Latest News  Rob guides Newby to Chris Kelly Victory
Tuesday, February 19, 2013

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013
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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Archive News

By Mann Motorsport
www.mannmotorsports.co.uk
 
Last weekend’s MANN Construction sponsored Chris Kelly Memorial Rally saw Kirk Michael co-driver Rob Fagg successfully defend his victory of 12 months ago and get his Eurocars Motorsport Manx Rally Championship campaign off to the best start possible.

Competing alongside Carnforth teenager Arron Newby in the Pirelli backed TEG Sport prepared Subaru Impreza, the pair would take victory by one minute 45 over last years winner driver John Cope with new co-driver Bruce Craig on the notes in their Impreza WRC.

Prior to the event 18 year old Arron and Robert Graham & Co Quantity Surveyors backed Rob completed a two day reconnaissance of the stages to perfect their pace notes. It was obvious from this that conditions would be tricky with sections of the route containing standing water following recent heavy rain. But with this noted the pairing felt confident ahead of their second event together.

Getting underway at 7pm on Friday night, crews were faced with the tough 13 mile St Marks stage to open. Only three crews would complete this though following an accident for Sean Kelly (Evo 9) who was caught out on standing water causing a stage blockage and eventual cancellation. The following crews including Newby and Fagg received a notional time for the stage, unfortunately 33 seconds slower than that of reigning Manx Champion Nigel Cannall (Evo 9).

The short Balladoole stage would see the pair post their first true time, joint second quickest with John Indri (Darrian) just one second behind Cannell before a fourth quickest time over the six mile Marine Drive test would leave them third going into first service, just two seconds behind Cope but 43 behind pace setter Cannell with 2012 event runner-up Steve Colley (Evo 9) two behind.

A repeat of the stages would follow service before the overnight halt and the VP Racing Fuels powered duo would set a competitive hat-trick of second fastest times, and although dropping a further eight seconds to Cannell in the process they overhauled Cope to take second spot and hold a 19 second advantage over Colley in third going into day 2.

The opening stage of Saturday, the 13 mile St Judes test, would be significant in the outcome of the event. Cannell would pickup a double puncture early in the stage which he was forced to stop and change dropping him around eight minutes, promoting the TEG Sport pair into the lead of the event by 33 seconds. Further fastest times on Druidale and Staarvey saw them enter service holding a 59 second advantage over Colley with Cope occupying third place a further 32 seconds back.

With a further run over each, Newby and Fagg were instructed to back off by team principal Stuart Newby. And while Cope took a second back on St Judes the lead to Colley grew again to 84 seconds as he was sucked into a battle with Cope. Fastest again on Druidale and St Judes was causing concern back at service but with a 1 minute 40 second lead now it would be a case of cruising round the final two tests on the 1.1 mile spectator stage at Ramsey, a task they would achieve to take the win by eventually 1 minute 45 from Cope with Connor Corkill (Escort MkII) taking third following a puncture for Colley on Druidale.

“We started the event aiming for a top 5” said Fagg at the finish. “But following Friday night we knew we could have a good result but thought Nige (Cannell) was out of reach. It’s a great shame he punctured and eventually withdrew as it would have been good to compare times with him. Arron has driven a mature drive beyond his years and showed some really pace this weekend, what a start to the championship for us. Credit to TEG Sport as well the car has not missed a beat.”

The next round of the Euorcars Motorsport Manx Rally Championship is the Manx National Rally taking place on May 10th and 11th when Arron and Rob will hope to add further points to those gained this weekend.

The team are supported in 2013 by Pirelli, TEG Sport (
www.tegsport.co.uk), VP Racing Fuels, Speedline Corse, Cobra Seats, Schroth Racing, PIAA, Ravenol, Border Embroideries and Nicky Grist Motorsport.

Rob is supported in 2012 by Robert Graham & Co Quantity Surveyors, Nicky Grist Motorsport (
www.nickygrist.com) and Fastime Stopwatches (www.astopwatch.com)