The Rally Isle of Man Challenge event is unusual in that it encompasses two rounds of the Silverstone Tyres BRC Challenge. With a full points' scoring opportunity on Friday and again on Saturday, the crews will have to play it tactically to ensure...
The Rally Isle of Man Challenge event is unusual in that it encompasses two rounds of the Silverstone Tyres BRC Challenge. With a full points' scoring opportunity on Friday and again on Saturday, the crews will have to play it tactically to ensure finishes on both days of one of the fastest rallies in Europe.
After a surprise retirement by Richard Sykes & Simon Taylor on the previous round in June, the Midlands driver will want to put that behind him and pick up last years Rally Isle of Man form.
The 2007 event saw the pair take back to back victories as that weekend also counted for both round four and five. They cross the Irish Sea as Championship leaders, having won the opening two events, but their Fiesta engine let go, leaving them sidelined on their home rally.
Picking up the Rally of the Midlands challenge were David Harrison & Glyn Thomas, who reeled Sykes in after a slow start. They took the lead which see-sawed between them until Sykes engine succumbed to the pressure. Harrison will want to keep that pressure up in his 1400cc Peugeot and he has as good a chance on his home Manx tarmac.
Like Harrison, James Watts and Oliver Ettlinger lead their class, but the Polo runs in the smallest capacity category, so they will struggle to match the outright pace of the front pair.
Tony Simpson returns, having retired on the Pirelli and missed the Jim Clark, the Liverpudlian keen to rejoin the RC1 battle in his Citroen C2. He is joined by the vastly experienced Stefan Arndt who contested the British Rally Championship last year in a more powerful C2R2.
Finally, another local David Radcliffe joins the fray for the first time on home ground. His co-driver is from within 50 miles of Ramsey, but Kendal's Steve Hartley should have his job made easier by Radcliffe's home advantage.
Round four starts at 16.20 on Friday, joining the main event and covering forty stage miles over five stages, finishing at the Rally's base, the Douglas TT Grandstand, at around 20.30 that evening. Round five is a little more conventional, with 66 miles over seven stages, running from 11.00 to 17.30 where the second batch of champagne will be sprayed.