Latest News  Manx International victory for Fagg
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By Mark Corlett (https://www.facebook.com/Markspics)
 

Last weekend proved to be a historic occasion as 34 year old Manx rally co-driver Rob Fagg partnered Carnforth’s Arron Newby to victory on the 50th Anniversary Manx International Rally, making the 18 year old the youngest ever winner of the event. The rally, run over two and a half days with 27 stages totalling 196 miles was the latest round of the Eurocars Motorsport Manx Rally Championship and as a double point scoring opportunity solid results were vital to the pair’s title aspirations.

Having taken victory on the championship opening Chris Kelly Memorial Rally in February and run so strongly on the Manx National Rally before retirement in May, Arron and Rob were confident of challenging for a podium finish in the TEG Sport prepared and run Subaru Impreza.

The Pirelli backed pairing got off to a solid start on Thursday evening with fourth quickest time over the Marine Drive stage in wet, testing conditions and followed that up with second fastest on the next stage to sit in second place behind reigning Manx Rally Champion Nigel Cannell (Mitsubishi Evo 9) with wife Michaela on the notes. Continuing to set top six times on the remaining stages left the pair in third spot at the end of the opening leg behind Cannell and friendly rival Andrew Leece/Graham Fargher (Evo 6) with Steve Colley/Andrew Cowley (Evo 8) in close company in fourth.

Starting Friday’s second leg 24 seconds down on the rally leader, Newby and Robert Graham & Co Quantity Surveyors/A-dore Furniture backed Fagg began their charge. Second quickest on Gibdale was followed up with fastest over the next three to elevate the pair to top spot by 10.5 seconds over the Cannell’s as crews arrived at service. This was despite reporting an issue with the VP Fuels powered

Impreza, resulting in the car only having rear wheel drive and causing a spin on the Ravensdale stage. With Cannell reporting gearbox issues on his Evo, he would not leave service choosing to change the unit and rejoin under super rally rules later in the event. As a result Newby and Fagg would head out with almost a minutes lead over Leece but be well aware they were needing to reach the overnight halt where the TEG Sport engineers could swap a faulty centre diff causing the pair not to have four wheel drive.

The next loop should have consisted of three stages, but with the second run of Snuff the Wind cancelled and accidents seeing the cancelling of the .179 test only the run on Sand Quarry would count and with Newby/Fagg fastest the lead event lead would increase and see the pairing take maximum points in the Manx Rally Championship as victors of the first half of the double header scoring event.

After another service, five stages lay ahead before the crews and cars could grab a well earned break including another run of Marine Drive, two Castletown runs as well as repeats of Gibdale and Chibbanagh. The final one of those saw Newby fastest by 13 seconds and heading into the final day give him and Fagg with a 1 minute 40 second lead over Leece, who was now driving a damaged Evo following a collision with a solid Manx bank.

The final day of the event served up another eight stages and with a strong lead Arron and Rob drove a more reserved leg to ensure no mistakes but still managed to put in a couple of quickest times to reach the finish as victors as those behind them scrapped for the final podium places. Runners-up spot was eventually taken by Steve Quine/Richard Skinner (Evo 9) 2 minutes 20 behind the TEG Sport pair with Colley/Cowley taking third just four tenths behind second. They would though only take points for second place in the Manx series for the second half behind Cannell, who had returned to the event and produced some great times, but the two points score finishes leave the pair in strong positions for the championship.

“What a weekend, Arron has not put a foot wrong and dealt with anything that has been put in front of him” explained Fagg. “The way he handled the issue with the car and still put in the times goes to show what a talent the lad has. Add that to the mature controlled drive he put in when the victory was his to learn I think this has been a real development rally for him. The results this weekend leave us in with a strong claim on the Manx Championship titles with just one round to go.”

Along with the praise for his talented young driver, Fagg also had huge praise for his TEG Sport team and sponsors.

“This has really been a team result, the guys worked till the early hours on Saturday to ensure we had a fully working car at our disposal for the final day” explained Rob.  “Both Arron and I cannot thank the guys enough for their efforts and also Kev Minay of Hayden Minay’s for the use of their workshop to complete the work. But we must also not forget out sponsors especially Pirelli and VP Fuels and personally Rob and Ali Graham who have supported me for a number of years now, this result is for all of you as well.”

The final round of the Eurocars Motorsport Manx Rally Championship is the Manx Auto Sport promoted Pokerstars Asphalt Stages held in November. Arron and Rob will need another mature performance if they what to secure the titles, but before then Rob has another trip out to the west for the fourth round of the Canadian Rally Championship alongside Pat Richard as well as a trip to compete on the Tunnocks Mull Rally with John Cope.

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 2013 by Robert Graham & Co Quantity Surveyors, A-dore Furniture (www.a-dore.us), Nicky Grist Motorsport (www.nickygrist.com) and Fastime Stopwatches (www.astopwatch.com)