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GP Week : Issue 21
>>WRCnews Higgins’ Isle of Man DRIVING an old N11 Impreza against more modern and more powerful machinery, Mark Higgins won the recent Isle of Man Rally for the fourth time, equalling the records of Russell Brookes and Tony Pond – but nearly threw his victory away by a wrong tyre choice on the final morning. Brother David Higgins keeps his lead in the British Championship but possible dropped scores mean that Mark is increasingly becoming the favourite for the title. Eamonn Boland strengthened his grip on the Tarmac Championship, but still cannot lay claim to the title. The obstacle is that final round of the series, the Cork ‘20’ carries a 50 percent points bonus The Manx weather was as unsettled as ever with Boland, Wilks and then Mark Higgins taking turns to lead the event on the short first day. Mark Higgins and Wilks were able to keep the lone World Rally Car of Boland at bay but then Wilk,s at the wheel of last year’s resurrected Mitsubishi Evo IX (replacing his car destroyed by fire on the Jim Clark Rally) slid off the road, dropping to sixth place. His Mitsubishi teammate Philip Morrow crashed. Boland won every stage of the final day when Mark Higgins lost time driving on the wrong tyres. Wilks passed David Higgins into third place. Higgins held his fourth place despite hitting a gate post, James Wozencroft his fifth place despite a spin and damaging his clutch and Darren Gass his sixth place notwithstanding gearbox trouble. In the end Mark Higgins fought off the Boland challenge and won the event but only by 11.6 seconds. Next comes the final asphalt event on the series, the Ulster in five weeks’ time. The Hard Stuff in Australia CANCELLATION of the Rally of Melbourne, a round of the Australian national series, has resulted in the inclusion of the Tasmanian Tarmac Challenge, to be held 4/5 October. No all-asphalt rally has been run in the Australia championship during its 41 year history, though the free-formula Images used in GPWEEK are shot by the photo-artists at Sutton Images. Posters available of any shot – CLICK HERE for more information Targa Tasmania has been a most successful one-off event. Rumours meanwhile circulate that Rally Australia, due to return in 2009 to the World Championship, is to be based at a Tweed Heads, a coastal town on the borders of Queensland and News South Wales. This gives rise to assumptions that the stages will be run south of the border. Garry Connelly, on behalf of the promoters of the event, said no decision had yet been taken. Interested in Aussie V8 Supercars? CLICK HERE to access Australasian Motorsport eNews ... 15