Jason Pritchard says he’s more determined than ever to win the Manx National Rally (May 11-12) for a fourth time, after an electrical problem last year robbed him of his fourth straight victory in his North Road Garage-backed Ford Focus WRC05.
Co-driven by Phil Clarke, the 29-year old Builth Wells driver was leading the Isle of Man event by three minutes when an electrical fault cost him over six and a half minutes on the penultimate stage, dropping him to third. Having previously won the Manx National three times in a row (2014, 2015 and 2016), Pritchard will start this weekend’s Protyre Asphalt Rally Championship event as favourite – despite not having driven the Focus WRC05 for twelve months.
“What happened last year still hurts now and it makes me even more determined to come back even stronger this year,” said Pritchard. “I love the Manx National, it’s the one event we say we’re doing at the start of every year and we book the ferry and accommodation in January.
“Phil and I have quite often been first on the road on the Isle of Man and we’ve been sat on the start line waiting to go and it feels like they’ve closed the road just for us – and we just enjoy ever mile of it. We forget about the times because it’s such a pleasure to drive the stages, and when it all works and it all clicks the times are there. We just do our own thing. I don’t sit in the Focus WRC from one year to the next, so I just play myself in. If we go into day two and we have to up our pace, then I know we can do that if needs be.”
Before this year’s two-day Manx National starts, Pritchard will take his Focus WRC05 to show the pupils at Ballacottier Primary School.