A total of 15 Mini crews decended on the Isle of Man for the 5th and 6th rounds of the Mini Sport Mini Cup, including the 3 Mini crews who join us all the way from Japan, solely for the Rally Isle of Man every year.
Off to a turbulent start, Rhodri Owen Roberts & co-driver Alun Hayward were suffering with engine issues, resulting in them not starting.
This bad luck was unfortunately set to continue for last years Champions, Team Mini Sport’s very own Clive King & Anton Bird, who despite being determined to beat the Isle of Man after last years problems, the Isle of Man came out on top again… Rallying lived up to its reputation, and on the start line of the first stage Clive & Anton broke the Crown Wheel and Pinion.
Next up suffering with issues were Brian and Jody Watson, heating issues were the big problem here although we’re hoping to see this resolved and them back out competing today.
Into first service Colin McDowell & Michael Spence retuned minus a rear screen, after spectators pushed it out whilst pushing the Mini crew back on the road after sliding off into a ditch! Next up came Peter Ellerby & Ben Anderson, along with Ian Clare & Antony Elkes – both crews complaining of the car trying to leave the road as the back end were all over the place. After further inspection Mini Sport’s expert Rob Eastwood explained that they needed to lift the back end of the car, to at least have tension on the rear cones, making sure they stayed seated when taking off over all the crests and bumps of this notoriously difficult course.
In amongst all the goings on, Peter Horsburgh & Graham Carter made a return, as well as the 3 Japanese crews, all having good runs and still going strong at 2nd service. Louise Thomas and Heidi Woodcock of the Mini Girls Rally Team were struggling a little with grip, resulting in them choosing a full wet option in service, but still smiling from ear to ear enjoying their first visit to the Isle of Man together.
Team Mini Sport also have our MINI JCW-01c World Rally Car out competing at the Rally Isle of Man, currently sitting 1st overall in the National!