Lee Edwards says that winning the class B11 title in the 2021 Protyre Motorsport UK Asphalt Rally Championship is unlikely after crashing his rear-wheel drive CR M-Tech Motorsport / Auto Tech Ford Escort G3 out of the PokerStars Rally near the end of Saturday’s opening stage.
The 32-year old Oswestry driver still holds a three point class lead, but because of the damaged caused Lee is unable to contest the final round of the series, the Ford Parts Cheviot Stages Rally on Sunday 24 October.
Lee enjoyed a fantastic start to the Isle of Man event, scoring points on Friday night for finishing sixth on Leg 1 to extend his lead in both B11 and the Ford Escort Challenge as well as moving up to third in the overall drivers’ standings.
Torrential rain on Leg 2’s morning loop of stages made conditions particularly tricky, which unfortunately contributed to Lee and co-driver Will Atkins hitting a bank near the end of Saturday’s opening stage (SS7).
Whilst Lee still leads B11 he has dropped to second in the Ford Escort Challenge and seventh in the overall drivers’ standings, with no opportunity to score any more points.
“Friday night was amazing,” said Lee.
“Stage three and six was such a fast and demanding stage. Again we had coolant issues for the first run but we worked around them for stage six and had a really good run, setting a respectable time and putting us sixth overall for the night.
“Conditions were very tricky on that first stage on Saturday. We had got through the worst of it and the last eight right came up on me quite fast and I just couldn’t scrub the speed off. We slid off into the ditch and bank and spun around blocking the stage.
“It was quite a hard impact and it has caused quite a lot of damage. This unfortunately means the end of the season for me and the hopes of winning the class very unlikely now having only three scores.”