Rally Isle of Man’s organisers have announced two new elements to enhance opportunities for competitors to tackle this September’s event.
The rally, a round of the Water End Properties Historic Asphalt Cup and the Eurocars Motorsport Manx Rally Championship, has received dispensation from the sports governing body, the MSA, to allow FIA Appendix K-eligible historic vehicles to tackle what is renowned as one of the biggest challenges in the sport.
The move widens opportunities for crews to enter vehicles beyond those made eligible by the UK’s regulations and dovetails with the events registration as a ‘National Event with Authorised Foreign Participation (NEAFP)’, allowing Rally Isle of Man to accept entries from non-UK and Irish license holders.
In addition, within the Duke Stages Rally element of the event, it is planned to introduce two new ‘period classes’. With the official Historic Rally regulations limited to cars up to 1981 the rally will run exploratory classes for cars from the 1980’s.
The first will be for vehicle types that ran under homologation between 1st January 1982 and 31st December 1986, and the second will extend that to the period 1st January 1987 and 31st December 1991.
For the first time this provides competition classes specifically for this period, introducing cars such as the Vauxhall Nova and Astra’s, Peugeot 205, Ford Sierra, Toyota Celica, Mitsubishi Galant and Lancia Delta Intergrale, as well as many of the famed Group B machines that are able to meet today’s regulations.
“The organisers have said right from the outset that they intend to open up our classic event to as many competitors and competition cars as possible, and these announcements are part of that,” says Historic Rally Clerk of the Course Alan Teare.
“We have undertaken consultation, and competitors have very much driven this direction. It is a toe in the water with the 1980’s period classes, and it’s exciting to be at the forefront of the next natural progression. For many people, that was the golden era of rallying, and to have the sights and sounds back on the Manx stages is a wonderful opportunity.”
Regulations and entries are now available from the events website, www.rallyisleofman.co.im, and potential entrants under either of these clauses should contact the Rally Office in the first instance.