"Wet or Dry?" The Manx International Rally - Leg 1, 1st August, 2002 The start of the fifth round of the Pirelli British Rally Championship saw competitors staring skywards trying to guess the ever changing weather conditions on the Isle of ...
"Wet or Dry?"
The Manx International Rally - Leg 1, 1st August, 2002
The start of the fifth round of the Pirelli British Rally Championship saw competitors staring skywards trying to guess the ever changing weather conditions on the Isle of Man.
An inspired tyre choice took Peugeot works team driver Justin Dale straight into the lead of the Super 1600 Category with team mate Rory Galligan close behind, both drivers having opted for dry tyres on the front and intermediates on the rear wheels of their Peugeot 206's.
At the Grandstand service after Stage 2, Galligan reported a problem with his clutch on changing gear which had distracted him and caused him to drop a little time. Both he and Dale had a little oil on the screen from the engine breather which smeared when they used the wipers on the first two stages. Meanwhile, Martin Sansom and James Thompson in their privately entered 106 Maxis had both opted for slick tyres and were lying 4th and 7th respectively.
At the end of the first day after 42 miles of competitive motoring, Justin Dale held a convincing 41 second lead after taking fastest times on the first five stages so far. He commented that he found the stages quite hard on the tyres and ran the last pair with intermediates all round. His team mate Rory Galligan is lying second, his confidence coming back after his accident on the Jim Clark. They were on full slicks on the last pair of stages through the Castletown centre, and had a few slides, but no dramas to report. They are satisfied with their overnight position, as they didn't expect to be in front of Justin at this point. Martin Sansom was in sixth place with no problems today. Touring car ace James Thompson has a lot to do tomorrow to make up for losing almost six minutes on the fourteen mile Stage 3. The usual three minutes was doubled when the car fell off the jack when he stopped to change a puncture.
All eyes will once again be cast upwards in the morning as the forecast is for more uncertain weather. Twelve difficult stages will greet the crews, with a restart time of 09:00 from Douglas.