue.

Paul Bird:
"This about sums up my luck, I must have broken some mirrors lately! We were well in command after last night's stages and everything was looking good but I ended up just slipping off into a ditch and that was game over. Hopefully this is the end of this bad run and I can concentrate on winning next weekend's Plains Rally."

The Plains Rally, which forms round four of the BTRDA Rally Series which Bird is contesting this year, takes place next Saturday 14th May.

Busy Weekend Ahead For Paul Bird Motorsport

Posted: May 8, 2011 12:57 PM

The Paul Bird Motorsport Team will be in action on both two wheels and four this weekend meaning a busy time for the Penrith-based team.

The Kawasaki Superbike Racing team heads for the historic venue of Monza in Northern Italy for round four the World Superbike Championship hoping to make up for the poor showing at Assen last month whilst team owner Paul Bird will be hoping to make history by becoming the first driver to win the Manx National Rally three years in succession.

Last time out, the Kawasaki Superbike Racing Team duo of Yorkshireman Tom Sykes and Spanish rider Joan Lascorz were looking strong but a combination of problems resulted in lowly finishes aboard their respective Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10Rs so they, along with Australian Chris Vermeulen who is continuing his recovery from injury, hope to make amends at the track near Milan.

Meanwhile Bird heads over to the Isle of Man to contest the Manx Telecom Rally at the wheel of his Frank Bird Poultry-sponsored Ford Focus WRC which he will share with Scottish co-driver Kirsty Riddick.

The former National Rally Champion took the victory laurels in 2009 and again last year so is hoping that a third successive victory is on the cards which will place him into the history books as the first driver to accomplish that feat on one of the toughest events on the calendar.

Paul Bird, Team Owner:
"We were very disappointed with the results at Assen and hope that we can improve at Monza. The track should suit our bikes and hopefully Tom, Joan and Chris can do themselves as well as the team and the bikes justice this weekend. I'll be keeping a close eye on things whilst contesting the rally and hopefully we can have a dual celebration this weekend!"

The opening WSB race gets underway on Sunday 8th May at 12.00 with race two at 15.30 and British viewers can catch the action live on British Eurosport.

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Posted: April 27, 2011 11:10 AM

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