Mark and Eunice Cubbon kept up their 100 per cent winning record in this year’s Eurocars Motorsport Manx Rally Championship on Saturday’s Duke Stages Rally - but only just!
The Mitsubishi Evo 7 crew built up an early lead of 20 seconds over the morning’s eight tests on Jurby Airfield and closed roads around Andreas, with George Collister and Janet Craine (Evo 3) forming the main opposition.
Mark admitted he was pushing on the airfield and controlling the pace on the roads, so it was no surprise that he extended the advantage over two further airfield tests at lunchtime. With half a minute in hand, he then backed off on the final six stages at the Garey Ford road near Glen Trammon and the Hibernia.
However, he hadn’t reckoned on Collister attacking right to the end, fearing that Shaun Fox/Voirrey Minay (Vauxhall Crosa) were closing on his second place.
It wasn’t till the crews returned to the finish at Jurby that we found out just what the attack had done - the Cubbon’s winning margin reduced to just two seconds!
Fox eventually got the better of a day-long battle with Andrew Leece/Graham Faragher (Vauxhall Astra) for third place, despite late steering and gear-change problems.
Dave Corris/Rob Fagg (Ford Fiesta Coswroth) took fifth, with James Quirk/Edd Kennaugh (Corsa) rounding out the top six.
With two rounds of the Championship to go, the Cubbon’s just need one reasonable finish to secure a maiden Manx title.