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Manx International Rally
RALLY NEWS No.7 - After SS10 - Monday @ 16:47:37

RALLY NEWS NO.7 Grandstand/Friday 3.15

1st (4) Mark Higgins/Rory Kennedy (Impreza N)
2nd (1) Eamonn Boland/Damien Morrissey (Impreza WRC)
3rd (5) David Higgins/Ieuan Thomas (Impreza N)
4th (6) Phillip Morrow/Daniel Barritt (Lancer N)
5th (3) Guy Wilks/David Moynihan (Lancer N)
6th (10) James Wozencroft/Chris Ridge (Impreza N)
7th (9) Darren Gass/Neil Shanks (Lancer N)
8th (18) Brian O'Mahony/John Higgins (Clio S1600)
9th (17) Guy Woodcock/John Skinner (Escort Maxi)
10th (15) John McGlaughlin/Damien Connolly (Lancer N)

Despite all the dramas of his smashed wheel and damaged suspension in stage 8 Guy Wilks was impressively fast through stages 9 and 10, on a par or slightly quicker than Mark Higgins. For his part Mark told us that he has eased back ever so slightly that the pressure is off from Wilks. Mark also said that the car felt a little nervous over the last couple of stages and he was going to ask the engineers to try and dial it out. Guy Wilks explained about his accident in stage 8. “We were delayed for 25 minutes before the start of the stage, the tyres got cold and lost a bit of pressure. At the first junction in the stage, under the trees where it was a bit damp, the car under steered and then snapped sideways and we ran along the ditch, but hit a pipe. It smashed the wheel and then we couldn’t get the jack in. We lost some time and the car was out of alignment, but we’re pushing on now, nothing to lose”.

Eamonn Boland reported a slight problem at the start of stage 9 where he couldn’t get the car off the start line, but otherwise going well on the current drying roads and was fastest through stage 10 by quite a few seconds from Mark Higgins, with Guy Wilks just 0.2 of a second slower. David Higgins in 3rd and Phillip Morrow in 4th reported no problems. Phillip now getting his confidence back as he covers the miles. James Wozencroft continues to do a solid job, very steady in 6th place and he reported a little bit of wheel shake to chief engineer, Geoff Jones, here at service. Darren Gass lost a few seconds when he spun his Lancer and damaged the exhaust, otherwise OK. Brian O’Mahony is leading class R3 by quite a long way now. John Mulholland in the Skoda Fabia is 2nd in that class. O’Mahony said that the car is a lot easier to drive now that the roads are drying.

Big news coming in about the Group N situation on the Irish Tarmac c/ship. Kevin & Martin Kelleher have reportedly just retired their Lancer, having run out of time changing the clutch. John McGlaughlin has been in front throughout the rally and is currently 10th overall and if he finishes in that position will move very close to Kelleher in the overall standings but the Clonakilty brothers will still lead. Interestingly, Mark Higgins is registered for the Tarmac C/ship and although he isn’t really in contention for the Tarmac, but if he finishes as is will take points away from both Eamonn Boland and John McGlaughlin. John remarked when he cane into service. “We’re pushing hard where it is safe but mostly just trying to sit at a comfortable speed”.

Adam Gould now has the brakes sorted on his Clio but he is well down the order and said that he using the rally now to get as much experience of the Isle of Man stages as he can. Jonny Greer reckoned he put too many cuts in his tyres and then they started to overheat. Nigel Cannell has pulled out of the rally, his co driver Michaela told us that they were just having too many problems including a damaged wheel bearing which was affecting the brakes and causing a vibration in the car, and they were afraid pos the possibility of having an accident. They may rejoin under Super Rally rules tomorrow

In the Citroen C2R2 Cup Jason Pritchard continues to lead, the young Welshman said. “I’m just trying to keep it all neat and tidy and preserve the car”. Andrew Hockridge is 2nd and although he had a little worry about a loose wire going into the ECU that has now been sorted.. Dale Robertson was having some frantic work done on his Lancer here at service, the team seemed to think it was the turbo that was causing a lack of boost, but then it appeared to be more to do with the exhaust. One of Dale’s sponsors is the local blacksmith or farrier, Gareth Hicks, and Dale’s mother Anne remarked. “Yes, he shoes my horses, every little bit of sponsorship helps!”

In the Historic Rally Jimmy McRae continues to lead from the similar Porsche 911 of Steve Smith. David Stokes is 3rd in his Escort. Derek Boyd has battled back to 4th in his Porsche just ahead of Richard Hill and Richard Hall seems to be getting the finger out and is now up to 6th. Adrian Kermode/Maurice Beckett were up to 5th o/a overnight but were forced to retire their Porsche following fuel problems and then a broken gearbox.

More news later: BRIAN & LIZ PATTERSON

2018 Patterson Agencies

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