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manxnat16 (230)BTRDA Rally Challenge contender George Morrison overcame tricky conditions on the Isle of Man to take fourth in class B9 at last weekend’s Manx National Rally in his MG ZR.  His result on the island marks his second finish of the year in the mixed surface series and his successful outing netted the Cottesmore rally driver second BTRDA class B9 challenger home.

The second round of the series took place across the Irish Sea and saw crews tackle over 100 miles of special stages across the closed public roads on the island. The two day event marked a surface change to asphalt having kicked off the year with the forest based Somerset Stages and Morrison was looking forward to returning to the Manx after his last outing in 2010.

Morrison is joined this year by new co-driver and fellow HM Forces Mechanic Jon Quintrell, and he was mindful that a finish would be the only real option if he was to stand any chance of climbing up the championship leader board. Settling into the first loop of stages on Friday afternoon, the duo would find their feet quickly and used the daylight to adapt to the unique roads found on the event.  By the time night time fell, they had managed to settle into a comfortable pace and ended the day under the cover of darkness, pleased with their own progress.

Despite day two dawning over cast, it wasn’t long before the rain descended on the Island which made for exceptionally difficult conditions for the crews still running in the event. But Morrison stayed out of trouble to cross the finish ramp at the TT Grandstand in Douglas without a mark on the car.  “It’s been a fantastic weekend all round and we have both really enjoyed the event” said Morrison.  “We had a good recce last week and Jon really did well on his first closed road event too which gave me a lot of confidence, especially at night time which was a real challenge for us both really.”

It wasn’t without drama however. “We had a bit of a scare on the fourth stage of the rally when the map light failed meaning Jon couldn’t see to read the pace notes” explained Morrison.  “Luckily he managed to use a head torch which wasn’t ideal but it got us round! It’s a big achievement to finish any event on the Isle of Man so I’m really pleased with how we performed together. I’m really looking forward to the next round which is back in the forests”.

The next round of the series is the DMACK Carlisle Stages which takes place in the Kielder forest along the Scottish Borders on Saturday 11th June.

Morrison is backed this year by SMR Detailing and AB Motorsport.

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