- Pirelli International Rally 23rd & 24th April 2010.
- Closed airspace affects Evo Challenge entries.
- Jonny Greer looking for second win.
- Alastair Fisher hoping for better fortunes.
Round two of the Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge UK is set to take place this weekend, the Pirelli International Rally hosting the second event in the tenth season of the official one-make series for Group N Lancer Evolutions, the rally also featuring the second round of the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship.
Highest Evolution Challenge seeds are Alastair Fisher and co-driver Rory Kennedy who will be looking to make up for their disappointment in round one, the Bulldog International Rally of North Wales, when they retired whilst in a commanding lead after their car developed terminal transmission problems. Such was their pace last time out, they are also likely to be challenging for top British Rally Championship positions.
Having secured their maiden Evolution Challenge victory on round one, Jonny Greer/Dai Roberts currently lead the series and are aiming to maintain their position at the top of the points table with another good run this weekend. However, the crew immediately behind them, David Bogie/Kevin Rae, will be piling on the pressure and are likely to be on a charge after a frustrating run in round one, when their car appeared to be down on power.
A crew definitely looking for better fortunes after their visit to North Wales are Owen Murphy/James O’Brien, who made it no further than the first stage, when a gearbox and subsequent clutch problem forced them into retirement not far from the start.
Following recent volcanic events, it is highly unlikely that Icelandic brother and sister Daniel Sigurdarson/Asta Sigurdardottir will make it to the start line. Ironically able to leave their own country, they currently cannot fly into UK airspace, so they are standing by in the hope that the situation may improve during the next-24 hours.
The ash clouds over Europe have already forced East African crew Peter Horsey/Moses Matovu to withdraw their entry and any chance of improving on their fourth place last time out. Added to this, series coordinator Simon Slade is also desitend to miss the event, having been stranded in Abu Dhabi following the opening round of the FAI GT1 World Championship at the Yas Marina Circuit last weekend.
Based at Carlisle Racecourse, the Pirelli International Rally features 12 special stages and 100 competitive miles in Keilder Forest. The event gets underway at 6.30 pm on Friday and sees three stages before the overnight halt, with the remaining nine stages taking place between 7.00 am and 7.00 pm on Saturday.
The 2010 Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge UK is supported by: Mitsubishi Motors UK, Pirelli tyres, Sunoco fuels, JRM, Cyprus Automobile Association, Fairways Mitsubishi, Speedline Corse wheels, Murray Motorsport, CL brake pads, Sparco racewear and PIAA lights – who sponsor the junior award for under 25-year old drivers.
For the first time this season the winner of the Evolution Challenge in the UK, Ireland and Sweden, will win the same prize: A supported drive in the FxPro Rally Cyprus, the final round of the IRC (Intercontinental Rally Challenge). Then, whichever of the three teams are first home on this event will be crowned European Evolution Challenge Champions. Added to this, the winning driver in the UK will be a guaranteed nomination for the Pirelli Star Driver shoot-out.
Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge UK – Round 2 entries
4 Alastair Fisher (Trillick)/Rory Kennedy (Letterkenny)
8 Jonny Greer (Carryduff)/Dai Roberts (Carmarthen)
9 David Bogie (Dumfries)/Kevin Rae (Hawick)
10 Daniel Sigurdarson (Iceland)/Asta Sigurdardottir (Iceland)*
24 Owen Murphy (Cork)/James O’Brien (Cork)
25 Peter Horsey (Mombasa)/Moses Matovu (Kampala)*
* May not start due to closed airspace.
Series standings after round one
1 Jonny Greer 20
2 Daniel Sigurdarson 18
3 David Bogie 16
4 Peter Horsey 15
1 Dai Roberts 20
2 Asta Sigurdardottir 18
3 Kevin Rae 16