Husband and wife team Mark and Eunice Cubbon aim to extend their lead in the Eurocars Motorsport Manx Rally Championship on this Saturday's third round, the Riverside Furniture Jurby Stages.
In the process the Mitsubishi Evo 7 crew will also look to complete the first hat-trick of successive club rally wins in recent history, and put to bed any ill-feeling after Mark lost last years event over an hour after the finish, when the results were dramatically altered with cone penalties amended.
Victory on both the rounds so far has given the Cubbon's a five point advantage in the standings over reigning champions Richard Curphey and Andrew Holmes.
Curphey however will switch to a newly bought Vauxhall Astra, the ex-Steve Quine car, after rolling his Nova on last months RBSI Manx Rally. There’ll be some experimenting to do, with the airfield the ideal venue, but the move up to two-litre machinery can only help the fight against the turbo cars.
Seeded between them is 2006 champion Noel Kelly, returning to the series in his Evo 6, with sponsor Andy Sweetman of Strand Cleaners set to get a rapid introduction to the sport!
Another former champion is Nigel Cannell, seeded at 4, and likely to be a big part of the front-wheel drive battle, despite the actual car he’ll drive still to be confirmed as we went to press. Matt Bettridge (Peugeot 206) was also right in the fight last September, and Martyn Jones (Nova) and Ian Bailey (Astra) are set to figure.
Kex Walker and Graham Collister are also set to renew last year’s rally-long scrap for rear-wheel drive honours in near identical BMW’s, with Jasper Kirkpatrick also hoping to play a part in his RWD Astra, with Marty Quine not put off by his return to the co-drivers seat last month!
The airfield event takes place over 12 sealed surface tests, all on the airfield, starting at 9am. The service area is on the former Parade Ground across the road and is visited eight times during the day, before the final control is reached at approximately 3.45pm.
- Last years winner Dave Corris was reported to be a possible late entry for the rally in midweek. He is said to have spoken to the organisers about debuting an all-new Cosworth-powered Ford Fiesta if he could complete final preparation work.
- If you’re reading on Thursday then a reminder that scrutineering and signing-on for competitors and officials takes place tonight. Eurocars’ Peel Road premises is the place to head from 6.30pm for both competitors scrutineering and marshals and timekeepers signing-on.
- The presentation of awards for the event will take place at the Peveril MCC’s Knock Froy club house, Mount Murray on Saturday night, from around 8.30pm. It is free entry to all and the organisers would particularly like to invite everyone involved in running the event, in whatever capacity.
- Registration for the Eurocars Motorsport Manx Rally Championship is still open and you can register at signing-on for the event.
- Leading championship standings going into the event:
Drivers: Mark Cubbon 70 points; Richard Curphey 65; Ian Corkill 62; Kevin Vondy 52; Martyn Jones 49: Connor Corkill 43.
Co-drivers: Eunice Cubbon 70 points; Andrew Holmes 65; Nick Kaighin 60; Howard Allison 48; Paul McCann 34; Liz Humphreys & Danni Matthews 32.