With just days left till the close of entries for next month’s 46th Rally Isle of Man, over 130 crews have already confirmed their intention to tackle the islands famous closed roads stages on Friday 10th and Saturday 11th July.
The event once again features as a high profile round of both of the British Isles’ major international championships, the MSA British Rally Championship (Round 4) and the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship (Round 6).
The principle change for 2009 is that the action will this year take place over two days, rather than the usual three. In making this move the organisers have responded to the requests of competitors and officials to reduce the time required away from work and home.
However, there will be no reduction in mileage; in fact it has increased! The event, winner of the British Championship ‘Rally of the Year’ title last year, will therefore remain in every sense the unique challenge that it has always been.
Another change is to reconnaissance. Competitors will be allowed two passes of each stage, not three as previously, again reducing the time required.
Scrutineering and documentation will take place from Thursday morning, at the TT Grandstand in Douglas, which will be the Rally HQ and central service area throughout the event.
The action will then begin with the ‘shakedown’ stage, running that evening, 9th July, between 6.15 and 9.15pm.
The rally itself is set to depart Douglas at 10am on Friday at the start of a testing eleven hour day, taking in 12 special closed public roads stages across the island.
A further eight tests follow on Saturday, and the winners should be spraying the champagne at around 4pm after having battled a 360 mile route, 180 of which are on stages.
In total last year over 150 rally crews took to the world famous Isle of Man stages, with the event particularly popular with the crews of the Isle of Man Historic Rally.
This year Historic competitors will tackle 19 stages, and the event is again a qualifying round of:
- The Dunlop/Gambia MSA British Historic Rally Championship - Round 5
- The Irish Tarmac Historic Rally Championship - Round 5
Competitors in the ever more popular Dunlop/Gambia MSA British Historic Rally Championship will be competing for three sets of points.
It is also great to see that the BRC Challenge again feature, with the Isle of Man Challenge Rally featuring as a crucial double header round. Crews will tackle 16 stages.
This event also caters for clubmen who want to take on the challenge, and the Isle of Man Trophy Rally will take in all eight of Saturday’s stages.
Entries for all events close on Friday 19th June, so act now and join us in July!
Regulations and entry forms have been sent to all 2008 entrants, and are available for download from the event website at www.rallyisleofman.co.im.