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McKinstry Wins Roush Manx Rally 9 May 2004

Kenny McKinstry has won the Roush Manx Rally for the third time in his career, but not without a major fight to the finish. With two stages of the rally to go, the Irishman's Subaru Impreza was eleven seconds behind Mark Perrott's Ford Escort WRC but then, in just over 15 competitive miles, he turned the deficit into a 25-second advantage to take the win. McKinstry's speed over the closed public roads on the Isle of Man is legendary but, even by his standards, this result is something special!

Perrott, therefore, arrived back at the TT Grandstand in Douglas in second place, while MonsterMob Ducati Team Manager Paul Bird's Ford Focus WRC took the final podium place.

The current leader of the Kumho National Rally Championship, Roger Duckworth (Subaru Impreza), was fourth confirming his position at the top of the points table, Craig Middleton (Hyundai Accent WRC) was 5th and, rounding off the top six was Steve Perez (Ford Focus WRC).

The Roush Manx Rally was also a qualifying round of the GPR National Tarmacadam Rally Championship, but several of the major players had a torrid time. 2002 Manx Rally winner Melvyn Evans (Subaru Impreza) was the top points scorer in 10th place, while defending champion Steve Hendy (Ford Escort WRC), John Price (MG Metro 6R4) and Eian Pritchard (Subaru Impreza) all retired.

Group N was won by Geoff Jones (Subaru Impreza) while the Mitsubishi Evolution Challenge was responsible for 20 of the capacity entry of 130 cars. Roy White's Lancer EVO7 finished just outside the Top 10 to take maximum points as each driver strives for the end-of-season prize of a works-supported Mitsubishi drive for the 2005 season.

The event retained its traditional two-leg format and, after over 100 miles of special stages, Gareth MacHale and Ieuan Rowlands finished just a handful of seconds apart in the Peugeot TOTAL 206 Super Cup, while Rodney Wilton was a distant third.

Manx honour was upheld by Rob Watson/Norman Quayle whose Vauxhall Nova 'kit car' finished well within the Top 20. Steve Quine/Richard Skinner had been leading the 'home' team but their Ford Escort RS2000 was involved in an accident during the final loop of stages.

As ever on an event run at such a pace, the number of retirements was considerable. Last year's winner, and No.1 seed, David Mann retired his Subaru Impreza on Saturday morning after an 'off' and Steve Petch's Hyundai Accent WRC went out with head gasket failure on the second stage of the rally.

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