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
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.