The Isle of Man Navigational Rally Championship takes to the road for the final time before the summer recess this weekend for Druidale Motor Clubs’ Mayflower Rally, and it brings together all of the season’s winners so far on one entry list, making for a crunch counter as the title chase reaches its halfway point.
There have been three different winners from the three rounds held so far in each of the experts and non-experts categories, however second place on each of the events has put Neil Dalrymple and Alan Teare at the top of the standings.
With Teare unavailable this time, Dalrymple has recruited a fairly handy replacement for the left-hand seat of the Renault Clio…the most successful navigator in Manx rallying history, Roy Sweetman, who competes on only his second event in the last two years.
Jess and Graham Collister (Vauxhall Nova), February’s 87 Rally winners head the entry list, back on track having dropped the last round as all competitors must to organise.
Behind them are the calendar opening January Rally winners, Kyle Collister and Dan Colley (Ford Puma), with Dalrymple/Sweetman away at number three.
Andrew Dudgeon/Adam Yates (BMW 325) claimed third place last time out, and an elusive first win is within grasp, something fellow BMW crew Dave Cluckie and Luke Tunney can tick off, the reigning non-experts champions having taken victory on that same event.
Stephen Luton and Janet Craine (BMW 316) are still overdue a top result, whilst Martyn Jones/Martin Burns (Vauxhall Corsa) make a further appearance and could shake up the order.
The non-experts are led away by points leaders Neil Taggart and James Hampton (Ford Puma), who have made a fantastic return to the sport after seven years away, winning at the first attempt and backing that up with solid results.
The March Rally category winners Paul Kenney and David Oliver (Vauxhall Corsa) start behind them looking to make it two in a row, whilst Andrew Holmes/Katie Fox (Vauxhall Astra) start third.
Amongst the other Class B crews, Dan Shacklock returns for the first time this season with a newcomer navigator, Chloe Duke-Keig, whilst Lucas Croyden and Aaron Leece make their debut rally appearance, both crews in Vauxhall Corsa’s. Good luck to them.
Dave Ford/James Creasey (Corsa), Greg Pye/Ken Cottee (Seat Ibiza) and Colin Whitelegg/Charlotte Shimmin (Renault Clio) complete the entry list.
All is set then for one final hurrah before the hard-worked cars get a few months off, with the event organised by reigning champions Ian Postlethwaite and Matt Bettridge.
Chris Boyde – © Manx Rally Media – Isle of Man Navigational Championship Secretary