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The Manx Rally: May 2024

17 May 2024

The Manx in all its Glory!


The Manx in all its glory

The 2024 Manx Rally (May 10-11) took this famous event back to its absolute glory days of the 1980s, with a fantastic entry, tremendous competition and thousands of visitors flocking to the island to see rallying at its very best.

As the sun shone down on the spectacular Isle of Man, a capacity field of 150 cars contested this year’s Manx Rally, which was a round of two of Britain's most important and prestigious rally championships. It was arguably the best edition of the rally for 30 years and slick organisation ensured that everybody enjoyed the spectacle in safety.

For many competitors, a trip to the Isle of Man is a highlight of their rallying season and crews came from England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and even Japan to enjoy the classic roads that are unique to the island.

Such was a popularity of this year's event that over 200 entries that were taken for the 150 places available and it is possible that this was the biggest ever entry for a rally om the Isle of Man.

What is certain is that the ferries were fully booked because of the rally and many hotels, guest houses, pubs, restaurants and cafes benefited from a massive influx of visitors all looking to spend time, and money, on the island. At a conservative estimate, as many as 5000 people travelled to the event and none of them went away disappointed. The popular spectator locations drew big crowds, all enjoying one of the very best rallies in the UK.

To add to the sense of occasion, favourite Manx resident and former Manx Rally winner Mark Higgins was one of the stars of the rally. Driving a period Triumph TR7 V8 in the historic section of the rally, he showed incredible speed but was ultimately thwarted by gearbox problems.

“I hope I've done Tony Pond proud,” said Higgins in a reference to the former rally star who made TR7 V8s famous in the late 1970s. “These special stages are some of the best in the world,” he said of the Manx roads.

Several crews who were on the island for the first time we're blown away with the whole experience. Aled Wyn Morgans from mid-Wales said: “It's the first time I've been here and it's the best place I've ever been to for rallying.” Fellow Welshman Huw James echoed the sentiments. “This is my first time on the Manx and it's been amazing. I will be back!”

As well as the undoubted economic benefit, the event showed the island at its very best and many visitors to the rally pledged to come back again as tourists to further explore the island’s attractions.

The good news is that there is another event coming up in mid-September when Manx Autosport will run the Chris Kelly Memorial Rally to a similar format. Interest is already buzzing and many crews have pledged to come back again.

I will certainly be back for my 25th visit to the Isle of Man.

Paul Lawrence

Rallies editor

Motorsport News

07778 547918

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