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Pokerstars Rally set to be the ace in mid-summer rally pack

Mon, 30 May 2011

The calendar has dealt the Pokerstars Rally a new hand, with a move from autumn to July, raising the stakes for a potential mid-summer thriller on the Isle of Man’s famous roads!

Entries open this week for the Manx Auto Sport event, which takes place on Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd July. It forms a qualifying round of no fewer than three championships:

  • Eurocars Motorsport Manx Rally Championship
  • Fuchs Titan Race ANCC Stage Rally Championship
  • SD34 Stage Rally Championship

It may not be a winner takes all event, like the sponsors’ famous online tournaments, but the entrants will nonetheless have to play their cards just right to prevail over the tough two days, with event organisers hoping to attract a ‘full house’ entry!

There has already been considerable interest from UK competitors, with 2010 winners Dave Pattison and Paul Whittaker in a race against time to have their Mitsubishi Evo 6 repaired after an accident on the recent Manx Telecom Rally, and leading national driver John Stone rumoured to be potential player too.

The event retains its traditional Friday night and Saturday daytime schedule. The opening evening is set to feature six tests, two runs over each of three stages. Saturday has a further six, three runs each of two tests. The organisers hope to announce further exciting news on the route in the next few days!

In total the rally features approximately 100 stage miles, on just five separate stages, helping to keep reconnaissance to a minimum. Each day will feature centralised service at the TT Grandstand in Douglas, as the organisers strive to continue their aim of delivering a high quality event at an affordable price for crews.

To help further with this, there are two recce options available to crews, either the weekend before, 16th & 17th July, or the Thursday/Friday 21st and 22nd July.

Scrutineering and documentation is also on Thursday evening (21st).

The social aspect of Isle of Man rallying is always an important element, and the organisers have arranged a brand new location for the after-rally party and prize presentation at the Villa Marina Arcade in the middle of Douglas promenade. It is hoped the rally will finish mid-afternoon, with a hog roast supper available from 6pm before the presentation at 8pm. After that the party will start in earnest!

The event offers an ideal testing opportunity for crews likely to be tackling October’s Rally Isle of Man, falling into a gap in the UK championship calendars. Similarly for crews who have long wanted to take the plunge and compete on the island but haven’t yet done so, this could be the ace in the pack to draw you over!

For all the information you need to be a part of the action head ‘straight’ to www.manxautosport.org where the dealer can hand you a ‘pair’ to get you started; the regulations and entry form!

UK crews seeking further information can also contact Overseas Liaison Officer Rob Fagg on +44 7624 480101 or via e-mail on robert@robertfagg.com

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