Bolton-le-Sands teenager Arron Newby cemented his reputation as one of the country’s brightest prospects despite having to retire from the Manx National Rally.
While dicing with the established stars of the REIS Get Connected MSA Asphalt Rally Championship, he was forced out when holding an impressive top-four spot.
He said: “I was really up for it going into Saturday’s stages but something pierced the fuel tank on SS12 and we had no option but to retire.
“We’ll be back stronger next time.”
Driving the Pirelli-sponsored and TEG Sport-prepared Subaru Impreza, the 18-year-old set ninth fastest time on the opening stage.
He then upped his pace to hold fourth overall after the two Ramsey tests before arriving at the Douglas overnight halt – which placed Arron in a fine fifth place overall and comfortably leading his class.
Saturday saw another mixture of conditions meaning tyre choice was always going to be a compromise.
The Pirelli tyres worked wonderfully well as normal but it was on the opening loop that his hopes were dashed when the TEG Sport team noticed a gash in the fuel tank guard and that the car had started leaking fuel.
Rather than risk a fire and the safety of both the crew and damage to the car, the team reluctantly withdrew the car in service.
Arron’s father Stuart Newby, TEG Sport Team Owner, said: “What a performance against a top class entry, I’m just gutted for Arron.
“To set third fastest times on a couple of stages and to be mainly in the top five was nothing short of magnificent.
“We noticed damage to the fuel tank in service and quite simply couldn’t risk continuing so took the very hard decision to park the car up.”