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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

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Second gear enough for Barnard pair

The Pokerstars Rally on the Isle of Man last weekend saw Cockermouth crew Richard and Andy Barnard enter their third rally in as many weeks in their Lakeland Scaffolding/Opie Oils Subaru Impreza.

Seeded at 27 the RABrallyesport entry was looking to improve on their result on the earlier 2011 Manx event, the Chris Kelly Memorial Rally, when they came 29th after a big spin and a stage maximum on the Friday night’s wet stages.

The first Friday night stages on Pokerstars included Marine Drive just outside Douglas which features some sections that are not for the faint-hearted with some fearful drops to the Irish Sea and finished with a double run over the new 12.5 mile mountain stage where fog made life interesting.

Nevertheless by the time crews crept into their beds at 3am Saturday the Cockermouth crew were just outside the top 20.

With some aggressive and progressively quick driving Richard was taking time off his previous runs over the stages to be 16th with just one stage to go, the final run over Druidale.

However, as the car came to the end of the penultimate stage the gearbox had had enough and the crew had to tackle Druidale with second gear only and hope it held out for the stage and the run back to the final control at the TT Grandstand in Douglas.

It did and despite losing two minutes they finished 18th overall. The gearbox problem probably costing Richard two places in the rankings.

The icing on the cake was to come later in the day at the awards ceremony when the organisers gave the Best Novice Award to the Cumbrian crew.

They will now take a break to have the car repaired and overhauled by RDR Motorsport before another batch of rallies in October including what could be the most demanding closed road rally in the UK, the Mull Rally.

This weekend will see the Tyneside Stages over at Ottoburn run with a very healthy 84-strong entry list.

West Cumbria Motorsport Club has a couple of navigators in action.

Ian Wozencroft and driver Mark Borthwice, of Kirkby Lonsdale MC, are in an Evo 6 and away at car 32.

And Keswick Garage owner Richard Cooke, is swapping his usual ride in a Focus, for a very quick Talb1ot Sunbeam Lotus driven by Eden Valley MC man Gerald Braithwaite.

They are car 72, competing in the historic class, and are out to beat their last finish off ninth on the Scottish Rally.

The other local crew entered are Willie Jarman and Mark Fisher in their Escort Cozzy at car 48.

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