Dalrymple and Sweetman roll back the years
Neil Dalrymple scored his first navigational rally victory in over 30 years on last Saturday’s season-ending Mayflower Rally.
After a string of runners-up positions since his and Alan Teare’s comeback five years ago, including every event this year, the Renault Clio driver extended his lead at the top of the Isle of Man Championship standings at the halfway point.
The only factor that was missing was Teare, with the evergreen Roy Sweetman acting as supersub, himself contesting only a second event in two years. The pair were down in fifth place after the opening section over the lower part of Druidale and Tholt-y-Will plantation as Martyn Jones/Martin Burns (Vauxhall Corsa) took an early lead from January Rally victors Kyle Collister/Dan Colley (Ford Puma), with March Rally winners Jess and Graham Collister (Vauxhall Nova) third.
The next regularity section was a long 39-mile run back out of the plantation, then up Druidale, and taking in a double loop of Little London, the Brandywell Road, the open section of Tholt-y-Will and a return trip down Druidale, with several off-road keyhole’s for codeboards.
Only two crews made the second Little London loop however, as everyone else picked up 5 fails for missing the section amidst tough navigational instructions. Rally leader Jones was one of the two, but was struggling himself with an overheating motor after damaging the radiator, eventually going over permitted lateness and incurring a string of fails.
After a chaotic section, the Collisters leapt to the head of the leaderbaord from the eventual winners, with Steve Luton/Janet Craine (BMW 316) third.
Those positions remained unaltered on the next run from Glascoe to St Judes, Summerhill and West Craig in the north of the island. However on the next at Hibernia, the Collister’s broke a driveshaft putting them on the retirements list alongside Dave Cluckie/Luke Tunney (BMW 325) and Dave Ford/James Creasey (Corsa) who had already called it a night.
With Dalrymple/Sweetman promoted to the lead, Luton and Craine missed a control at Maughold and were overhauled for second place by Collister/Colley over Baldromma and Begoade, before snatching the place back on the concluding regularities back up at Brandywell, Druidale and Tholt-y-Will.
Andrew Dudgeon/Adam Yates (BMW 325) completed in fourth after a wrong slot down Injerbreck cost them time, with Jones/Burns eventually having to resort to cutting route with the ailing Corsa to secure a finish in fifth.
The result means all four events this year have been won by different crews on the most wide open championship in memory, and it’s a situation that is mirrored in the non-experts class too.
Greg Pye and Ken Cottee (Seat Ibiza) were the other crew to take in Little London twice, and they reaped the reward, taking their first ever victory in the category.
13 year-old Katie Fox continues to show outstanding consistency, guiding Andrew Holmes (Vauxhall Astra) to the runners-up position, with round one winners, Neil Taggart and James Hampton (Ford Puma) third.
The series now takes its usual summer break, returning in late September.
Chris Boyde – ©Manx Rally Media 2014 – Isle of Man Navigation Rally Championship Secretary
IOM Navigational Standings (after round 4 of 8)
1st – Neil Dalrymple 51 points
2nd – Kyle Collister 38
3rd – Stephen Luton 26
4th = Jess Collister 25
4th = Dave Cluckie 25
6th – Andrew Dudgeon 23
1st – Daniel Colley 38 points
2nd – Alan Teare 36
3rd – Adam Yates 28
4th – Janet Craine 26
5th = Graham Collister 25
5th = Luke Tunney 25
1st – Neil Taggart 46 points
2nd – Paul Kenney 39
3rd – Andrew Holmes 37
4th – Ian Tunney 23
5th = Walter Bridson 21
5th = Greg Pye 21
1st – James Hamption 46 points
2nd – David Oliver 39
3rd – Katie Fox 37
4th – Ross Tunney 22
5th = Dean Quayle 21
5th = Ken Cottee 21