With current Isle of Man Navigational Rally Championship leaders Jessica and Graham Collister on organising duties this weekend, Druidale Motor Clubs’ March Rally offers the chance for others to leap to the top of the standings.
The Collister’s won last months 87 Rally, after the series opening January Rally was taken by namesake Kyle Collister and Dan Colley (Ford Puma).
Kyle will therefore lead the event into action from Braaid Hall, keen to build on that win and a fourth placed result last time out, putting the pair right in the mix for the overall titles.
Pre-event favourites however are possibly Neil Dalrymple and Alan Teare (Renault Clio) who sit in second place in the standings as a result of two runners-up finishes so far. A victory on the board would apply some pressure to the Collister’s as the season progresses.
With reigning champion driver Matt Bettridge absent, navigator Ian Postlethwaite has called up father Les to act as super-sub (BMW 318). Matt and Ian had looked all set to take the honours on the opening event but were sidelined by a broken driveshaft in the final mile, so a third placed finish leaves Ian needing to get points on board as the title defence continues.
Stephen Luton and Janet Craine (BMW 316) are overdue a top result, with fifth last time out no real reflection of the pace they can offer.
Andrew Dudgeon returns to action with Adam Yates, and they and 2013 Non-Experts champions David Cluckie/Luke Tunney round out the experts class entries, both crews driving BMW 325’s.
In Class B the non-experts are headed away by points leaders Neil Taggart and James Hampton (Ford Puma), who themselves will be looking to stretch their advantage with second placed Walter Bridson/Dean Quayle not contesting the event.
Amongst the closest challengers should be the Vauxhall Corsa crews Paul Kenny/David Oliver and Dave Ford/James Creasey, with 87 Rally organisers Colin Whitelegg/Charlotte Shimmin (Renault Clio) a new pairing who could surprise.
14 year old navigators Katie Fox and Ross Tunney are also in action, driven by Andrew Holmes (Vauxhall Astra) and Ian Tunney (BMW 325) respectively.
Heavy rain throughout Friday is forecast to lead to a dryer day of event, so all set for the usual drama’s on the Manx lanes!
Chris Boyde, Isle of Man Navigational Rally Championship Secretary – © Manx Rally Media