Paul and Julian Doroszczuk will rebuild their normally aspirated Cosworth engine before the next round of the Protyre Motorsport UK Asphalt Rally Championship, the Masterpixel Media Manx National Rally (10/11 May).
A heavy landing on SS3 forced them out of the Rallynuts National Tour of Epynt, and on closer inspection back in the workshop they discovered that a part of a tree branch had actually knocked an oil pipe off.
Although they stopped their Drockspeed Motorsport Escort Mk2 as soon as the oil pressure warning light came on, the class B11 champions are still facing a major engine rebuild before the two-day Isle of Man double-header event.
“Paul was determined to avoid his usual slow start and despite the atrocious weather set off determined fashion and by the end of stage two we had moved up from our starting position of 45 to 26th overall and only one position behind Richard Merriman and a strong 21 seconds ahead of Geoff Glover in his rear-wheel drive Astra,” said Julian.
“Stage 3 was a repeat of SS1, round Llandeilo’r Fân hairpin and off up towards Burma Road. We had altered a pace note call on the recce to position the car slightly differently on the notorious double jump/crest at the end of a long straight. At recce speed it felt right, however flat in fifth gear you could not have been more wrong!
“We landed half on and half off the road with an almighty bang. I thought we were heading for the big one, but thanks to Paul’s calm reactions and a boot full of throttle we managed to come back on the road in time for the rapidly approaching 5 right.
“I thought that was our moment for the day. However, the consequences of the heavy landing were to catch up with us further into the stage. Half way along the Burma Road the oil light came on with zero oil pressure showing on the gauge. As we pulled off the stage at the end of Burma, the engine was starting to tighten up with no oil left in either engine or dry sump tank, but plenty on the road and sumpguard.
“The cause of the oil loss was not immediately obvious, but on removing the sumpguard back in Scotland the cause became clear, a branch had managed to jam itself between the sumpguard and chassis when we landed off the road and rip out the pipe from the side of the oil pump.”