Mighty Morrow motors to another Evo victory
Manx Rally, 19-21 July

Members of the MSA British Rally Elite scheme were in action at both the Swansea Bay Rally and The Rally Isle of Man over the weekend.

Torrential rain meant a number of crews struggled to get to the event through flooded roads – and a number of drivers had to spend the night stranded in their cars.

However, the Swansea stages certainly seemed to suit Elite driver Philip Morrow, who finished fourth outright in the national rally and first in the Evo Challenge. With his nearest challengers falling by the wayside he took full advantage to extend his lead in the championship. "I was really happy with another win in the EVO challenge," he said. "We had a bit of breathing space after Julian Reynolds had trouble with his car and Seb Ling retired, which gave us a comfortable run to the finish. Now we have a good lead in the championship coming into the final three events which will really help the confidence."

Academy driver Adam Gould had an excellent drive to second in the UK Fiesta Sporting Trophy after finishing the first stage in eighth. With Elite co-driver Scott Martin alongside him he also posted the fastest stage time on SS4. "It was an excellent result especially in the conditions and in a car that wasn’t ours," Adam explained. "Having Scott sit next to me for this event was a real benefit to see exactly what the top level of co-driving is all about. A win would have been nice but we showed pace by winning SS4, and hopefully we can go one better in the Mewla in August."

Welsh Academy driver Elfyn Evans took fourth in the Fiesta Sporting Trophy with a steady drive in the poor conditions. He said, "It was a good consistent rally for us and the results came. I was under strict instruction to bring the car home in one piece and finish the event so I’m very happy to have achieved this. Fourth was quite a good result and now puts us up a place to fourth in the championship."

Less lucky were Academy pair Bobby Mitchell and Seb Marshall, who had a bottom ball-joint fall out on SS3 and were forced to retire. Tom Walster was also put out after rolling on SS3 following bouncing off a corner. While the car was put back on its wheels he couldn’t get it started again and his rally was over.

While the conditions may have been worse in Swansea, the Rally Isle of Man still provided a stiff test for members of the MSA British Rally Elite.

The third round of the MSA British Rally Championship was contested over 165 stage miles on some of the fastest tarmac in the world – and the event presented a steep learning curve for the young competitors.

Elite co-driver Robbie Durant and his driver Connor McCloskey fared best in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX, classified 13th overall and seventh amongst the British Rally Championship runners.

In the Citroen C2R2 Cup, 19-year-old Jason Pritchard broke a gearbox mount early on Friday and retired with subsequent clutch cable failure later in the same day. Super Rally Rules allowed him to contest the remaining day’s stages, but a hefty time penalty left him a distant second by the finish in Douglas. Pritchard said, "We caught two cars on the last stage but were being cautious in the wet. We still enjoyed it even though we were doing Super Rally." Despite his problems on the Isle, Pritchard still leads the C2R2 Cup ahead after three rounds.

More serious problems befell George Thomas when his car left the road on stage nine. Whilst leading the group the Pirelli Star Driver nominee was caught out on a wet section early on Friday afternoon, rolling the car too badly to be repaired for Super Rally. Both driver and co-driver were unhurt, and although they suffered badly bruised egos they vowed to be back for the next round, the Ulster International Rally in six weeks time.

Academy co-driver Andrew Roughead and partner Martin Laverty were the only other finishers in the C2 Cup, but only under Super Rally rules after a driveshaft broke on Friday. They said they delighted to have finished after believing their rally was all over.

Elite driver James Wozencroft and Academy co-driver Chris Ridge also had a tough weekend. Troubled by mechanical problems from the off, a broken drive-shaft on Friday and gearbox problems on Saturday put paid to the pair’s challenge for the weekend.

The MSA British Rally Elite is a national training scheme for the top young British rallying talent and is supported by the sport’s governing body, the Motor Sports Association. Training is delivered by The Inside Line with Performance Director, and former WRC world champion, Robert Reid heading the initiative to bring the UK’s top young drivers into the World Rally Championship.

Back To News
Ypres 2008 Finland 2008 Finland 2008 Finland 2008