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Monaghan Manx15Tarmac rally competitors Kev Monaghan and Chris Purvis were forced into early retirement on the IMGold Manx National Rally, the second round of the REIS MSA Asphalt Rally Championship on the Isle of Man, when driveshaft failure on the morning of day two ended their challenge [9 May].

The failure was doubly frustrating for the Northumberland pair as it occurred just as they began a fight back following a difficult set of night stages on the opening evening of the event, competing in the iconic Ford Escort F2 Maxi. The Manx was always going to be a steep learning curve for the Pirtek Maxi Rally Team; Monaghan having only competed on the island once before in 2012, while Purvis made his debut on the famously challenging stages, which incorporated parts of the TT circuit.

“It was a very difficult Manx for us, and all competitors. On the Friday night we had torrential rain, which really knocked our confidence having only competed here once before and in a new car that we are still learning. Our aim was to finish and gain some seat time on the narrow bumpy Manx lanes, but we were unable to find any rhythm whatsoever. The first stage was a short blast on Marine Drive, but our heated windscreen failed leaving me with a clouded view for the next five stages. This didn’t help with confidence levels. Both Chris and I had decided early on to back off, get through the night and have a go on Saturday in drying conditions,” said Monaghan.

“I got my head back in gear on Saturday morning, and I really wanted to show what this car can do. But, on stage seven – the first on Saturday morning – we had a driveshaft failure which ended out event.”

Keen to get on top of the Escort F2 Maxi, Monaghan is aiming to complete some test mileage ahead of the next round of the tarmac championship, the ALMC Stages in Dublin, which will mark Monaghan’s debut event in Ireland. “I honestly can’t wait for the ALMC Stages but it’s a new venue and we are still learning how to get the best out of the car and myself. Thanks to all our sponsors. Once again without their support we couldn’t compete at this level. If there is anything I can do to promote your company or you would like to use the car, please get in touch.”

The Pirtek Maxi Rally Team is proudly sponsored by Pirtek, Millennium Coupling Company, GB Lubricants and F&R Belbin Engineering. The team also welcomed additional support for the Manx event from Jobling Purser Ltd.

MSA Asphalt Rally Championship calendar:
Tour of Epynt – 8th March
Manx National Rally – 8th/9th May
ALMC Stages – 5th July
Tyneside Stages – 2nd August
Mewla Rally – 30th August
Cheviot Keith Knox Stages – 4th October

Photo by kind permission of Carwyn Lothian | Ralliphotowales

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