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manxnat16 (6)As is fitting with the Isle of Man there was mixed weather for the Manx National. The opening night was dry and saw Ashley Field & Janice Moore (Darrian GTR+) take the lead after the opening pair of stages through Ramsey. The bogey was then beaten on stage 3 by the top two as Jason Pritchard & Phil Clarke (Focus WRC) looked to establish themselves. Another pair of fastest times through the final two stages saw them take the lead and open up a 46 seconds advantage over Simon Bowen & Richard Robinson (Impreza WRC S11). Field had dropped behind Pritchard on stage 4 but a 40 second loss on stage 5 saw him slip behind Bowen too.

Saturday started out overcast but soon became damp, adding to the complications for the crews. Pritchard was soon out of sight though and fastest or joint fastest on all but one of the stages. He made a little bit of history by becoming the first driver to take a hat-trick of Manx National wins on the spin. Bowen was a superb second, almost 3 minutes back, but his battle had been with Field. The Darrian driver was up against it in the slippery conditions but low oil pressure sidelined him on stage 11 and Bowen was over a minute clear of his nearest rival.

The final podium spot was a battle between Damian Cole & Paul Morris (Fiesta WRC) and Tristan Pye & Andrew Falconer (Impreza) and going in to the final stage Cole held the advantage by just a few seconds. Pye blitzed it though, finishing 18 seconds ahead of Cole in the by now totally wet conditions. Cole had the consolation of top points in the Asphalt Championship. Field had been top 2WD but with his demise Daniel Harper & Chris Campbell (Mini Cooper S) took that honour in 6th overall.

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