Swift Sport Cup Rally Isle of Man preview The 2010 Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship's Swift Sport Cup is looking like a one horse race ahead of International Rally Isle of Man, as Finnish hotshot Mikko Pajunen and co-driver Janne ...
Swift Sport Cup Rally Isle of Man preview
The 2010 Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship's Swift Sport Cup is looking like a one horse race ahead of International Rally Isle of Man, as Finnish hotshot Mikko Pajunen and co-driver Janne Per0x00e4l0x00e4 have dominated the series since the start of the season.
Their first year in the BRC was always going to a be a learning one, but with experience on the gravel roads of Finland the opening Bulldog Rally North Wales perfectly suited the pair, even catching Manxman David Harrison and reigning BRC Challenge co-driver John Connor on one of the longer Welsh stages.
Any chance of a fight on the Pirelli was ended when Harrison was caught out on a tricky left hander, rolling the little Suzuki down a step bank. Although there wasn't substantial damage, it put paid to his event and severely dented an already tight budget.
Pajunen went on to finish just outside the top ten overall, impressing the Pirelli Star Driver judges and winning him the Pirelli "yellow jersey", his nomination to the end of season shootout for 2011 BRC funding.
Another newcomer to the Swift Sport Cup and the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship was youngster Tom Clark. He and Aggie Foster might be new to the series, but despite the youngest competitor in the BRC only turning seventeen a week before the rally, they have competed in Latvia for some time now, where drivers can compete from fourteen years old. A mature drive for one so young netted second behind Pajunen, the Fin quickly coming to terms with asphalt.
Both crews will have much to learn on the Isle of Man and although local lad Harrison will be in a different car, he will no doubt be keeping an eye on the crews in the Swift Sport Cup.
International Rally Isle of Man is based at the TT grandstand above Douglas from where the event starts and finishes. A ceremonial start will take place on North Quay's harbour side pedestrian area on Thursday evening from 8pm with the action starting at 10:30 on Friday morning. The final stage blasts past the TT Grandstand at around 3:45 on Saturday, the winners spraying champagne on the podium at 4pm.