WATSON CANTERS TO BLACKHORSE VICTORY

 

Kirk Michael driver Rob Watson maintained his incredible victory run on closed roads Manx rally events yesterday, claiming the Black Horse Finance Stages Rally by just under a minute.


The Vauxhall Nova kit car driver, with Bruce Craig alongside, had gone into the final days nine stages in third place, 12 seconds off the lead after a testing opening night in variable weather conditions.


George Collister and Janet Craine (Mitsubishi Evo 3) led, with Mark Cubbon and Jonathan Turnbull (Evo 7) only four seconds behind, despite clutch problems that prompted an overnight change of the unit.


Sadly however both crews were sidelined at the end of the morning’s opening test at Crogga near Santon, ending the prospect of a thrilling battle.


Instead Watson inherited a 46 second advantage over Donny Gill and Steve Gurney’s Evo 2, and the Nova crew gradually eased the lead up to a minute on the following tests at Ronague and St Marks and maintained it during the rest of the day.


Focus switched to the battle for second place. Visiting driver Dave Pattison and local note-caller Rob Fagg had surged back up the leaderboard after early turbo hose problems the previous evening dropped them outside the top 20.


A string of fastest times on Saturday continued the upwards momentum, and after the second loop of the three stages they pulled level with Gill.


On the final run of Marine Drive , three tests from home, they took the position, only to hand it back on the penultimate stage of the rally after a spin on the Ronague test.


With seven seconds to make up they pushed extremely hard on the last test at St Marks, taking fastest time by 12 seconds to snatch the spot at the very end.


Nigel Cannell and Norman Quayle (Vauxhall Corsa kit car) moved up the leaderbaord throughout the day to finish fourth and take the 1600cc class win, despite late gear-lever problem that required it to be held in with screwdrivers and a gorse twig!


Behind Steve Quine and Richard Skinner set three fastest times in their Vauxhall Astra to move up to fifth and take the two-litre class, with Noel and James Kelly (Evo 6) coming home sixth after being caught in wrong tyres in the continuing mixed weather conditions.


Seventh place meanwhile moves Cex Walker and Danni Matthews (BMW 320) into the lead of the Eurocars Motorsport Manx Rally Championship with one round to go, after the leaders coming into the event, Richard Curphey and Andrew Holmes, crashed their Vauxhall Nova out on Marine Drive mid-way through the second day. Walker and Matthews also took the rear-wheel drive category


Sean Crellin (Suzuki Swift), driving his first event for eight years, took a dominant win in the 1400cc class with Brian Karran, while Irish legend Dessie McCartney and co-driver Ian Paget took the historic win in a Porsche 911.

 

  • The Eurocars Motorsport Manx Rally Championship will be decided on the final round, the Duke Stages Rally over the weekend of 30th November/1st December.
     

Final Results

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

Pos

No

Driver

Co-Driver

Vehicle

Time

 

 

 

 

 

 h:mm:ss

1

1

Rob Watson 

Bruce Craig

Vauxhall Nova Kit Car

1:08:31

2

6

Dave Pattison

Rob Fagg

Mitsubishi Evo 6

1:09:29

3

11

Donny Gill

Steve Gurney

Mitsubishi Evo 2

1:09:36

4

3

Nigel Cannell

Norman Quayle

Vauxhall Corsa Kit Car 

1:09:59

5

4

Steve Quine

Richard Skinner

Vauxhall Astra

1:10:03

6

7

Noel Kelly

James Kelly

Mitsubishi Evo 6

1:11:21

7

17

Cex Walker

Danni Mathews

BMW 

1:11:45

8

8

Chris Woodcock

Heidi Woodcock

Mitsubishi Evo 6

1:12:45

9

15

Glenn Leece

Eunice Cubbon

Ford Escort Mk1 

1:12:49

10

19

David Craine

Simon Trentholme

Ford Escort Cos

1:13:45

11

21

Dessie McCartney

Ian Paget

Porsche 911

1:14:43

12

25

Steve Colley

Liz Humphereys

Vauxhall Astra

1:15:35

13

22

Richard Batey

Mike Batey

Ford Escort Mk2

1:15:35

14

18

Graham Collister

Jane Leece

BMW 

1:15:37

15

40

Sean Crellin

Brian Karran

Suzuki Swift

1:15:48

16

37

Tim Collins

John Lynch

Vauxhall Corsa

1:18:11

17

38

Terrence Hough

Andy Baker

Ford Sierra

1:20:05

18

29

Pat Bettridge     

Paul Gelling         

VW Golf                 

1:20:39

19

33

Kevin Jeffray

Joe Parsons

Seat Ibiza

1:20:51

20

31

Dave Coulson

John Coulson

BMW 

1:20:55

21

35

Geoff Birchill

Ian Postlthwaite

Vauxhall Astra 

1:21:05

22

46

James Pettigrew

Emma Kennaugh

Vauxhall Corsa

1:21:23

23

50

Mike Terry

Nigel Cordwell

Vauxhall Nova

1:21:24

24

30

Jimmy Howe 

Kris Campbell

VW Polo

1:21:27

25

45

Walter Bridson

Darren Self

Vauxhall Corsa

1:22:09

26

51

Sean Kelly

Gemma Harland

Vauxhall Nova

1:22:57

27

32

Steve King

Chris Heyes

Peugeot 306

1:23:07

28

53

Cathy Craine

Roy Sweetman

Suzuki Swift

1:26:03

29

43

Richard Kneen

Tom Babbs

Peugeot 106

1:29:37

30

49

Peter Eaton

Richard Kearney

Ford Escort

1:37:14