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RBS Int Manx National Rally 2008
RALLY NEWS No.2 - STAGE 2 St Marks - Thursday @ 15:19:19
WEE MANX TALES NO.2 St. Johns/Friday 9pm

1st (3) Melvyn Evans/Sean Mullally (Impreza WRC) 13.12.8
2nd (1) Kenny McKinstry/Noel Orr (Impreza WRC) 13.28.1
3rd (6) Marcus Dodd/Andrew Bargery (Accent WRC) 13.29.7
4th (2) Roger Duckworth/Mark Broomfield (Impreza WRC) 13.36.1
5th (11) David Kynaston/Andy Russell (Audi A3) 13.37.9
6th (4) Jon Ingram/Ian Allsop (Impreza WRC) 13.45.6
7th (24) Richard Cathcart/Martin Brady (Lancer N) 13.50.7
8th (8) David Mann/Alun Cook (Impreza WRC) 14.01.4
9th (15) Rob Watson/Bruce Craig (Nova) 14.06.1
10th (9) Julian Reynolds/Patrick Walsh (Impreza WRC) 14.13.0
11th (17) Neil McCance/Graham Hopewell (Lancer N) 14.16.0

Marcus Dodd in his Hyundai WRC led after the opening Port Erin stage then on stage 2, the high speed blast over St. Marks, Melvyn Evans powered his way to the front. Welsh man Evans, the winner here a few years ago, was a full 17s faster than Kenny McKinstry. Marcus Dodd was a further 3s down on the stage.

When the cars pulled into the old St. Johns mart for a quick top up of fuel Melvyn commented. “The tyres were a bit hard for the first section of the stage but worked very well for the second. Everything was fine”. Co driver Sean Mullally was bathed in sweat, testimony to how hard he had been working on the notes and Sean just rolled his eyes skywards. It is not like Sean to be speechless! Kenny McKinstry’s co driver Noel Orr commented. “We had a nice cut, the car was sliding a bit, seemed a bit loose at the back end to me but the boys say it is OK”. Kenny then said. “Yes, the car’s OK we’d a good run, it was a bit foggy towards the end of the stage”. Roger Duckworth damaged a front wheel on his Subaru on the opening test. There are rocks sticking out on that very narrow Port Erin test and somebody always gets caught. Duckworth though lost no more than a split second and then said at the end of stage 2. “It is taking a bit of time to get back into it.

Jon Ingram was down in 6th place after those 2 opening stages. He reported no big problems although he did say that the steering wheel of the Subaru was so slippy that he was going to have to get another pair of gloves. Marcus Dodd reported that he had tried to turn left instead of right in the middle of stage 2. Just a moment’s brain fade and said it must have looked a bit funny, or possibly brilliant! David Mann had the gear knob in his Subaru come off 2 miles into the 2nd stage. He then knocked the ignition switch off in the panic and co driver Alun Cook reckons they lost a bucket of time, but really their stage time wasn’t so bad. Steve Perez admitted to being a b it hesitant on the opening stages as he settled in to doing an asphalt rally again. John Price had a decent run, 12th after the first 2 stages, the 12 times former Champion remarking that it was great to have Friday night dry on the rally for a change. As ever John’s Metro 6R4 was just immaculate.

Rob Watson was sweating hard when he reached the finish of stage 2. He told us “The nova is just built, I’m still adjusting the suspension, it is wandering all over the pace on the fast jumps and bumps. I felt dizzy hanging on to the car in there and nearly stopped to adjust the rear suspension mid stage. It felt so bad”. John Cope altered the rear suspension of his Subaru after stage 1 and was happier through the 2nd stage, John said that the suspension was quite violent at the start and he didn’t want to take any chances.

Neil McCance was the first of the group N runners to reach us and he said. “If you look in the back you might find a couple of pints of milk”. This was a bit puzzling until he explained that he had spun his Lancer backwards into Tesco’s car park in Port Erin. Richard Cathcart drove brilliantly through the first 2 stages to lead Group N overall and Jonny Greer came through strongly on stage 2 to move into 3rd in GpN. All 3 drivers are Evo Challenge contenders. Danny Barry led the points starting the rally and he was slightly further back having been delayed on the way to stage 2.

Stephen Petch was slowed towards the end of stage 2 when the tyres on his Accent went off the boil somewhat. Mark Jasper has withdrawn his Metro 6R4 because of gearbox troubles on stage 1.

Early times from stage 3 show Melvyn Evans fastest from Kenny McKinstry, although by just 0.5 of a second. Marcus Dodd was 3rd fastest and Roger Duckworth 4th. David Kynaston continues his fast efficient drive in his Audi with 5th quickest time.

More news later: BRIAN & LIZ PATTERSON www.rallynews.net


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