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2021/10 - Pokerstars Rally (0 images) - created by Adge on 01/11/2021 at 13:04:51
After much effort team repaired and prepared the RED Industries/Adgespeed backed Subaru Impreza S11 replica the car after the previous rally ready for the next round of the Protyre National Asphalt Rally Championship, the Pokerstars Rally held on the Isle of Man. As this rally was held over 2 days and with the last round of the championship in Northern Island now canceled, the event would count as 2 rounds of the championship with points being awarded after the Friday night stages and again at the end of the Saturday stages.

With this being the case it was imperative that Adrian and the team finished both rallies as having only scored on 1 round it would been the end of the championship for this year. Not having had much luck on the Island in the past, as only ever finish once out of 3 attempts a good result was needed.

For this event Adrian had local co-driver Rick Sutcliffe on the notes, mainly due to the unavailability of Mark Hewitt or Ash Trimble, but Adrian was also hoping local knowledge would be a big asset due to Adrian's lack of knowledge of the stages.

After a good recce and shakedown test to get used to each other, Adrian and Rick were ready for the Friday night stages with 2 loops of 3 stages, based in the north of the island.

With weather nice and dry they set off. A steady run on the 1st 3 mile stage to get themselves in the groove and so far so good. The 2nd stage was cancelled due to an accident blocking the stage, but fortunately no injuries. Adrian was relieved as it was a stage he was not looking forward to as it was very narrow in places and had some very tight hairpins which for the Subaru could have been interesting.

With it now completely dark it was the 3rd stage of the loop the long classic 13 mile stage taking the crews back to service at Douglas grandstand went well, Adrian and Rick competing the stage before it was stopped for a time due to another crash.

With only a spanner check and some fuel they headed off to repeat the same stages and the were looking for some improvement in times over the 1st run through. The 2nd stage was canceled again and with an improvement in times Adrian and Rick finished the Friday night 28th Overall. More importantly they were ahead of their rivals in the championship, one who had crashed out and they were beating the others on pace and took 2nd in the class from one of the local drivers.

Again with the car running faultlessly, so only needing a spanner check, it was off to bed to prepare for the Saturday stages.

Saturday dawned and the weather couldn’t be anymore different, gone was the warm and dry day of Friday to a wet and windy Saturday. At least tyre choice wouldn’t be a problem.

With 7 stages to compete on which were based in the mid to south of the island. 1st stage up was the 14.4 miles of St Marks and with a steady run in the conditions, Adrian and Rick emerged unscathed at the end. Next up was Parvale a 13,5 mile stage and with no improvement in the weather they went into the stage, on turning round a hairpin left from an A road, Rick started asking if the car was all right as he thought it had got a puncture or broken a driveshaft as the car was all over the road, no replied Adrian its just that there was no grip, it was just like driving on ice with the wheels just spinning up every time he touched the power and with several big moments along the stage they got to the end one piece, unlike a few other competitors who didn’t. The final 2 stages of the morning loop which was 1 stage repeated twice and Adrian and Rick were setting top 20 times to move up to 22nd O/A.

Back to service for a spanner check and a refuel and it was back out to repeat the stages. Dryer weather meant that tyre choice was more of a problem and deciding to stay on wets was a mistake in hindsight but with a comfortable lead over the next championship contenders Adrian decided a finish was the most important result to achieve to put the championship back on track. A steady run trough the final loop of 3 stages and Adrian and Rick finished 22nd O/A and 2nd in class.

A good result for the team which saw Adrian take the lead in the B14 class and move into the top 10 overall.