Swift Sport Cup Rally NI preview The 2010 Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship's Swift Sport Cup can be wrapped up in Ulster by series leaders Mikko Pajunen and co-driver Janne Perala who have dominated throughout the...
Swift Sport Cup Rally NI preview
The 2010 Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship's Swift Sport Cup can be wrapped up in Ulster by series leaders Mikko Pajunen and co-driver Janne Perala who have dominated throughout the season.
International Rally NI, part of the Toddsleap.com Ulster Rally, forms the penultimate round in the series and the last chance for crews to show their mettle on asphalt.
With a Pirelli Star Driver nomination on the second round of the series under their belts, Pajunen and Perala have continued to look like seasoned campaigners in the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship, although like so many others, the infamous Rally Isle of Man weather caught the pair out last time out.
Every round of the championship has been new to the Finnish crew and at the start of the season they confessed that their Achilles heel was asphalt, having little experience on sealed surface events. As a result the Antrim lanes will be yet another challenge, further complicated by the memory of their crash on Manx "tar."
However all they need is a finish in Ulster as their opposition this year has steadily dropped by the wayside, unable to stay on the Finns' pace. The exception is that of seventeen year old Tom Clark who joined the championship on round three, the Jim Clark International Rally as soon as he was old enough to hold a UK driving licence.
While never expected to immediately match the more experienced Finn's pace, he settled in well in the Scottish Borders. But like Pajunen he was caught out on the Isle of Man, leaving a void where there should have been a Swift Sport Cup podium.
There is still a mathematical chance that Clark could steal the title, as the final round in Yorkshire counts for points and a half. But his rival would need to retire from both events and the youngster surely wouldn't wish that on his fellow Suzuki driver.
Catch TV coverage of the Swift Sport Cup crews from International Rally Isle of Man, along with other classes and a preview of this weekend's rally on Sky Sports' Rallyzone programme tonight. (Full listings HERE).