Evans boosts title hopes with Manx win

Although he never won the Manx International during his mainstream rallying career, Welshman Gwyndaf Evans finally celebrated victory on the island by dominating the Isle of Man Historic Rally.

Driving a Ford Escort Mk2 entered by the Viking Motorsport team of former World Champion co-driver Phil Mills, Evans set the fastest time on all 18 of the special stages run over two days on closed public roads.

The result completed a hat-trick of wins for Evans in the Dunlop/Gambia MSA British Historic Rally Championship, coming after victories on the preceding two gravel rallies in Wales.

“That was one of the most enjoyable rallies I’ve done,” said Evans at the finish at the TT grandstands in Douglas. “The car has been faultless and I couldn’t have wished for more. I haven’t stopped smiling all through the rally.”

Despite missing the second event of the eight-round season, Evans could yet challenge for the British Historic title, 13 years after he won the British Rally Championship in a contemporary Ford Escort.

Phil Collins led the chase of Evans and co-driver Huw Lewis on the Manx, competing for only the second time in his Opel Ascona 400. The Hereford driver won on the island in 1983, but this was his first asphalt historic rally.

The BHRC season concludes in September with the Tour of Flanders in Belgium and the Trackrod Historic Rally in Yorkshire.