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R5 specification Mitsubishi takes Jersey Rally victory

17th October 2016

Following a fiercely fought battle throughout the event, British driver Simon Mauger scored the first outright win for the Spencer Sport Mitsubishi Mirage and in doing so, scored his sixth personal victory in the Jersey Rally. He and co-driver Brian Cammack ended the 31-stage event with an eventual winning margin of 4.7 seconds.

The 2016 Paperclix Jersey Rally featured eight daytime and seven nighttime stages on Friday (14th October), plus a further 16 on Saturday. Starting at lunchtime on Friday, conditions were dry for the whole of the first day. Having acclimatized to the Mitsubishi, Simon and Brian gathered pace and emerged 9.1 seconds ahead of the Proton of Simon Chapman and Neil Coleman at the service halt following the first eight stages.

Further acclimatisation was required for the stages run in the dark, but Simon and Brian held position and when they returned to the service area for the overnight halt they were 15-seconds behind the leaders. Following the retirement of Chapman and Coleman, their main rivals were now Chris West and Rob Hannah in a Peugeot 306 Maxi.

The overnight rain meant the tight and twisty roads took on a different character, with drivers reporting that the surface was more like ice than asphalt. For Simon and Brian the going was made even more difficult when they clipped a wall with a rear wheel and, although contact with the stonework was minor, they felt it had done something to the rear differential.

All was rectified at the next service halt and, after 19 stages, they had closed the margin between first and second to just 4.3 seconds. After a fierce battle on the drying but still damp roads, Simon and Brian took the lead on stage four and, when West and Hannah dropped out due to a broken driveshaft on stage 27, the Mitsubishi pair looked set for a comfortable victory.

But the organiser’s timesheets were not displaying correctly and it wasn’t until the start of the 31st and final stage that Simon and Brian realised they were being rapidly caught by local crew Ross Le Noa and Domonic Volante in an Escort.  It therefore all came down to the remaining few miles of the St. Lawrence stage, where a big push secured the victory by 4.7 seconds.

At the finish, Simon said: “That was close! We backed off towards the end thinking we had a margin of at least a couple of minutes, but when we found out it was only a few seconds we had to go for it in the last stage. It certainly made for an exciting finish.

“The car never missed a beat, which is quite something when you take into consideration the technical nature of the roads and 31 stages starts. It’s great to drive and I know there’s more to come from the car. I must thank the crew for their hard work and keeping everything working as it should, as well as Spencer Sport, DMack tyres, Nicky Grist Motorsport, Motamec, Beta, Mintex and our Jersey sponsors: Mansell Collection, Acorn Finance, Hotel de France and Top Specs).”


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