Andrew Hockridge saw his run of strong finishes end on the International Rally Isle of Man last weekend when he was forced to retire after his Signature Cheese-backed Citroen C2R2 Max lost a wheel at high speed on the seventh stage.

Hockridge and co-driver Rich Mills were fighting for a podium position on the two-day event when the incident happened, caused by the wheel studs shearing from the hub.

The pair were extremely lucky not to crash as they were racing down a narrow Manx lane at the time, and very nearly collided with a large electrical box after the front right wheel suddenly broke away with no warning.

"Rich and I were extremely lucky not to roll when we lost the wheel in Maughold on Friday afternoon," said Hockridge.

"It is gutting to end our strong run of results on the island but at least we've found some more pace and I'm pleased that our notes worked so well."

Hockridge is now hoping to conduct a small test ahead of the next event, the Todds Leap Ulster Rally, which takes place at the end of August and counts as the fifth round in the C2R2 cup.

by Geoff Mayes

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