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Sat, 12 May 2012

At the end of the first leg of this year’s Manx National Rally, Melvyn Evans/ Aled Davies arrived back at the TT Grandstand having put their Subaru Impreza WRC into the lead of the event. In a change to the format of recent years, crews tackled eight stages, totalling more than fifty-seven miles, on the Friday evening and Evans, who won the rally for the third time in 2011, was just 8 seconds ahead of Paul Bird/Kirsty Riddick in their Ford Focus WRC.

Bird, Manx National winner in 2009 & 2010, was quickest through both the first two stages at Port Erin but was forced to give best to Evans on the next. However, a determined charge through the last stage of the leg reduced the deficit from nearly half a minute to eight seconds.

Third were defending REIS – Get Connected MSA Asphalt Rally Champions, Damian Cole/James Morgan in their Focus WRC. Andrew Leece/Graham Fargher (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO6) were the top Manx crew in 4th place, while John Stone and Kirk Michael’s Rob Fagg were 5th in their Skoda Fabia WRC.

John Indri/Pete Johnson’s 6th place saw them upholding two-wheel drive honours in their Darrian T90 GTR, their progress helped by any rain holding off during the evening.      

Of the top runners, local heroes Steve Quine/Richard Skinner were fourth after the opening stage but then a turbo pipe came off their Mitsubishi Lancer EVO6 and, although they reconnected it, time was lost as it refused to stay in place. After another couple of stages the crew, who were runners-up on the event in 2010, were forced to call it a day. Andy Fenwick/John Vance also joined the list of retirements after their Hyundai Accent WRC broke a rear hub on the second stage of the rally.

The second leg of the Manx National Rally features twelve more stages today.

Live Results HERE

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