02 Jul 5 Things To Watch At Anglesey This Weekend
It’s a double helping of rally action as the MN Circuit Rally Championship reaches its conclusion this weekend at Anglesey, so here’s 5 things to watch out for in Wales…
- Double drama?
A double event – sounds exciting, right? It also throws up all kinds of scenarios…
Double delight: The event will feel like a two-day WRC event around the one venue, but in reality it’s two rallies in one. It means that not only is there a chance to gain a double win, but also two chances for a podium finish and double the opportunity to gain points for those chasing – 120 in store for the overall double win.
Double the chance of disaster: Pessemistic? Probably, but we know in motorsport how luck can deal you a cruel blow, so mechancial sympathy is likely to be on the minds of some down the order when the championships are in the balance. A Saturday issue can run into Sunday, and that could signal a title blow to someone on the wrong end of that misfortune. Makinen/Sainz flashbacks…
Double the effort: It could be a tiring one for those on the limit, so it could be a bruising event in store when the going gets tough. Experience will count, and we’ll see how the cars hold up in this contest.
- Where’s the title going?
It’s in Mark Kelly’s hands, but as the old saying from the late, great Murray Walker goes: “anything can happen in motor racing, and it usually does.”
Kelly is riding a wave of form and confidence at the moment, and will feel these two rallies could be for the taking in that case when observing the entry list compared to previous events. The biggest issue will be other class contingents.
Why? Classes A, B, C and D all have in-form drivers.
Chris Newton in particular will be disappointed in the points totals winning class A will get him, as he is favourite for a superb clean sweep that more than warrants for his ability in a seat-of-the-pants-driven Vauxhall Nova.
Closest non-Fiesta to Kelly is Josh Payton who has been brilliant in class C. Watch out for him, and he is close enough to leapfrog Kelly with one major slip-up or mechanical heartbreak. Similarly, David Henderson missed a round but is now chasing class D honours with some sensational wins, so he could claw back ground on both, as could Chris Ruck with another class B success or two.
The name Morris will be a one you can expect to hear quite often this weekend.
Names familiar to you MNCRC fans and followers will return to the action, most notably Barry Morris who was back at Oulton Park. He is not only the reigning series champion, but the Darrian man’s defining moment was victory here last season in an absolute thriller, thanks to consistency and inspired tyre choices.
James Morris will also make his debut in the series, taking on Sunday’s event with another face very familiar to the championship as co-driver. That will be Ashleigh Morris, who makes her eagerly-awaited comeback to the stages. She will be a threat in her class on Saturday in her Ford Fiesta, before jumping into a Mazda MX-5 alongside James the following day.
- Go West
Mr entertainment himself will have a good chance around a mostly tarmac circuit.
The long straights and technical sections will suit the Porsche 997 GT3 which is of course made for racing around these places, but it remains to be seen just how good the ex-Nigel Mummery rallying edition really is without vital developments, touted to come when possible. West’s skills will be on display spectacularly you can bet, but the noise of his new toy will be distracting enough for any car lover.
5. Weathering the storm
Memories of each visit to Anglesey includes one certainty: unpreditable old mother nature.
She always gets her nose into the event on the coast, and rain is touted to interfere at times on Saturday and even more so the following day. Last year in particular, weather changing right at the death meant a late split strategy for the top two which ebbed and flowed until the final time check.
Expect showers in the second event, but summer weather will help in comparison to the interloping of hail and snow that has arrived at the wrong times in the previous handful of years.
Brollies at the ready – but we’re optimistic of a BBQ at some stage!