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2018/05 - Manx National Rally (0 images) - created by Adge on 29/06/2018 at 17:59:43
So it was time for the 2nd round of the Protyre MSA National Asphalt Rally Championship the Manx National Rally on the Isle of Man. Having had a good result on the 1st round the team of Adrian Spencer and Matt Daniels in the RED Industries, Adgespeed, ABR Engineering backed Subaru Impreza WRC S11, the team was looking to take another good haul of points at the event despite their limited knowledge of the roads on the island as Adrian had only ever done the event a couple of times in the past and with 130 miles comprising 8 stages on the friday night of which 4 would be in run the dark and another 8 stages on the saturday it was going to be a tough event for car and crew.

Seeded at 24 and with a good recce done in nice dry weather, it was looking good, but as the start drew nearer the weather worsened with torrential rain greeting the crews at the start of stage 1 Creg-Ny-Baa. Off they went but 3/4 of the way round the Adrian lost control braking for a chicane and stopped in the chicane fortunately not hitting anything, but loosing 45 seconds trying to start the car, before they could get going again. Not a good start!. the next stage was Druidale and the crews were greeted with thick mist with visibility down to 50 ft at the start, not exactly the conditions for an enjoyable rally. The crew set off and at least the mist cleared on reaching Brandywell cottage and the rest of the stage ended up like trying to drive along a river there was that much standing water and water running across the narrow road, not a stage for heroics, but at least they survived. On to the 3rd stage Knocksharry a double loop stage and car came out of the merge just behind Adrian so he moved over to let them past and then they missed the next junction and ended up behind again. They then moved to let them past but with the roads being narrow another stall resulted losing more time and then they were held up by a car which had crashed off the road. Another bad stage. The final stage Baldwins of the 1st loop and they had to slow for yet another car off the road, the crew got back to 1st service which is more than could be said for a lot of crews who were struggling in the poor conditions.

So after the 1st loop of 4 stages Jason Pritchard was in the lead, Adrian and Matt were 31st, however even Damian Cole was only 28th so challenging was the event proving to be.

The crew then set off for a repeat run of the stages in the dark and with conditions slightly improving and with no moments a good time was set on the Creg-Ny-Baa stage. A clean but steady run through Druidale as with the way the event was going just finishing would be an achievement. However it would all come to an end on stage 7 when there was a smell of burning oil and a change in exhaust note, so the Adrian and Matt got to the end of the stage and retired with a leaking damper putting oil on the turbo and a also a cracked exhaust manifold.

Being unable to make repairs in service the team decided to retire rather than cause more damage. The sister car of Bob Fowden had a similar exhaust problem but carried on the Saturday until the resulting fire destroyed the engine compartment, so a wise move then to retire.

Well it was a disappointing end to the rally with no points to show for all the effort, but the team is back at base repairing and getting the car ready for the next Rally in Belgium.