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Thursday, November 14, 2013
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By Mark Corlett (https://www.facebook.com/Markspics)
 

Victory on the final round of the Eurocars Motorsport Manx Rally Championship, the Manx Auto Sport organised Pokerstars Rally, was enough to secure Isle of Man rally co-driver Rob Fagg and his 18 year old driver Arron Newby the 2013 titles. Taking the win by just shy of three minutes the pair would add to their wins on the Chris Kelly Memorial Rally back in February, the Dave Corris Auto’s Forest Stages in July and of course that historic Manx International success in September.

Coming into the final round of the series Carforth’s Newby had not had as much seat time in the build up as he usually has, while Kirk Michael’s Fagg was on the back of successive non finishes following early exits from both the Mull Rally and Rocky Mountain Rally alongside John Cope and Pat Richard respectively.

But as usual the pair were feeling confident about the task ahead, knowing that a top eight finish amongst the registered championship competitors would be enough for them to lift the title.

Leading the crews into the Friday night darkness of the opening leg in their Pirelli / VP Fuels backed TEG Sport prepared and run Subaru Impreza, the pair built up an eight second lead after the first two stages over former World Trails ace Steve Colley and co-driver Andrew Cowley (Mitsubishi Evo 9). It was back to all square as crews hit first service with Colley rapid over the fast Mountain stage encompassing Tholt-y-will, Brandywell and Druidale.

Newby and Robert Graham & Co Quantity Surveyors backed Fagg though were both reporting taking it easy on the opening loop. Following a quick service it was back out to repeat the stages and with

it the Pirelli shod Subaru pairing would take advantage of their decision to run on intermediate tyres as rain fell to take a 26 second lead overnight, with Colley still in second and championship rival Kex Walker (BMW) in third a further 1 minute 55 seconds back.

The threat of rain on Saturday morning did not materialise for the second leg, but with the stages containing some wet slippery sections once again the TEG Sport team opted for intermediate tyres. Colley though was fighting back and reduced the lead to 19 seconds after the first loop but it was probably the repeat of those opening stages which set the direction of the rally. Taking back the seven seconds lost on the first loop, Newby followed up with a committed drive on the Round Table test to take a mammoth 23 seconds to pull the lead out to 49. Colley was caught on wet tyres on the fast drying roads as well as being held up by another competitor on the loop section of the stage.

Four stages remained and with the news Colley was experiencing a transmission issue it was steady to the finish for Arron and A-dore Furniture supported Rob, but the times did not reflect this. Two runs around the 15mile Knocksharry stage were split by two quick runs around the Peel town stage and with Colley’s problems the soon to be Manx Champions were a minute quicker than anyone on each run to take top spot just one second shy of the three minute mark. The drive was another excellent performance by the 18 year old rising star Newby as explained by Fagg at the finish.

“What can I say about Arron, he just keeps on surprising us with his performances. We knew this event would be slightly different with the need just to finish taking the titles but he likes to lead from the front and that he did. Truly another great drive to add to those others we have had this year and to secure the Manx titles is fantastic not just for Arron and I but for TEG Sport, Pirelli and VP Fuels as well as our other sponsors who have had so much faith in us this year.”

For Fagg it is a second crown of the year to add to the Canadian Rally Championship title he won this year competing alongside Patrick Richard in the series for Subaru Team Canada. Having won the opening round, the snow/ice Rally Pierce Niege, back in February, a series of second places have been enough to secure him the crown with a round to spare.

“To win two championships in a year is a great feeling, and for one of them to be outside of the UK with a new team brings further joy” commented Rob. “I have had a great season with some great teams and it’s been a pleasure to work with them.”

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)