ALL TO PLAY FOR ON SEASON OPENER

 

Saturday’s Black Horse Finance Forest Stages is a wide open start to the Eurocars Motorsport Manx Rally Championship.

The entry list of 23 crews doesn’t including any of the winners of stage events on the island last year, and it is entirely possible that a two-wheel drive car will claim a rare off-road win.

Reigning Manx champion Noel Kelly will lead the field into action at Conrehenny Plantation, with son James on the notes in the Mitsubishi Evo 6. Noel always goes well on the loose surface events, but even with the advantage of all-wheel drive on the rain-soaked tracks a plethora of hard chargers behind will keep him on his toes.

Nigel Cannell, himself a former champion, leads the opposition in his Vauxhall Astra with Nick Kaighin alongside. It’ll be first time out for Cannell in the car, with which Jimmy Howe won the 2005 championship, but he’s no stranger to Astra’s and should be on the pace immediately.

However the battle to watch could well be between the similar Vauxhall Nova’s of Richard Curphey and Shaun Fox. Curphey finished as the leading two-wheel drive car on the event last year in third overall, and has Andrew Holmes back on the notes once again. Fox meanwhile will tackle his first event for six months and has borrowed Dave Beynon’s car for the event, but should be thereabouts.

Matt Bettridge will use father Pat’s Toyota Celica for the first time, while Andy Glaister has a new Evo 6 at his disposal, but it’s likely to be a learning curve for both drivers. Steve Colley is also set to make a return to rallying in a Vauxhall Astra and starts in the top 10.

The event is due to get underway from 9.30am, with all stage sand servicing within Conrhenny Plantation itself. The leading crews are scheduled to finish at around 3.30pm.

  • Scrutineering and signing-on for the opening stage rally of the year, the Black Horse Finance Forest Stages, takes place tonight at Eurocars on Peel Road, Douglas, from 6pm. Paul Dewar and Mark Wrigley are Chief Marshal and Chief Timekeeper respectively, and if you are able to help either pop down to Eurocars or call Mark on 498197. it is worth noting that the entire rally is contained within the Conrhenny plantation, including service, and several stages run past the main entrance so access will be restricted after the event begins.
     
  • The presentation for the event will be at the Hydro Hotel from 8pm on the evening of the event. There’s no admittance charge and all are welcome, especially the many marshals, timekeepers, radio, rescue and recovery officials without whom we’d have no sport.
     
  • Conrhenny Plantation is situated off the B12 Creg-ny-Baa road, map ref 407 827

Seeded Entry List

 

 

 

 

 

No.

Driver

Co-Driver

Vehicle

Class

 

 

 

 

 

1

Noel Kelly

James Kelly

Mitsubishi Evo VI

E

2

Nigel Cannell

Nicholas Kaighin

Vauxhall Astra

C

3

Richard Curphey

Andrew Holmes

Vauxhall Nova 

B

4

Matt Bettridge

Chris Corkish

Toyota Celica

E

5

Shaun Fox

Anthony  Cashen

Vauxhall Nova

B

6

Kex Walker

Danni Matthews

BMW 325

D

7

Andy Glaister

Chris Boyde

Mitsubishi Evo VI

E

8

Kevin Vondy

Sarah Fargher

Vauxhall Nova

B

9

Steve Colley

Elizabeth Humphreys

Vauxhall Astra

C

10

Jimmy Howe

Kris Campbell

VW Polo

A

11

Martyn Jones

Leigh   Jones

Vauxhall  Nova

B

12

Peter Harrison

Nigel Morris

Peugeot  106

A

14

Mark Cubbon

TBA

Ford Escort

D

15

Donny Gill

Robert Clague

Mitsubishi  Evo II

E

16

Steve Hayward

Dave Ford

Peugeot  306

C

17

Chris Reynolds

Glenn Butterworth

Ford Escort

D

18

Kris Killip

Ian Postlethwaite

Vauxhall  Nova

A

19

Connor Corkill

Dean Quayle

Ford Escort

D

20

Peter Eaton

Tony Mitchell

Ford Escort

D

21

Malcolm Mawdsley

Richard Mawdsley

Subaru Impreza 

E

22

Walter Bridson

Darren Self

Vauxhall Corsa

A

23

Simon Wing

Ian Jones

Peugeot  205

C

24

Richard Kneen

Tom Babbs

Peugeot  106

A

 

Time Schedule (First car due)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Car 1

 

Stage Dist

 

 

 

 

(miles)

MC1

 

09:31

 

 

MC1/SS1

 

09:34

 

1.8

SS2

 

10:10

 

1.8

SS3

 

10:46

 

1.8

SS4

 

11:42

 

4.0

SS5

 

12:21

 

4.0

SS6

 

13:00

 

4.0

MC2/SS7

 

13:56

 

4.6

SS8

 

14:38

 

4.6

SS9

 

15:17

 

4.6

SS9/MC3

 

15:23