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Manx International Rally
RALLY NEWS No.13 - After SS23 Final Stage - Monday @ 16:52:34
 

RALLY NEWS NO.13 Grandstand/Finish/Saturday 3.30

UNOFFICIAL LEADERBOARD AFTER STAGE 23 – CLASSIC – FINAL STAGE
1st (4) Mark Higgins/Rory Kennedy (Impreza N) 2.40.18.8
2nd (1) Eamonn Boland/Damien Morrissey (Impreza WRC) 2.40.30.4
3rd (3) Guy Wilks/David Moynihan (Lancer N) 2.44.04.5
4th (5) David Higgins/Ieuan Thomas (Impreza N) 2.45.38.2
5th (10) James Wozencroft/Chris Ridge (Impreza N) 2.49.53.6
6th (9) Darren Gass/Neil Shanks (Lancer N) 2.50.44.1
7th (18) Brian O'Mahony/John Higgins (Clio S1600) 2.52.24.2
8th (12) Jonny Greer/Jonny Hart (Lancer N) 2.58.32.4
9th (27) David Meredith/Dai Roberts (Lancer N) 3.03.45.0
10th (16) Paul Curphey/Mark Perryman (Lancer N) 3.03.55.5

In the closest finish ever on this Rally Isle of Man Mark Higgins and his co driver Rory Kennedy in their GpN Subaru came through to win by just over 11s from Eamonn Boland/Damien Morrissey in their Impreza WRC. The 2 crews started the final loop of 2 stages separated by 15s, both gave it a real go and Mark just held on to win. It is Mark’s 4th victory on this Manx Rally, for Rory Kennedy after 20 years of trying it was his first win. Rory came so close to winning many times with the late Bertie Fisher so this is very special for the Donegal man. It also means he has won every round of the Tarmac C/ship over the years. Defending British Champion Guy Wilks battled hard following his stage 9 delay with a puncture and he never gave up on his way to 3rd place o/a. David Higgins in 4th maintains his lead in the Tesco 99 Octane British C/ship although if dropped scores are taken into account the pendulum is swinging towards his brother Mark.

Mark said here at the finish: “We had to try very hard, it was make or break on the stage out of service and then it was great to come in to my favourite stage, the final one, with a 14s lead. I am delighted to have won, the car and the Pirelli tyres were faultless all rally. I just made one mistake over tyre choice. It was a great weekend’s rallying and the pressure from Eamonn was good”. Eamonn Boland is a man of very few words but he did say that he enjoyed the rally, he had a good go at the last couple of stages without doing anything stupid and it was a great event. He obviously would have liked to have seen more Irish contenders competing but there’s nothing Eamonn can do about that. If Eamonn had won he would have clinched the Tarmac title. As it is now he must continue his campaign on the Ulster Rally and then possibly the Cork 20. For the British Championship contenders the next round is also the Ulster. Guy Wilks said at the end. “We gave it a real crack, kept the pressure on. It was a very bizarre incident that cost the time in stage 9. It was a good event although I don’t like fighting for 3rd place, just wins!” One consolation for Guy was winning the Breitling watch for fastest time through Castletown stage.

James Wozencroft had a great run to finish 5th in his Subaru and Darren Gass in the Pirelli Lancer had last minute gearbox problems but still took 6th o/a. Brian O’Mahony had a very big moment on the penultimate stage in his Clio so settled down to just getting the car through the final stage to win class R3 and take 7th o/a. Jason Pritchard won the Citroen C2R2 Cup today and his 13th o/a also sees him as the class R2 winner with Andrew Hockridge 2nd in the Citroens and 2nd in the class. Donegal man Martin O’Donnell has won class R1 in his Civic. Mark Gamble was 2nd in R2 and best of the Suzukis.

Finally for now, well done to Les Postlewaite (CoC): Richard Bargery (Event Director) and all the organising team for putting on such an ultra successful and demanding event. Our thanks to all who supported and helped with the RallyNews service. Our thanks also to Chris Boyde (Press Officer) and Barry Meeke (stagetimes.com) and of course Dougie Hughes, Pat Maguire and his boys.
BRIAN & LIZ PATTERSON

 
 
 
 



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