20 SEPTEMBER 2017 14:03
Jamie Jukes once again demonstrated how competitive the Spencer Sport team’s R5 specification Mitsubishi Mirage is against top Prestone MSA British Rally Championship runners with a magnificent performance on the 138.com Rally Isle of Man (14-16 September). In only his third rally of 2017, Jamie set eight top six stage times overall, including two fourth quickest times, against World Rally Cars, R4 and other R5 cars – with only an accident on the penultimate stage denying him an impressive overall result.
Co-driven by Dave Williams, Jamie was super-fast straight out of the block in the Spencer ECA / Oil4Wales backed car, setting the sixth fastest time on the opening stage and second in the National B class. Unfortunately he dropped to 35th overall and 12th in class after the next two stages, after losing time when he caught the car ahead and with a split turbo pipe. Jamie then launched a stunning comeback, and just six stages later he was back up to ninth overall and third in class! After a good run through Legs 2 and 3, Jamie was again unlucky to break a front driveshaft early on in Leg 4, which left the Mirage R5 in only rear-wheel drive until the mechanics were able to replace the shaft in service. The crash took place on stage 20 out of 21 - Marine Drive - whilst Jamie and Dave were in seventh place overall.
Without many rally outings to his credit this year either, Philip Hopkins made a cautious start to the Rally Isle of Man in Spencer Sport’s sister Mitsubishi Mirage R5 – and was pleased to be 15th fastest after the opening stage. Co-driven by David Jenkins, he might have been 15th overnight too, had he not made a small but time-consuming mistake on the tight and twisty superspecial stage – although Hopkins was pleased to be inside the top 20 and 7th in class at the end of Leg 1. He planned to push hard the following morning, but admitted it was a case of “too much too soon” when he hit a bump at over 100mph, sending the car bouncing off the scenery. The Mirage R5 stood up extremely well to the heavy high-speed impacts, as the car hit the nearby hedges three times before coming to a rest, although damage was too great to allow Hopkins to continue.
James Williams/Dai Roberts were aiming to end their BRC Junior campaign on a high, but had been forced to replace their normal HT Installations / West Wales Rally Spares Fiesta R2 with an Opel Adam R2. The notoriously bumpy and narrow Isle of Man stages are incredibly difficult to learn a new car on, but the west Wales pair were going exceptionally well – third in class after SS1 and second after SS2, after setting eighth fastest time overall in the little front-wheel drive car! Unfortunately, their rally came to an end after hitting a bump and spinning off the road on SS6. The car was repaired and they restarted Leg 3, but stopped again after setting more impressive stage times.
More on Jamie and Dave’s incident…
While it was a high-speed accident that saw their car roll and leave the road, the strength and build quality of the Spencer Sport Mitsubishi Mirage undoubtedly saved the crew from extensive injuries. Following the incident, both were taken to Noble’s Hospital, where Dave was released the next day and Jamie was retained for further observation. The team would like to thank the rally rescue crews, the emergency services and the hospital staff for the incredibly quick and professional way they dealt with the incident.
The Spencer Sport team would to thank its partners for their continued support: Spencer ECA, DMACK Tyres, Motul, Hills Ford, Alphera Financial Services, Oil4Wales, Nicky Grist Motorsports, PIAA UK, Speedline Corse UK, Atech Racing, United Air Power, HT Installations, West Wales Rally Spares and Porter Dodson Solicitors.
Pictures courtesy of @chicanemedia