Manx Rally voted No1 event in UK |


The Manx National Rally [or ’May Stages’ as it is often referred to] has been voted the number one event in the UK in an online survey.

Although not part of the United Kingdom, our island nation is often grouped in with other events in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

What the Special Stage Rally Review online survey clearly does not include are rallies in the south of Ireland such as the Galway International, West Cork and the Circuit of Ireland, but it is quite an accolade nonetheless.

Furthermore, Rally Isle of Man [formerly the Manx International], was voted fifth.

The Mull Rally, often supported by crews and navigators from the Isle of Man, finished a close second behind the Manx National, indeed only one point separated the two events, while third was the Jim Clark Rally in the Scottish Borders and fourth the Roger Albert Clarke event [RAC].

The top 10 is completed by the Malcolm Wilson Rally, the Nicky Grist Stages, Speyside Stages (Scottish Championship), Trackrod Rally Yorkshire and the Legend Fires North West Stages.

The 2021 edition of the Manx National Rally was scheduled to take place on May 13-14, but was cancelled for the second year in succession in January because of the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.

One of the event’s main organisers, Mark Ellison, is president of Manx Auto Sport, the club that established the Manx National in the early 1980s.

’I’m really chuffed with the findings of the survey conducted by Special Stage Rally Review,’ he said this week.

’Obviously it has not been possible to run the rally since 2019, but it always receives a strong entry from all round the British Isles as it is such a popular event.

’It offers crews the chance to really test themselves and their cars on some of the best closed roads stages anywhere. The rally involves the leading national drivers without the big stars, so it is often quite open.’

Ellison is further buoyed by the fact that the vote was not ’swayed’ by local competitors.

’I honestly don’t think that many locals were aware of the social media survey, so very few voted on the site. It proves that both the National and Rally Isle of Man are popular events in their own right.’

The Manx National Rally will hopefully be back next year, but Manx Auto Sport’s focus for 2021 remains the PokerStars Rally on October 1-2.

’The 2020 event had to be cancelled. That was to have been part of the British Historics championship, but this year’s will form a round of the Protyre Motorsport UK Asphalt Rally Championship – as long as the UK borders have reopened by then.

Protyre says it is a leading UK provider of tyres and other vehicle components and services.

’We have high hopes for the PokerStars event, perhaps it will achieve international status in years to come.’

In the meantime, Manx Auto Sport is trying hard for a closed roads rally this May (again subject to coronavirus restrictions).

If not, the club will perhaps reschedule the Jurby Stages event postponed from March 6.

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