Evans rounds out BRC season with hard fought victory

by Vince Pettit
Elfyn Evans - Isle of Man Rally 2016 - Credit: MSA British Rally Championship

The 2016 MSA British Rally Championship has reached its finale with the Rally Isle of Man rounding out the action-packed season in dramatic fashion.

With Elfyn Evans and co-driver Craig Parry already crowned BRC champions of 2016, it was left to the Welshman to stamp his authority on the series with a hard earned victory.

WRC regular Craig Breen led the way on the opening stages but a mechanical issue forced him out, leaving Evans to take the lead of the rally.

Evans would push on to dominate the stages until the twelfth stage that saw a drive shaft failure on the Ford Fiesta, dropping him behind team-mate Mark Higgins.

Higgins showed he has lost none of his pace that saw him secure multiple BRC titles in the past, despite not competing regularly in recent seasons. The Manxman pushed hard but Evans was too strong and finished 5.9 seconds in the lead to secure victory.

While the champions were crowned in Ulster, the runner-up spot was still open heading in to the rally with a total of five drivers with a mathematical chance of securing the vice-champion spot.

Tom Cave - Isle of Man Rally 2016 - Credit: MSA British Rally Championship

Tom Cave – Isle of Man Rally 2016 – Credit: MSA British Rally Championship

Tom Cave and James Morgan put in a solid performance on the classic roads of the Isle of Man to finish third on the road; With Higgins not eligible for championship points, Cave would take second place in the points finishing positions to secure second place in the championship.

Desi Henry and Liam Moynihan took their third podium of the season with a third-place finish in the points with their Skoda Fabia R5.

Fredrik Ahlin was an early challenger for a podium finish as he looked to make up for the bad luck that has followed him since his Pirelli Carlisle victory in May. Unfortunately for the Swede he lost the intercom in his Fiesta R5 on stage seven before an engine issue forced him out of the rally and out of the fight for second place in the championship.

BRC2 Champion Matt Edwards finished in fourth place, ahead of Jonathan Greer in the Citroen DS3 R5. David Bogie struggled throughout the rally to regain his previous form and had to settle for sixth place ahead of his CA1 team-mate Alex Laffey.

Robert Duggan - Isle of Man Rally 2016 - Credit: MSA British Rally Championship

Robert Duggan – Isle of Man Rally 2016 – Credit: MSA British Rally Championship

Junior BRC duo Robert Duggan and Sindre Furuseth took eighth and ninth respectively with BRC4 winner Marty Gallagher rounding out the top 10 points finishers.

Robert Duggan secured the DMACK Junior British Championship win with their fifth victory of the season in the Vauxhall ADAM R2. Behind Duggan, Furuseth and Mattias Adielsson battled for the runner-up position in the championship. It would be the Norwegian Furuseth who put in a promising performance to take second on only his second ever tarmac rally in his Renault Twingo R2.

Adam Bustard put in an impressive performance in his Ford Fiesta R2T as he battled with Adielsson’s Vauxhall ADAM R2 throughout the event. Bustard took the opening leg but Adielsson fought back on the final morning to move up the timing sheets. The Fiesta R2T driver would put in a spectacular performance on the final stage to finish 6.2 seconds ahead of the Swedish driver. Josh Cornwell, Blair Brown and Nabila Tejpar also put in strong drives to bring home their cars safely.

The National Rally Cup saw Robert Blomberg and Donnie Macdonald fight it out until the final moments. Heading in to the event it was Blomberg who had the upper hand on the back of a hat-trick of victories, only needing to secure fourth place or higher to take the championship title.

Macdonald did everything he could and blitzed the NRC class in his Mitsubishi Evo 9, finishing in the top 10 overall, unfortunately for him it wasn’t enough; Despite finishing 16 positions higher than the Swede on the road, Blomberg was the second placed National car to cross the line.

BRC3 saw Will Corry take his Toyota GT86 CS-R3 around the famous island lanes while Marty Gallagher took his Peugeot 208 R2 to victory in the BRC4 class ahead of the 2016 BRC4 champion Tony Simpson.

MSA British Rally Championship
Round 7 – Rally Isle of Man (BRC points scoring finishes)

  1. Elfyn Evans (GBR)/Craig Parry (GBR) Ford Fiesta R5  – 50 points
  2. Tom Cave (GBR)/ James Morgan (GBR) Ford Fiesta R5 – 30 points
  3. Desi Henry (IRL) / Liam Moynihan (IRL) Skoda Fabia R5 – 20 points
  4. Matt Edwards (GBR)/ Will Rogers (GBR) Ford Fiesta R5 – 16 points
  5. Jonathan Greer (GBR)/Kirsty Riddick (GBR) Citroen DS3 R5 – 12 points
  6. David Bogie (GBR)/ James O’Reilly (IRL) Skoda Fabia R5 – 10 points
  7. Alex Laffey (GBR)/ Andrew Roughead (GBR) Ford Fiesta R5 – 8 points
  8. Robert Duggan (IRL)/ Ger Conway (IRL) Vauxhall ADAM R2 – 6 points
  9. Sindre Furuseth (NOR)/ Jim Hjerpe (SWE) Renault Twingo R2 – 4 points
  10. Marty Gallagher (GBR) / Dean O Sullivan (GBR) Peugeot 208 R2 – 2 points

MSA DMACK Junior British Rally Championship

  1. Robert Duggan (IRL)/ Ger Conway (IRL) Vauxhall ADAM R2
  2. Sindre Furuseth (NOR)/ Jim Hjerpe (SWE) Renault Twingo R2
  3. Adam Bustard (GBR)/ Adam Johnston (GBR) Ford Fiesta R2T

MSA British Rally Championship for Drivers points (after 7 of 7 rounds)

  1. Elfyn Evans 185
  2. Tom Cave 101
  3. Jonathan Greer 75
  4. Fredrik Ahlin 65
  5. Josh Moffett 52
  6. Desi Henry 49
  7. David Bogie 46
  8. Matt Edwards 26
  9. Martin McCormack 18
  10. Rhys Yates 17

MSA British Rally Championship for co-drivers points (after 7 of 7 rounds)

  1. Craig Parry 160
  2. James Morgan 86
  3. Kirsty Riddick 60
  4. John Rowan 47
  5. Liam Moynihan 45
  6. Morten Erik Abrahamsen 40
  7. James O’Reilly 28
  8. Will Rogers 26
  9. Kevin Rae 18
  10. Ross Whittock 16

(All Joker nominations have been played. Round 7 – Isle of Man offered double points. Every driver dropped one score)

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