Eighteen-year-old Arron Newby continued his meteoric rise to stardom when he took outright victory at the weekend’s Chris Kelly Memorial Stages and in doing so, took the lead in the Eurostars Motorsport.com Manx Rally Championship.
Driving the Pirelli-sponsored and TEG Sport-prepared Subaru Impreza along with local Manx co-driver Rob Fagg on the pace notes, Arron was keen to add to his list of successes over the past year since taking to the four-wheel drive car.
Friday night’s loop of stages in the wet and dark proved no problem for Newby and despite being awarded a notional time some 35 seconds slower than expected when a stage was stopped, he arrived at the overnight halt in an amazing second place, just 51 seconds behind the local crew of Nigel and Michaela Cannell in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9.
Saturday saw another mixture of conditions meaning tyre choice was always going to be a compromise but opting for the Pirelli RE7 intermediates proved the correct choice as Arron and Rob hit the front with the fastest time on the 13-mile St Judes stage as the Cannells suffered a puncture.
With Arron 33 seconds to the good, he continued to add to his lead with fastest times on the next two stages to hold a 59 second advantage at the morning’s first service and from there it was a case of trying to protect his lead.
However, Arron was not content with consolidating it and by the second loop of stages, he’d upped his lead to over a minute and a half such was his pace. Arron continued his charge over the final three stages to emerge as the youngest winner of a Manx-based rally with a victory margin of an unprecedented 1 minute 45 seconds at the finish after over 110 stage miles this evening.
Arron saying at the finish: “This has got to be the best result of my career so far.
“The conditions were bone dry in parts then treacherously slippery a few miles up the road so I had to drive carefully.
“It was unfortunate that Nigel had his puncture as it would have been a good battle but the local crews do have a big advantage here”.
“I must, thank Rob who did a brilliant job on the notes, also thanks to the TEG-Sport team, Pirelli and VP Fuels. I really want to win this championship this year and we have got off to a perfect start.”
Stuart Newby, TEG Sport Team Owner commented: “We stand to be corrected but we think Arron is the youngest driver to ever win a Manx round.
We had a two year plan for him to come over and try to win a round but he’s done it straight away.
“The conditions made life interesting but once again the Pirelli tyres were equal to the task so we played it safe and used just one set of intermediates all rally.
“The car never missed a beat all day long and there’s not a mark on it which is remarkable in itself given the conditions.
“Tonight my wife Lynn and I are the happiest parents in the world, he’s done us all very proud.”