Re­view: Three Legs of Mann Clas­sic Rally

HERO Events’ Three Legs of Mann clas­sic rally re­turns to the Isle of Man and sees 56 crews tak­ing on three days of pic­turesque, but gru­elling high-speed ac­tion

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week - events

This cer­tainly is a one-off event, there’s noth­ing quite more nos­tal­gic than hear­ing We­ber-carbed en­gines rac­ing through the moun­tain val­leys of the is­land.’

The Three Legs of Mann clas­sic rally re­turned for the first time in seven years with HERO on 16-18 March. The Isle of Man pro­duces the per­fect host­ing plat­form for such an event, with 668 miles of public and off-road ter­rain across 221 square miles just wait­ing to be ex­plored by ea­ger rally-go­ers. It’s cer­tainly a one-off event – there’s noth­ing more nos­tal­gic than hear­ing We­ber-carbed en­gines rac­ing through the is­land’s moun­tain val­leys.

A to­tal of 56 cars took part in the week­end event, in­clud­ing a wide va­ri­ety of clas­sics rang­ing from Porsche 911s and a Golf GTI MkI to the rather in­con­gru­ous sight of a 1984 Nis­san Stanza. Most of the com­peti­tors ar­rived on Thurs­day af­ter­noon from Heysham via the ferry, be­fore driv­ing to the TT Grand­stand for scru­ti­neer­ing.

As the name sug­gests, the rally is bro­ken into three dif­fer­ent legs, con­sist­ing of back to back reg­u­lar­i­ties and tests in two ac­tion­packed days. The Three Legs of Mann is an ex­tremely de­mand­ing driv­ing event, with the sec­ond leg com­pro­mis­ing a chal­leng­ing night stage, with nav­i­ga­tors work­ing from a head torch and chan­nelling the driv­ers through the twists and turns of the val­ley roads.

The rally started and fin­ished at the TT Grand­stand and John Abel and Mark Ap­ple­ton took the over­all win in their Ford Es­cort RS2000 MkI. Speak­ing with John at the end of the rally, he men­tioned that suc­cess in this type of red flag event doesn’t just come down to the car you’re driv­ing but a strong re­la­tion­ship with your nav­i­ga­tor. He says: ‘It was quite dif­fi­cult. The night sec­tion was par­tic­u­larly com­pet­i­tive. There’s quite a lot packed into the one day, which starts at 8am. Mark and I like com­pet­i­tive ral­lies. We don’t want to do the easy stuff we pre­fer a chal­lenge. The night sec­tion was the most im­por­tant bit and that re­ally won us the rally this time.’

HERO is now hop­ing to fea­ture the Three Legs of Mann in its cal­en­dar of events ev­ery three years.

Visit HERO’s web­site for more de­tails of its 2017 clas­sic events.

Stephen Owens and Ian Mitchell power their Porsche 911 along the coastal road of Niar­byl Bay dur­ing the event’s first leg. Ea­ger clas­sic rally com­peti­tors prepare at the start­ing line of the first leg at the iconic TT Grand­stand Pit Lane, Dou­glas.

The win­ning Ford es­cort rs2000 Mki driven by John abel and Mark ap­ple­ton at the head of the fin­ish­ing podium, with sec­ond­placed Ge­off Hall and Mar­tyn Tay­lor’s Mini cooper s and Paul cosby and ali Proc­ter’s Porsche 911. roger and leigh Pow­ley’s 911 crosses a ford out­side The abbey cof­fee break en route to the next reg­u­lar­ity sec­tion. kevin Haselden and Bart den Har­tog power their Mini cooper s through the last sec­tion of the air­field test sec­tion on the third leg of the rally at Jurby air­field.

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