Round 3 – The RBS International Manx Rally, Douglas, Isle of Man, Friday 5th and Saturday 6th May 2006
Ulsterman Kenny McKinstry grabbed the initiative on the opening night of the RBS International Manx Rally as the drama unfolded on round three of the MSA Gravel Rally Championship.
Aiming for his fourth win on the event McKinstry and co driver Noel Orr headed the crews back to the TT Grandstand after four stages around the Island to lead by 9.7 seconds ahead of former Manx Rally winner Melvyn Evans and co driver Sean Mullally, with last year’s victors Roger Duckworth and Mark Broomfield in third position less than 20 seconds adrift.
Defending champions Paul Bird and Ian Windress overcame handling problems to reach the overnight halt in fourth as the Subaru WRCs packed the leaderboard leaving Marcus Dodd and Andrew Bargery in their Hyundai Accent WRC in fifth.
But a number of crews did not reach the end of leg one and those included joint Championship leaders going into the latest ANCRO Championship round, Barry Johnson and Steve Perez who both retired. Johnson and co driver Stewart Merry’s Subaru was first to go when gearbox problems ruled them out after SS2 and Perez retired one stage further after a 100mph impact with a bank in his Ford Focus WRC whereby both he and co driver Scott Martin emerged without injury. Another crew not to see the overnight halt were Craig Middleton and Robin Hernaman who suffered exhaust problems in their Hyundai Accent on the long third stage this evening.
In the supporting classes Alistair Tough and Alister Mackay lead the Subaru Group N Trophy with Anthony Willmington and Andy White heading the Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Cup.
The surviving crews restart tomorrow morning at 8.45am with a further ten stages in the centre and north of the Island before returning to the finish in the late afternoon where the worthy winner will be acclaimed.
Interim Top Ten Positions after SS4
(All information provisional as of 10pm 05.05.06)
1. Kenny McKinstry/Noel Orr Subaru 0:34:13.6
2. Melvyn Evans/Sean Mullally Subaru 0:34:23.3
3. Roger Duckworth/Mark Broomfield Subaru 0:34:31.4
4. Paul Bird/Ian Windress Subaru 0:35:02.0
5. Marcus Dodd/Andrew Bargery Hyundai 0:35:10.7
6. Jon Ingram/Ian Allsop Ford Focus 0:36:04.3
7. Mark Jasper/Don Whyatt MG Metro 0:36:10.1
8. Tony Davies/Patrick Walsh Subaru 0:36:15.6
9. Steve Hendy/Aled Davies Ford Escort 0:36:27.9
10. Steve Fleck/Tony Ettlinger Subaru 0:36:37.1
More details on the event can be found at and information on the MSA National Gravel Rally Championship is listed at www.gravelrally.co.uk. Results can be found at www.ancro.info
The 2006 MSA Gravel Rally Championship
February 24/25 Rallye Sunseeker (National only) www.rallyesunseeker.co.uk
March 12 Barrett’s Rally of Kent (Clubmans only) www.rallyofkent.co.uk
March 18 Brick and Steel Border Counties Rally www.bordercountiesrally.co.uk
May 5/6 The RBSI Manx Rally (National only) www.manxrally.org
June 3 Mutiny National & Clubmans Rally www.mutinyrally.com
July 22 Swansea Bay National & Clubmans Rally www.swanseabayrally.com
September 9 Park Systems Furniture Stages Rally www.parkstages.com
October 21 Bulldog Rally www.thebulldogrally.freeserve.co.uk