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Manx International Rally
RALLY NEWS No.9 - After SS16 - Monday @ 16:48:51

RALLY NEWS NO.9 Grandstand/Friday/8pm

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 (3) Guy Wilks/David Moynihan (Lancer N)
5th (10) James Wozencroft/Chris Ridge (Impreza N)
6th (9) Darren Gass/Neil Shanks (Lancer N)
7th (18) Brian O'Mahony/John Higgins (Clio S1600)
8th (17) Guy Woodcock/John Skinner (Escort Maxi)
9th (12) Jonny Greer/Jonny Hart (Lancer N)
10th (20) Andreas Sjolander/Hakin Jacobsson (Fiesta ST1)

There are just over three and a half minutes separating the top 4 cars on this Rally Isle of Man so its all to play for through the final Saturday leg of 7 special stages. The time difference between overall leader Mark Higgins and Eamonn Boland has altered little through this long day of rallying. David Higgins has hung grimly on to 3rd place through the afternoon stages and Guy Wilks has continued to turn in some stunning stage times in his battle to get back into the lead. Another upset to the form book this evening was that Phillip Morrow crashed his works Mitsubishi Lancer out on the Glen Roy stage. The car collided into a gatepost and sustained frontal damage and it has yet to be decided if the damage can be repaired in time for the crew to take part in Super Rally.

Mark Higgins commented when he brought his Subaru into service. “That was a good loop for us. We’re happy with the day’s work although it was a long day”. Mark then went on to talk of a big sideways moment on Druidale about 100 yards from where he crashed last year, but otherwise reported all well. Eamonn Boland reported that he was reasonably cautious through that final stage, especially the first 4 miles of the test, but Eamonn has maintained his solid 2nd position with little difficulty and is on course towards his number one priority which is Tarmac C/ship points. David Higgins had to combat a slow puncture over the last 3 stages, he couldn’t get the jack on his Impreza to work so he just had to suffer the soft tyre. David did say that ongoing adjustments to the engine management are paying dividends and he’s getting more power both at the upper and lower end of the rev range. Guy Wilks spoke of a massive moment at the flying finish of stage 14, full opposite lock four times and knocked a rear wheel against a bank which altered the alignment of one of the rear wheels. He did his best to adjust it himself and was able to continue at unabated pace through stages 15 and 16.

Wyn Humphreys was forced to retire his Lancer when the car went on fire in stage 12. It appeared that power steering fluid leaked on to the exhaust manifold which started the fire and the carbon fibre sump guard then went up in flames and he was forced to pull in at a junction, get the fire out and withdraw from the rally. James Wozencroft reckoned he had a fantastic day to maintain his 5th place just ahead of Darren Gass in 6th. Darren grazed the rear right corner of his Lancer at a hairpin in stage 16 and following the previous loop of stages he discovered that there was a rear wheel out of line which was making the handling a bit awry. Guy Woodcock damaged co-driver John Skinner’s door at a bridge in the Glen Roy stage. Guy lost little time and is swapping seconds on every stage with Brian O’Mahony in his Clio. John McGlaughlin lost a minute on that fabulous stage 16 when the battery lead on his Lancer came loose. Adam Gould continues to make some progress up the top 20 following his earlier delay and said of that stage 16 “Awesome”. Andreas Sjolander leads class R2 and he has had no problems today with his Fiesta and said. “Everything feels good”.

Lying just outside the top 10 now is David Meredith in his Lancer and then local man Paul Curphey, also in a Lancer. Jason Pritchard is leading the Citroen C2R2 Cup after stage 15 from Andrew Hockridge. No times as yet from stage 16 for the later runners. In the Historic Rally Jimmy McRae holds the overnight lead in his Porsche from Steve Smith in a similar 911. Richard Hill is 3rd, David Stokes 4th and Derek Boyd 5th Just ahead of Richard Hall. Ian Corkhill of “4 Hire” has slipped to 7th in his blue Mk2 Escort RS1800. Former Historic Tarmac Champion Mervyn Johnston with Wendy Blackledge co driver has retired his Mini Cooper with a blown engine. More news in the morning: BRIAN & LIZ PATTERSON HYPERLINK "http://www.rallynews.net" www.rallynews.net
*For SMS results text RALLY ITC to 53030 (Irl): Or 60066 (UK): Text STOP to switch off. Cost 30c/25p. Provided by stagetimes.com


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