Andrew Hockridge enjoyed a successful trip to the Isle of Man where he dominated his class on the recent Manx Telecom National Rally, experiencing a trouble free run on his tarmac debut on board his Signature backed Citroen C2R2 Max
Hockridge and co-driver Rich Mills were contesting the two day rally as a high speed test on board their new car and with the emphasis more on finding the ideal setup rather than pushing the car to the limits, Hockridge was very happy to set the pace all weekend long.
The rally began with a short blast around the seaside town of Port Erin, and despite torrential rain Hockridge opened his account by being the quickest front wheel drive car through the three mile stage, beating a number of rapid locals on their home turf.
Despite the variable weather conditions the nimble pocket rocket continued to top the leader board and by the end of the opening day had opened up a leader of nearly a minute and a half over the class rivals.
Saturday saw the crews tackle a further ten stages around the island, and with the weather once again playing an important role Hockridge found a good balance between outright pace and keeping the Citroen on the black stuff. His confidence in the car grew from stage to stage and he eventually returned to Douglas for the ceremonial finish with a dominant victory of over three minutes.
“This new car is amazing,” he said. “Compared to the old C2R2 its like chalk and cheese! We played around with a number of settings and I'm pleased that it rained as it gave us the chance to test the car in every condition we are likely to encounter.
“After the disasters that we have had recently I'm pleased to have had a good run this weekend and now, hopefully, we can get our championship back on track when we head to the Jim Clark Rally.”
The pair, who were runners up in the 2008 C2R2cup will tackle the third round of the 2009 MSA British Rally Championship in a fortnight's time. The Jim Clark International Rally is based in Kelso, Scotland and features some of the fastest closed road rallying on mainland UK.
by Geoff Mayes