Next week’s 50th anniversary Rally Isle of Man, powered by Microgaming, has drawn an entry list high in both quality and volume.
The three-day 192-mile event is a round of the Irish Historic Tarmac Rally Championship and a crucial double-points scorer for the Eurocars Motorsport Manx Rally Championship. As a result it has attracted 105 crews from the island, around the British Isles and even Japan and Belgium.
The historic section, Rallee Classicagh, will be headed by 2012 victor Darren Moon from Leeds. In fact the entire top six from last year’s event are back.
The Manx International Rally section also looks hugely competitive. Carnforth teenager Arron Newby will lead the event into action with local co-driver Rob Fagg in their TEG Sport Subaru. Arron has set the UK rally scene alight with a string of eight outright event wins, four of them coming in the last six weeks.
The pair finished fifth last year and are in contention for the Manx championship. Again, the entire top six from 2012 are on the entry list, including a last-minute submission by Steve Quine and Richard Skinner who took victory on a dramatic final stage 12 months ago.
The ceremonial start and a side-by-side stage on Douglas promenade are the highlights of Thursday’s opening day, with Castletown taking centre stage on day two (Friday, September 13).
The event will finish with a final run down the TT course ending right alongside the Grandstand. Full entry lists and route maps at www.rallyisleofman.co.im