International Rally Isle of Man
Date published : 13 Jul 2009 - 08:51:27
Sport Cup continues to be strong in the MSA British Rally Championship, all six
cars that started the season making the trip across the Irish Sea for round four
of the series, Rally Isle of Man.
Molly Taylor heads the all-Suzuki Championship in her first full season in the
BRC, having surprised the boys with victories on the two gravel events. The
tussle for the lead has been a three way affair though; Luke Pinder and Richard
Sykes keeping the young Aussie honest, swapping fastest stage times on each
have had their share of problems though, Pinder rolling spectacularly out of the
lead of the Pirelli, Sykes repeating the feat on tarmac when Taylor faltered
with damaged suspension after her own excursion.
In second in
the Cup though, is the only driver with a season's experience of the little
1600cc Suzukis, Scot Gordon Nichol shining on home asphalt to take his first
victory last time out. Pinder and Sykes follow, the Swift Sport Cup reflecting
the same positions as the BRC’s Rally 1 class, although the lone Honda of Joseph
McGonigle has split the Swifts on several occasions.
time to get to grips with their new steeds are Manxman David Harrison and
Yorkshireman Nick Everard. Harrison’s prize of free entries in the 2009 BRC
courtesy of winning last year’s BRC Challenge, has not gone smoothly so far,
taking scant consolation from second on the Pirelli. The pair both have two
no-scores, mainly due to mechanical problems, so will be playing catch-up for
the remainder of the season, since the best five scores count towards the
British Rally Championship.
The level of
experience of the Manx lanes will no doubt play an essential part in the outcome
of this 180 mile event, Taylor and Everard at a disadvantage on this tricky
rally. Manxman Harrison was unstoppable on last year’s BRC Challenge, but Sykes
is definitely quick on asphalt, Pinder and Nichol also capable of winning the
form book could easily be overturned if the unpredictable weather turns; two
days and twenty stages of trying to second guess tyre choice could also make the
difference between victory and departure from the fray.