With just three weeks to go before entries close for this year’s Rally Isle of Man, powered by Microgaming, and the Duke Stages, organisers are delighted with the initial uptake.
Following the event’s absence from the rallying calendar last year, partly through a lack of entries, over 30 crews have already submitted their paperwork this time around, ensuring that the event will run.
Particularly pleasing is that the early entries have confirmed the International appeal of one of the most respected events in British Isles motorsport.
Driver’s Shinobu Kitani and Yoshinao Tscuchiya are set to travel from Japan as a two-car Mini Cooper S challenge for the Historic Rallee Classicagh. Shinobu has competed in the event previously, but it’ll be a debut for Yoshinao. Another regular visitor is Renaud Bronkart from Belgium and he’s on the list for the Duke Stages section of the event.
Non-UK and Irish license holders are able to enter due to the events registration as a ‘National Event with Authorised Foreign Participation (NEAFP)’.
Also already entered is a three-time former winner of the Historic Rally, David Stokes in a Ford Escort and four-time former category victor Adrian Kermode (Porsche 911), and just received is the entry of 2010 Isle of Man Historic Rally victors Ryan Barrett and Paul McCann (Escort MkII). They’ll be joined by leading UK historic drivers Guy Woodcock and Adrian Seabridge (Escort). Rallee Classicagh is the final round of the HRCR Asphalt Cup.
Amongst those joining Renaud on the Duke Stages list are visitors Kevin Jeffray (Subaru), John Richardson (Ford Escort), Ric Wood (Evo IV), Kevin Charles (Ford Fiesta) and leading UK production category driver Tristan Pye. The event is a round of the Eurocars Motorsport Manx Rally Championship and leading lights Andrew Leece (Evo VI) and Sean Kelly (Evo VII) will be challenged by past champions Pat Bettridge (Subaru) and David Craine (Escort Cosworth).
Whilst those events will cover all three days of stages, there is also a one-day Isle of Man Trophy Rally for crews looking for the opportunity to take on the famous Manx lanes on Saturday 22nd September and it already has two entries, one from Pat’s son Matthew (VW Golf).
The full event will open on the evening of Thursday 20th with an all-new thrilling spectator-orientated stage along Douglas Promenade, in which the cars and crews will be pitched in a head-to-head race along the seafront. Friday’s action will culminate with four exciting night stages centred round Castletown, the Island’s ancient capital. Saturday is no straightforward run to the champagne either, almost 90 stage miles to be tackled before the final run down the TT course to finish at the famous Grandstand.
Entries remain open until 31st August (reduced rate until 24th August), with crews urged to avoid the expected final week rush.
Regulations are available for all events on the rally’s website www.rallyisleofman.co.im