1 JANUARY 2018 20:10
Having broken his neck just 15 weeks before in a rally accident, Jamie Jukes made a triumphant return to the sport on the West Wales Rally Spares JAFFA Stages, finishing second in the latest-spec Spencer Sport Mitsubishi Mirage R5, which was equipped with an impressive new engine upgrade.
Back in September, Jamie (from Penrhiwllan, near Llandysul) and co-driver Dave Williams were lying 3rd in class and 9th overall towards the end of the Rally Isle of Man when a mistake saw their Spencer ECA / Oil4Wales Mitsubishi Mirage R5 somersault off the road and so far down a hill that the Douglas Coastguard was involved in their rescue. It was only the incredible strength of the modern Mirage that saved them from worse injuries, although both were hospitalised with broken bones and bruises.
Yet Jamie – a former national hunt jockey with over 350 winners and several national titles to his name – was straight back into his stride at Pembrey recently, leading the event before settling for a safe second.
“Last year consisted of several fantastic rallies, in which we were very competitive in the Mitsubishi Mirage – even setting top four fastest times amongst the very best of the British Rally Championship guys on the Isle of Man,” says Jamie. “Unfortunately, that event ended in a fairly major shunt, in which I broke my neck and was hospitalised for nine days. I made a mistake towards the end of the rally and it was such a shame not to reach the finish line after such a good performance.
“To get back into the Mirage R5 and do a fun local event down at Pembrey before the year was out was absolutely ideal. We drove well within our comfort zone and reaching the finish in one piece was the number one priority. It proves the quality of the Mirage R5 that we actually led the rally early on and finished second, without, in all honesty, pushing hard at all.
“This year the Spencer Sport team is considering further promotion of the Mirage R5 by entering a customer team in the Protyre MSA Asphalt Rally Championship. We’re also keen to do more gravel rallies as well, as the Mirage is just as competitive on the loose surface as it is on Tarmac.”