West Wales rally team Spencer Sport will field three cars in this week’s Rally Isle of Man which is the seventh and final round of the MSA British Rally Championship:
The driver combinations of Tom Cave/James Morgan (Fiesta R5), James Jukes/Dave Williams (Suzuki Swift), and James Williams/Dale Bowen (Vauxhall ADAM) with Cave in particular all out for a podium finish in this very gruelling long distance event which starts tomorrow (Thursday).
Driving the Spencer Sport prepared Ford Fiesta R5 they have taken a BRC podium position on three occasions already this season, Tom Cave and co-driver James Morgan will be out to consolidate their second place in the BRC standings on the Isle of Man. While fellow Welshmen Elfyn Evans and Craig Parry secured the title on the previous round in Ulster, mathematically the runner-up spot remains undecided and, with double-points up for grabs for the season finale, four other crews could still challenge Cave and Morgan for the position, as Tom explains:
“This rally is always tough, not only because of its length, but the stages are very demanding on the cars and crews. Strategically, it’s going to be even tougher for us, as we have to drive hard enough to maintain an advantage over the four others that could still take second place, yet not too hard and then risk not getting to the finish. But, we like a challenge!”
Having taken a sabbatical for the Ulster Rally when Garry Jennings used their R5 specification Mitsubishi Mirage, Jamie Jukes and Dave Williams will be back to compete in the BRC National Rally Cup category on the Isle of Man. They will drive the Spencer Sport Suzuki Swift they used during the 2014 and 2015 seasons while the Mitsubishi is being upgraded to R5+ specification.
“I have some unfinished business to attend to with the Suzuki on the Isle of Man”, said Jamie. “We were going really well when we were there with it last for the National event, but then retired, so I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do this time round.”
For 18 year-old driver James Williams, the Rally Isle of Man represents a series of firsts: it will be his first time of competing on the island; his first time making pace notes; his first time driving a Vauxhall ADAM,. He is supported by the Vauxhall Motorsport Junior Rally Team, HT Installations Ltd. and Spencer Sport.
Williams, who will be guided over the Manx roads by experienced co-driver Dale Bowen, will be debuting the Vauxhall Motorsport ADAM Cup specification car that has been produced to compete in a single-make series planned for 2017. Like Jukes and Williams in the Suzuki, they too will compete in the National section of the rally.
“This event is going to be a new experience and represent a significant step up for me”, said James. “Previously, I have competed in BTRDA and Welsh Championship rallies driving a Ford KA, so this is something different. Whilst I will be aiming to do well in the class, I know that the rally is going to be a big learning curve for me, so I am very interested to measure my performance at this level and try out the ADAM. I’ll then assess how things go with an eye to my future in the sport.”
The Rally Isle of Man begins at 19.00 on Thursday with a stage on Douglas Sea Front. A further two stages on the island’s closed public roads take place before the overnight halt, followed by 11 more stages on Friday and another six on Saturday. Representing the longest event in the MSA British Rally Championship calendar, the route covers a total of 424 miles, if which 167 are competitive. The rally finishes in front of the TT Grandstand at 16.30 on Saturday.
The Spencer Sport team is supported by: Spencer ECA, Michelin, Oil 4 Wales, Reeds Construction & Engineering, the Trefeddian Hotel, PIAA lights, Speedline wheels, Rugbi Industrial Supplies, Nicky Grist Motorsports, Omega Lubricants and Atech Racing.
Drivers & co-drivers home towns:
· Tom Cave: Aberdovey
· James Morgan: Hirwaun
· Jamie Jukes: Llandysul
· David Williams: Mold
· James Williams: Newcastle Emlyn
· Dale Bowen: Hirwaun