The Manx National Rally is the one round of the current MSA Asphalt Championship calendar that Damian Cole has not won and, while that situation was not to change this time, the former Champion and co-driver Paul Morris did come away with a maximum points score. Their Fiesta WRC was pipped for a podium finish on the final stage, but 4th overall sees them move into the lead of the series at this stage.
Now Richard Clews had some unfinished business on the Manx National Rally…. In 2015 he had been running comfortably in the Top Ten in his Group N+ Impreza when problems intervened which saw him drop down the order. Dipping in and out of the Top Ten stage times throughout the event, Clews arrived back at the Grandstand in 7th place which, added to his good run on the season-opening Tour of Epynt, sees him in runner-up spot in the Championship.
As mentioned above, Stu Bainborough’s hopes of finishing top Manxman on his ‘home’ event were dashed almost in sight of the finish but, in his first season at this level, he still came away with a good haul of Championship points. Meanwhile, after a DNF on Epynt, Group N Champion for the past two seasons David White opened his 2016 account with a comfortable Top 20 finish in his Impreza.
Ian Chadwick’s Honda Civic was victorious in the battle for AB MOTORSPORT FRONT-WHEEL DRIVE CHALLENGE points, finishing half-a-minute to the good of Mathew Roberts’ Saxo.
William Hill/Richard Crozier (Fiesta R200) were 3rd and move into the lead of what is shaping up to be a closely-fought battle this year.
Oliver Hopkins/Ian Taylor (Lancer EVO9) and the Impreza of Wynne Watkins/Ashley Trimble took 2nd & 3rd respectively in Group N. However, in the points table, their roles are reversed with Wynne holding a narrow advantage over Oliver…..
After almost 85 miles of special stages on the closed public roads on the Isle of Man, the top two 1400s were a mere 12s apart! For the second event running, Richard Milbank/Lee Bezuidenhout (Vauxhall Corsa) were unable to shake off the attentions of Ian & Margaret Kelly (Nissan Micra) – obviously, the B9 points table reflects this, but it’s one that will run and run!…
Whilst Julian Barnett/Sasha Heriot (GpN Impreza) were the first Challenge crew home, Scotsman George Morrison (MG ZR) leads the Drivers’ table in his MG ZR.
In addition to those already mentioned who were subjected to an involuntary ‘early bath’, David Hardie/John McCulloch’s return to the series was short-lived when, having set 3rd & 4th fastest times through the stages in Ramsey, their Impreza was sidelined with brake problems. Bob Fowden/Paul Wakely’s first Championship outing in their ex Rob Swann Impreza WRC saw them retiring from 6th place when its gearbox packed up on the first run over the Baldwins.
The MSA Asphalt Rally Championship points tables following the Manx National Rally have already been circulated. If you have any queries, please contact the Co-ordinator as soon as possible as they will go final at midday on Tuesday 17th May.
Round 3 : SMARTPART ALMC STAGES RALLY (3rd July). The regulations for our next round, which is based at the Castle Arch Hotel in Trim, Co. Meath, will be published on the event website – http://www.almc.ie – on Monday 23rd May. N.B. This event is also a round of the Irish National Championship this year and it goes without saying that the entry is bound to fill very quickly. Please get your entries in early to avoid disappointment.
Round 4 : TYNESIDE STAGES (7th August). Regulations should be available on the event website – http://www.alnwickmotorclub.co.uk – in early June. 80 miles of special stages on the Otterburn Military Ranges await competitors but, as above, this event is also likely to be very popular – it is a qualifying round of a number of different series including, for the first time, the MAXXIS MSA English Rally Championship.
CHAMPIONSHIP CONTACT DETAILS
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