Manx Rally: Higgins dominates

Former British rally champion, Mark Higgins dominated the Manx Rally in impressive style, leading the three-day event from start to finish. In his privately-entered Toyota Corolla WRC, which was co-driven by Craig Thornley, Higgins finished 4m43.8s ahead of Irish Tarmac champion Andrew Nesbitt

Manx Rally: Higgins dominates

For most of the rally second place was held by current championship points leader Jonny Milner. At the end of the first day the Corolla driver was just 37.6s behind Higgins, but when Milner's car started to lose rear drive on Friday's final stage, the writing was on the wall.

The problem was traced to a cracked propshaft, but unfortunately the team had no spare to hand. A replacement part arrived from Belfast just in time to be fitted ahead of the second day's running, but Milner's confidence that he would be able to fight for the win was undone when the Corolla developed transmission troubles.

A lack of a spare gearbox prompted a hasty repaired, which meant he was eight minutes late out of service but initially appeared to work. However, the car then became stuck in fourth gear, costing Milner 40 seconds and then a minute over the next two stages. More frantic work gave Milner the use of third off the line, but it was insufficient for him to defend second place from Nesbitt.

Super 1600 honours went to Peugeot 206 driver Justin Dale, who's now just three points behind Milner in the overall standings. Martin Sansom and BTCC star James Thompson took second and third in their 106s to complete a Peugeot walkover in the 1600 category.

David Higgins, brother of Mark, enjoyed an unchallenged run in the Group N class. He finished fourth overall and the result means that he's wrapped up the championship with two events still to run.

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