16th October 2019

Malcolm Davey and Paul Slingsby recently competed on the Manx National Rally. Mike Fox and Dave Rowe came along to service.
They sat off from Malcolm’s on the Wednesday morning, Paul and Mike in Paul’s VW Touareg towing the rally car in its trailer, followed by Malcolm and Dave in Malcolm’s motorhome. They were heading for Heysham and the 14.15 ferry to the Isle of Man. Things soon went wrong with a broken front spring on the motorhome. Malcolm diverted to a local garage that he hoped could do a repair. They were unable to help but sent him to another garage in Halifax that could replace the spring later that day.
It was decided that Paul and Mike would carry on to the ferry and re-arrange Malcolm and Dave’s booking to the next ferry which unfortunately was at 2.15 on Thursday morning. On arrival in Heysham they changed the booking and booked themselves into a B&B in Douglas for that night.
After a long wait for a repair, Malcolm and Dave made it to the early morning ferry and were in Douglas by 6.30. Paul and Mike met up with them later that morning and went out to recce the stages.
That evening everyone enjoyed a good meal in the motorhome and had a good night’s sleep (much needed by some!).
The rally started on Friday evening. On Thursday and Friday the weather had been mainly wet but on Friday afternoon the clouds cleared and the weather was fine for the rest of the weekend.
The rally started on Friday evening with four stages, service and then the same stages repeated in darkness.
Saturday comprised four different stages using different roads to Friday, all run twice. These were separated by a management service at St Mark’s and a main service at Douglas. The only problem was on the last stage when they had a puncture. Fortunately this was near the end of the stage so they did not stop. This cost about thirty seconds but did not make any difference to class or overall positions.
After all the problems getting to the rally, the event itself was almost an anticlimax, the rally ran smoothly and the car ran well.
That evening everyone enjoyed a meal in an excellent Chinese restaurant before going to the prize giving.
They caught the ferry home on Sunday morning and were home by mid afternoon.
The Isle of Man is a great place for motorsport, with closed roads and a lot of enthusiasm on the island. The only downside is the long and expensive ferry crossing to get there.