"Dale leads Peugeot 1, 2, 3" The Manx International Rally - Leg 3 (Final) 3rd August, `02 Saturday morning dawned with swirling fog, very thick in patches, to greet the third and final day of the fifth round of the Pirelli British Rally ...
"Dale leads Peugeot 1, 2, 3"
The Manx International Rally - Leg 3 (Final) 3rd August, `02
Saturday morning dawned with swirling fog, very thick in patches, to greet the third and final day of the fifth round of the Pirelli British Rally Championship. A terrific compliment to the reliability of the Peugeot marque, with Peugeot's taking one, two and three in the Super 1600 category after their rivals struck trouble.
But the start of the day was not a time for heroics and most drivers were taking it steady on Stage 18, the 3.27 miles of Dreemskerry in the north, although Peugeot 206 driver Justin Dale thought the fog wasn't too bad. After Stage 19, Baldhoon, he confirmed "I like the fog, it's a bit more of a challenge. You can't see the junctions from the 100 metres warning arrow". Privateer driver Martin Sansom agreed, "You can't see the corners, you just know they are there" and James Thompson admitted to "driving like my granny."
As the fog lifted on the 13½ miles of Ballakew, Stage 20, after Service, Dale said "I'm changing up early to make the car last, taking it nice and steady to the end."
Stage 21, Ballagyr 2, was a re-run of yesterday's Stage 10, and all Peugeot drivers reported it to be extremely slippery and very tricky, causing Thompson a small detour up a bank.
Martin Sansom had a surprise on Stage 22 when a jump turned out to be bigger than anticipated. His brush with the hedge saw them picking leaves off the car at the stage finish, while James Thompson leapt out of the car to investigate a burning smell and declared "What an adventure!". The adventure continued on the re-run of Regaby, Stage 23, when the smell was identified as a burnt out battery in the intercom.
The final stage of the day at almost 14 miles long provided a true grandstand finish along the straight by the pits for the TT races. Justin Dale made no mistakes and secured first place in the Super 1600 Category, with Martin Sansom second and James Thompson third. Dale finished 6th Overall and secures maximum points in the Pirelli British Rally Championship to take him into 2nd place overall, a scant 3 points behind Jonny Milner, 13 points clear of third.
Mick Linford, Peugeot UK's Motorsport Manager commented; "We have achieved everything we set out to achieve this weekend. It's pleasing as Justin Dale scored maximum points on the event and won his class and we have closed the gap on the overall championship positions."