East Boldon rally co-driver Janice Moore had mixed fortunes on the double-header Isle of Man Challenge rally last weekend when she retired from the first event and completed the second in seventh place.
Janice was partnering James Watts in his VW Polo, the pairing having previously competed on the Pirelli rally in April.
The first event kicked off with a tough loop of three stages, Staarvey with its notorious jumps, the tight and twisty lanes of Kella, and Ravensdale with its famous hairpin. Watts and Moore got off to a steady start with two seventh places before pushing more on stage three for fifth, giving them fifth place overall at the first service halt of the event.
“We were cautious on the opening two stages, both had very twisty narrow sections where one mistake could see the end of your rally,” said Janice.
“Stage three was quicker for us although we had a couple of moments including almost rolling on the Druidale section and then taking the hairpin at Sartfield a little too quickly resulting in the rear wheel being well off the ground.”
Following service the rally moved south for the Newtown and Cringle stages which totalled 35 miles between them. A collision with a kerb exiting a corner in Newtown saw the suspension and steering get damaged which slowed the Polo on both that and the following stage.
Repairs were made at service and Watts and Moore headed for stage six, Glen Roy. Unfortunately a driveshaft broke in the stage and, although they made it to the stage finish, they were forced to retire.
“We were disappointed to retire although the time we lost following the kerb incident meant that we had no chance of a good result. Fortunately we were able to fix the car and have it ready for the second event.”
Rally 2 was scheduled to take place over eight stages although the first one was cancelled following accidents in the preceding International event.
Watts and Moore had a troublefree run up until the last stage of the event, although conditions in some stages were treacherous with a heavy downpour of rain making the previously grippy tarmac feel like ice, mist on the higher stages adding to the bad conditions.
The last stage saw the cars run from the roads in the mountains down into Douglas and Watts and Moore were fortunate to complete the stage, another driveshaft failure almost ending their event.
“The second event was better for us, the conditions were very testing and we were happy to get through unscathed. It’s a shame the driveshaft broke again on the last stage, we’d been going well and were enjoying it, at least we got to the finish though.”
Janice is currently planning her events for the rest of the year, with an outing on the Woodpecker rally hopefully taking place in September. For more information please visit http://www.janicemoorerallying.com.