Character building weekend for Kenny and Gwynn 19 year old Telford resident Nick Kenny and his Machynlleth based co driver George Gwynn experienced a character building Isle of Man International Rally last weekend when the pair fell foul of the...
Character building weekend for Kenny and Gwynn
19 year old Telford resident Nick Kenny and his Machynlleth based co driver George Gwynn experienced a character building Isle of Man International Rally last weekend when the pair fell foul of the infamous conditions on the tight and tricky Manx roads.
The rally began with a super special stage around Castletown where the pair strutted their stuff in front of hordes of spectators. From there they moved out onto the roads around the island for the first 'proper' stage. With this only being Nicks second trip to the island he was conscious of the fierce reputation of the narrow lanes but even so it was a shock to his system when the pair were caught out in a fast section and climbed a bank at fairly high speed. Although they were able to push the K Motion supported Subaru back onto the stage and continue, the front left wishbone had been damaged and by the end of the stage the tyre was destroyed and they had lost a load of time.
After temporary repairs on the road section they made their way back to Castletown for the last two stages of the day. Despite successfully making it back to town the organisers deemed it too dangerous to allow the pair to attempt the stage, forcing them to retire from the leg and in doing so accumulating over 20 minutes worth of penalties!
I'm gutted. We put so much effort into this and although I made an error we were able to carry on. With the penalties we've got the rally is over for us, but we plan to continue and use the rally as an extended test.
Friday morning was a continuation of the bad luck from the day before. Less than 2 miles into the opening stage the pair lost third gear and had to limp back to service, once again dropping loads of time. The rest of the day, despite the changeable conditions, proved slightly more favourable for the young pairing, and their times improved throughout the afternoon as the Geoff Jones Motorsport run Impreza ran faultlessly whilst others fell by the wayside, including reigning champion and local Manxman Mark Higgins who crashed out on the second run through Little London.
The final leg was a short one for the Safe Financials backed car when Nick was caught out on a tricky sequence of bends, known locally as 'Curraghs' and slid off into a ditch. Despite the car not being damaged a lack of spectators meant that they could not get out of the ditch and once more Nick and George were relegated to frustrated spectators.
This rally was really difficult for us. The car was great but the island is very unforgiving. It was a good learning experience and I hope we can take these lessons and use them to good effect on the Ulster Rally.
Geoff Jones Motorsport will now check over the Subaru before converting it back to gravel spec ahead of this weekends Coracle Stages in Mid Wales. Last year Nick chased Norwegian teenager Andreas Mikkelsen all the way to finish second overall here, and as such will be looking forward to a good run this weekend.
For more on Nick and George please visit www.nickkenny.co.uk and www.george-gwynn.co.uk
-credit: geoff mayes