HIGH QUALITY RALLY LINE UP SET TO THRILL

 

This weekends opening closed roads rally of the year has attracted one of the strongest ever line-ups for a club event on the island.

The Jaks Bar/Porsche Centre Chester twin sponsored two day event, organised by Manx Auto Sport, is the second round of the Eurocars Motorsport Manx Rally Championship and has an overall entry of 51 crews, the best in recent years. However it is the quality that really marks it out.

The islands top driver, Kirk Michael’s Rob Watson, will lead the field into action from St Johns shortly before 7 o’clock on Friday night, aiming to continue his phenomenal run of success on the club events, which includes winning this one for the last two years. However he’ll have to first settle in with new co-driver Bruce Craig in the Vauxhall Nova kit car.

Usual pace-note man Rob Fagg, whose new partnership with David Bogie means he’s not available to Watson this season, starts one minute behind with the first visiting driver, John Cope in a Subaru WRC. Cope has led this event in the past and is sure to be right at the sharp end, though he’d probably prefer dry conditions which are unlikely to materialise after all the recent rain.

Seeing George Collister (Mitsubishi Evo 3) and Steve Quine (Vauxhall Astra) on the entry list at 3 and 4 immediately brings back memories of the frenetic scrap both had with Watson on October’s similar Black Horse Finance event.

But this time, although Watson starts as favourite, there are probably as many as ten potential winners. You also have to add into the equation a trio of the stunning BMW Mini Cooper S’s for visitors Daniel Harper, John Cressey and Ian Dawes and two recent on-island event winners, Dave Corris (Escort WRC) and Richard Curphey (Vauxhall Nova).

Event sponsor Adrian Kermode uses one of his Porsche’s, while Mark Cubbon’s top three result on the Black Horse makes him one to watch in the Evo 6, with John Swinscoe (Evo 9) and Chris Woodcock (Evo 6) also challenging.

The action is sure to be worth seeing, and the first stage is a real awakener, running up Glenneedle to The Mines and then the rapid descent of the Shoulder Road to South Barrule. From there the crews head to Ballagyr, the Switchback and Staarvey and the loop is completed with a stage from Brandywell Cottage, down Injebreck and through West Baldwin and Mount Rule to Eyreton. Then it’s service at St Johns and out to do it all again.

On Saturday the rally base moves to Jurby for service. The morning begins at 9.20am and features two tests repeated, firstly at The Lhen, Rhendhoo and Jurby East and then The Dollagh near Ballaugh, through The Cronk, West Jurby and Sandygate.

By the afternoon the action moves onto two runs up Tholt-y-Will, which is land-locked for spectators, making Brandywell Cottage the best bet for the double run of the Brandywell Road and Druidale.

After 75 miles of high speed stages the leading crews are due at the Jurby finish shortly before 3 o’clock.

  • Scrutineering and signing-on for competitors and officials for this weekends’ Jaks Bar/Porsche Centre Chester Rally takes place tonight (Thursday). For competitors it is at Eurocars’ Peel Road premises and for officials it is the TT Grandstand. If you have a few hours to help marshal or timekeep either tomorrow night or on Saturday the organisers would be delighted to hear from you. Please either pop along to the signing-on session or call Chief Timekeeper Mark Wrigley on 498197 or Chief Marshal Mandy Millward, 458952.
     
  • The presentation of awards for the event will take place at the Onchan Squah Club on Saturday night, from around 8.30pm. It is free entry to all and the organisers would particularly like to invite everyone involved in organising the event, in whatever capacity.

Seeded Entry List

 

 

 

 

No

Driver

Co-Driver

Vehicle

 

 

 

 

1

Rob Watson

Bruce Craig

Vauxhall Nova Kit Car

2

John Cope

Rob Fagg

Subaru Impreza WRC

3

George Collister

Janet Craine

Mitsubishi Evo 3

4

Steve Quine

John Skinner

Vauxhall Astra Kit Car

5

Daniel Harper

Clive Molyneaux

BMW Mini Cooper S

6

Dave Corris

Mark Perryman

Ford Escort WRC

7

Richard Curphey

Andrew Holmes

Vauxhall Nova 

8

John Swinscoe

Paula Swinscoe

Mitsubishi Evo 9

9

John Cressey

Stan Quirk

BMW Mini 

10

Adrian Kermode

Liz Jordan

Porsche 911 

11

Mark Cubbon

Jonathan Turnbull

Mitsubishi Evo 7

12

David Craine

Simon Trenholme

Ford Escort Cos.

14

Chris Woodcock

Heidi Woodcock

Mitsubishi Evo 6

15

Matt Bettridge

Chris Corkish

Peugeot 206 

16

Kevin Jeffray

Joe Parsons

Subaru Impreza 

17

Kex Walker

Danni Matthews

BMW 325 

18

John Kirkpatrick

Howard Allison

Vauxhall Astra 

19

Ian Dawes

Gary Dawes

BMW Mini Cooper

20

James Quirk

Edwin Kennaugh

Vauxhall Corsa Gsi

21

Paul Curphy

Rob Callin

Nissan Pulsar Gtir

22

David Wallbank

Thomas Wallbank

Mitsubishi Evo 5

23

Martyn Jones

Leigh Jones

Vauxhall Nova Gsi

24

Richard Batey

Michael Batey

Ford Escort Mk2

25

Pat Bettridge

Paul Gelling

VW Golf Gti

26

Steve Lewis

TBA

Subaru Impreza 

27

Ian Corkill

Richard Nelson

Ford Escort XE

28

Jimmy Howe

Kris Campbell

VW Polo 

29

Peter Harrison

Nigel Morris

Peugeot 106 

30

David Stubbs

Patrick Daley

Vauxhall Astra 

31

Jim Mcevoy

Carrie Mcevoy

Ford Escort Cos.

32

Mark Bumfrey

Paul Bumfrey

Ford Escort Cos.

33

David Jones

Elaine Bell

Vauxhall Nova 

34

Ben Hardy

Martin Burnes

Suzuki Swift 

35

Mike Terry

Nigel Cordwell

Vauxhall Nova 

36

Neil Durkin

Steve Durkin

Peugeot 205 

37

Malcolm Mawdsley

TBA

Subaru Impreza 

38

Michael Tomlinson

Martyn Taylor

Ford Puma 

39

Guy Simpkiss

Debbie Perry

Hillman Avenger 

40

Dave Gaggs

Keith Jones

Vauxhall Nova 

41

David Coulson

John Coulson

Bmw 320 I

42

Geoff Birchill

Ian Postlethwaite

Vauxhall Astra Gte

43

John O’Hagan

Ashley Trimble

VW Golf Gti

44

Walter Bridson

Darren Self

Vauxhall Corsa Sport

45

Chris Stewart

Hazel Stewart

Suzuki Swift 

46

David Harrison

James Stanfield

Vauxhall Nova Sport

47

Richard Kneen

Tom Babbs

Peugeot 106 Xsi

48

Connor Corkill

Dean Quayle

Ford Escort Mexico

49

Chris Reyonlds

Glen Butterworth

Ford Escort 

50

Jeffrey King

Chris Heyes

Peugeot 306 Gti

51

Wayne Quirk

Sarah Fargher

Vauxhall Nova

52

Giuseppe Pianete

TBA

Ford Sierra


 

Time Schedule (First Car Times)

 

 

 

Friday 9th March

 

 

 

MC1

St Johns

6.52pm

SS1

Glenneedle 1

7.01

SS2

Lhergydhoo 1

7.27

SS3

Colden 1

7.49

Service 1

St Johns

8.09

SS4

Glenneedle 2

8.38

SS5

Lhergydhoo 2

9.04

SS6

Colden 2

9.26

MC2

St Johns

9.46

 

 

 

Saturday 10th March

 

 

 

MC3

Jurby

9.21am

SS7

The Lhen 1

9.30

SS8

Dollagh 2

9.54

Service 2

Jurby

10.05

SS9

The Lhen 1

10.44

SS10

Dollagh 2

11.08

Service 3

Jurby

11.19

SS11

Tholt-y-Will 1

12.47pm

SS12

Druidale 1

1.06

Service 4

Jurby

1.29

SS13

Tholt-y-Will 2

2.12

SS14

Druidale 2

2.29

MC5

Jurby

2.54