Teenage rising star Archie Swinscoe made an impressive debut in the Protyre Motorsport UK Asphalt Rally Championship on the Manx National Rally, and while sheered wheel studs on day one and a puncture on day two denied him the top result he deserved, there was no mistaking his pace in his Rallytech Composites/Asset Alliance Group Opel Adam R2.
The 19-year-old from Chorley in Lancashire started rallying five years ago and was the F1000 Junior English and Scottish champion in 2021.
Archie – the son of co-driver Paula Swinscoe, who led the Manx National Rally for much of day one with David Wright (Ford Fiesta R5) – was looking forward to his first rally on the Isle of Man but was forced to stop on SS3 when the front left wheel came off.
The Rallytech team repaired the ex-James Williams car and he and co-driver Jane Nicol flew after that – setting increasingly impressive stage times, interrupted only by a puncture on SS13.
Despite the two issues, Archie left the Isle of Man leading the Protyre R2 class and second in the Fuchs Lubricants / OnThePaceNote supported Asphalt Junior category.
“I’ve come into the Protyre Asphalt Championship this year looking to learn as much as possible and to see what results I can achieve,” says Archie.
“I’d like to win the Junior title, but we’re up against Sam Adams. He’s driving very well and he’s in a two-litre Escort, while I’m in a 1600cc R2 car, but we’ll see what we can do!
“I was looking forward to the Manx, but when the wheel studs sheered and the front left wheel came off it knocked my confidence a bit.
“The Rallytech team did a great job to repair the car and we also took the opportunity to make a lot of set up changes.
“After that, things got a lot better.
“We’d started off setting stage times in the top thirties and forties, but on day two we were setting top fifteen and top twenty stage times, so I was quite pleased with the progress that we were making.
“I have to say that Jane did a brilliant job on the notes, and that too gave me the confidence to push on quite hard.
“It’s a shame we picked up a puncture mid-way through SS13, because that cost us a lot of time and knocked us down the results – but all in all it wasn’t a bad Protyre debut.”
Archie’s next event is the Beatson’s Building Supplies Jim Clark Rally (26/27 May).
He did the rally last year and finished 22nd overall.
The event is also his co-driver’s home round of the Protyre Asphalt Rally Championship, as Jane is from the host town of Duns.