MAGIC MAUGER WINS IN JER­SEY

Motor Sport News - - Rally Reports - By Ben Bues­nel Re­sults

Or­gan­iser: Jer­sey Mo­tor­cy­cle and Light Car Club When: Oc­to­ber 14/15 Where: Jer­sey, Chan­nel Is­lands Stages: 30 Starters: 79

Si­mon Mauger and nav­i­ga­tor Brian Cam­mack rewrote the history books on the Jer­sey Rally, notch­ing up their sixth win on the Is­land event – to make them the most suc­cess­ful crew in the event’s 34-year history.

The English pair also took their first win in a four-wheel-drive car and the first out­right win for the Spencer Sport R5-spec Mit­subishi Mi­rage.

A to­tal of 79 crews were waved off into the two-day, closed-road event with Bra­bant and St Martin stages of­fer­ing the first chal­lenge of the week­end.

Quick­est out of the blocks was Si­mon Chap­man in the Milling­ton-pow­ered Pro­ton Sa­tria. Chap­man used his Ir­ish ral­ly­ing ex­ploits to good ef­fect to eke out a 2.3-sec­ond gap ahead of Richard Fish­leigh in his Ford Es­cort Mk2. Num­ber one seed, Jeremy Bau­dains, stole the march on the first run through the St Martin stage to cap­ture the lead into the first ser­vice with a 2.3-sec­ond cush­ion over an on-form Chap­man.

Dis­as­ter was to strike the rally leader early on stage three though with ECU grem­lins forc­ing the Jer­sey star to re­tire his Es­cort Mk2. Chap­man stepped up once again, stamp­ing his au­thor­ity in his Milling­ton/s2000 cross­over –with a chas­ing pack of home-grown crews con­sist­ing of Rob De St Paer, Ross Le Noa and Dar­ryl Mor­ris all in hot-pursuit.

As the trio of lo­cal Es­corts scrab­bled over the re­main­ing podium po­si­tions, Mauger be­gan to get into his stride, work­ing his way up the or­der after only man­ag­ing the 10th quick­est time on the first Bra­bant stage. The Vaux­hall Ju­nior Rally Team man­ager in the Bri­tish cham­pi­onship strug­gled on the re­cent Pa­triot Stages in the Spencer Sport Mi­rage, but soon found him­self at home on the Jer­sey as­phalt. Gain­ing in con­fi­dence with ev­ery mile, Mauger pounced on stage eight to take the lead go­ing into the daunt­ing night stages with just a slen­der 1.6-sec­ond lead over Chap­man.

With lim­ited road clo­sure times, the eight-stage af­ter­noon loop was short­ened to seven after two ac­ci­dents on the Bra­bant stage. Neil Cotil­lard (Subaru Im­preza) suf­fered a high-speed ac­ci­dent to­wards the end of the stage be­fore Kevin Gell (Mit­subishi Lancer E9) fol­lowed suit two stages later.

Gell was in hospi­tal with bro­ken ribs as MN went to press while co-driver He­lier Lu­cas was re­leased from hospi­tal with frac­tured ver­te­brae. Cotil­lard and co-driver Sue Fossey avoided se­ri­ous in­jury.

He­tre and Ros­sig­nol were to play host to the seven night stages at the end of the open­ing day. Chap­man con­tin­ued his fine form, tak­ing three fastest stage times to hold a re­spectable 10.4-sec­ond ad­van­tage be­fore al­ter­na­tor fail­ure plum­meted the UK res­i­dent down into 18th place at the overnight halt.

Work­ing his way up the stand­ings through­out the af­ter­noon was Chris West, who turned on the moonlight magic – thread­ing the wide Peu­geot 306 Maxi through the nar­row lanes to in­herit the rally lead when Chap­man fal­tered. Mauger sig­nalled his intent with the fastest stage time on the fi­nal run of the evening to be hot on West’s heels – with 14.6 sec­onds blan­ket­ing the two English driv­ers.

Lo­cal hopes rested on the young shoul­ders of Le Noa who held the fi­nal ros­trum po­si­tion in a Ford Es­cort Mk2. He chalked up a fastest time on He­tre 2 to keep them in touch­ing dis­tance of the top two.

Overnight rain cou­pled with au­tum­nal fall­ing leaves made the morn­ing loop of stages in­cred­i­bly greasy, mak­ing tyre choice dif­fi­cult for the re­main­ing 55 teams.

West and Mauger were locked into a morn­ing-long bat­tle with the pair trad­ing times through­out the Pla­ton and Sorel tests. Mauger was to hold the up­per hand with his four-wheel-drive ma­chine and slowly reeled in West’s lead to a mere one tenth of a sec­ond com­ing into the lunch time ser­vice. The fight for supremacy was now set-up nicely ahead of the fi­nal group of stages in the af­ter­noon.

West in the 306 Maxi held his nerve and was un­daunted by the pres­sure from the five-time Jer­sey Rally vic­tor across the St Lawrence and Water­works chal­lenges.

An awe-in­spir­ing time on stage 26 al­lowed West to scam­per away with a lead of 22.8s be­fore a heart-wrench­ing drive­shaft fail­ure on a road sec­tion. With West’s chal­lenge ex­tin­guished, this al­lowed Mauger to cruise to his sixth Jer­sey ti­tle on the re­main­ing five stages. Round­ing out the top three was lo­cal star Le Noa and UK driver Fish­leigh in his Ford Es­cort Mk2s.

“This has to be the hard­est-fought bat­tle I have ever had,” ex­plained Mauger. “To take six wins and be the most suc­cess­ful driver is fan­tas­tic.

“It’s get­ting harder and harder to win this rally with great young tal­ent com­ing through from both Jer­sey and the UK. One thing for sure is that we will be back for more as there is still life in the old dog yet!”

Paper­clix Jer­sey Rally Un­lucky West was a star in wide Peu­geot 306 Maxi

Pho­tos: Fiona Le Gros Pho­tog­ra­phy, Ger Leahy

Mauger took his first four-wheel-drive win

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