Hopkins family hopes lie with Oli

Oli Hopkins will be out to uphold family honours alone on this weekend’s Masterpixel Media Manx National Rally (10-11 May), as his brother Philip has been side-lined with a broken ankle.

Co-driven by Ian Taylor, Oli will complete in the Hopkins Motorsport-owned Mitsubishi Mirage. He contested the PokerStars Rally last year in the Spencer Sport-built R5 spec car, although the atrociously wet weather didn’t give him much of a feel for the car on the Isle of Man roads.

Oli made a good start to the 2019 Protyre Motorsport UK Asphalt Rally Championship, and lies seventh in the overall drivers’ points table and second in class B14 after the Rallynuts National Tour of Epynt – despite being slowed with a slow puncture on the final stage.

His brother Philip was down to contest the Manx National in the Hopkins Motorsport-owned and MacWhirter Motorsport-run Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6, but has been forced to withdraw after a horse riding accident.

“I’ve done four rallies on the Isle of Man, but only one in the Mirage and that was in horrendous weather conditions last year, so that experience won’t be helpful,” said Oli. “The route of the Manx National looks good. I’ve only done some sections of this weekend’s stages, so I’m looking forward to it. I’ll be aiming for a top ten finish, or somewhere just outside.

“It’s a shame Philip can’t contest the event, but he’s on crutches at the moment. He broke his leg in a GT racing accident at Castle Combe in 2001, so it’s very unfortunate that he’s broken the ankle again.”

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