Hughes ready for Manx assault. Welshman Simon Hughes heads to the Manx International Rally on July 28-30, and the Colwyn Bay youngster is determined to put in a good performance on the British Rallying classic. Partnered for the first time by...
Hughes ready for Manx assault.
Welshman Simon Hughes heads to the Manx International Rally on July 28-30, and the Colwyn Bay youngster is determined to put in a good performance on the British Rallying classic.
Partnered for the first time by Ulsterman Glenn Paterson, Hughes is keen to make up for his disappointment at not finishing the Jim Clark Memorial Rally recently. Despite gearbox problems, Hughes had battled back into second place in the Super 1600 category of the rally before clipping a gatepost that would ultimately cause the car's suspension to fail.
Despite having to swallow that bitter pill, Hughes aims to bounce back in the Isle of Man, and is confident of being able to put in a good performance behind the wheel of his Elf and Pirelli backed Renault Clio Super 1600 car. After setting a string of excellent stage times in Scotland -- despite being hampered by the loss of 2nd gear, Hughes is confident of success on the famous Island roads:
"Its been a difficult time recently." commented Simon. "Aside from damaging the suspension badly after I had been off, we also had to contend with quite serious gearbox damage to the car, that has actually meant we needed to buy a new gearbox. Not having a major sponsor means that it takes a huge amount out of our budget for the remaining events, but we just have to get on with it. Glenn Paterson has plenty of experience so I'm very much looking forward to working with him for the first time. There's no point in going to the rally just to make up the numbers, so I'll be trying hard from the first day -- the competition is so tough out there you have no option but to do that."
The ProSpeed Motorsport run car has been returned to its full health ahead of the three day rally. Starting on Thursday in Ramsey, Hughes will have five stages to negotiate on the first day. Friday and Saturday will be the meat of the rally, and Hughes is under no illusions of just how much of a challenge lies ahead of him:
"I really enjoy the Manx stages -- who doesn't? They are some of the best tarmac rally roads in the World, and have caught out some of the very best in their time. You need to be very committed to get good times on the stages, and the combination of damp conditions and the odd spot of gravel can make it incredibly slippery in a car like the Renault. Its a brilliant rally to do though, and I can't wait to get started I must admit."
Hughes faces stiff opposition on the event in shape of works Suzuki driver Guy Wilks, rapid Ford Puma drivers Barry Clark and Jonnie Wigmore, along with fellow Clio S1600 exponent Gareth Jones amongst others. Keep up to date on www.simon-hughes.com