WYE Valley father and daughter team Paul and Jemma Taylor made the long trip over to the Isle of Man for the Manx Rally, reports PAUL WILLETTS.

A round of the popular Protyre National Asphalt series, it attracted a very high quality entry of 140 cars.

The two day event offered a variety of the classic Manx roads with 17 stages making up some 137 competitive miles.

Day one’s opening leg offered some 21 miles before a return to the famous TT Grandstand for service, followed by another five tests covering some 34 miles, the latter two stages running in darkness.

Saturday was two loops of four tests totalling some 82 miles. The Manx weather also played its part with two days of glorious warm sunshine.

Team Taylor had a smooth run to 67th overall and fourth in class.

And Jemma said: “We had a trouble free run, our little Mini bounced off the hedges,we had lots of fun and throughly enjoyed the event.”

Another local crew, that of Eric Davis and Russ Joseph, in the Dennis Motorsport Mini – one of many taking part in the event – started well on the opening loop but head gasket failure on stage six curtailed their rally.

The event was won by the Fiesta 2 R5 of Callum Black and Jack Morton who were embroiled in a terrific fight with the older Fiesta R5 of Dave Wright and Paula Swinscoe for much of the rally until the latter sadly retired on the last leg.

This left Black with a comfortable three-minute lead which they increased over the last few tests to take a convincing win by 3.17 from Neil Roskell and Andrew Roughead in a similar car, who took maximum Protyre Asphalt Championship points.

For Black it was a terrific win ahead of the next round of the British Rally Championship, the Jim Clark, held in the Scottish Borders in two weeks’ time.

Yet again the Manx National Rally lived up to its tough reputation with just 72 crews making it back to Douglas.

But you will hard pressed to find a better event anywhere in the UK with its classic lanes again providing a fabulous spectacle for the thousands of spectators who lined the route.