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SPENCER SPORT


 

PRESS RELEASE: 12 November 2018

Jamie Jukes hits the PokerStars Rally jackpot with victory in Spencer Sport Mitsubishi Mirage

Jamie Jukes mastered atrociously wet and slippery conditions on the Isle of Man to win the 2018 PokerStars Rally in the Spencer Sport R5 specification Mitsubishi Mirage.

Co-driven by James Morgan, the Penrhiwllan-based driver made a cautious start in the worst of the weather conditions on Friday night. Having survived heavy rain and flooded roads, Jamie held a strong second position at the overnight halt and was sportingly full of praise and admiration for Kevin Davies/Dylan Jenkins, who led the event by 11 seconds in their Escort Mk2 at that stage in the rally.

Despite the rain easing, Saturday’s stages continued to be extremely slippery. Jamie used the four-wheel drive and rallycross-inspired set-up of the Mitsubishi Mirage to great effect and upped his pace, taking the lead of the Manx Auto Sport-organised event on SS7, the opening stage of the day. From then on, he consistently increased his advantage and adopted an ‘unfamiliar measured push to the finish’ to win the event by 1 minute 42 seconds.

Winning a rally on the Isle of Man has been a goal for Jamie for some time and it was extra special as victory came just over a year after he and co-driver Dave Williams were hospitalised after an accident on the Island. Jamie had no hesitation in dedicating his win to his friend Mark James, who crashed his Escort Mk2 on Saturday morning’s SS8. Having been removed from the car by event emergency teams and the fire service, before initially being treated at Nobles Hospital on the island (where Jamie was so well looked after following his crash), Mark is now receiving treatment at Aintree Hospital in Liverpool.

Having finished second overall on a shakedown event at the Welsh Motorsports Centre at Pembrey, Oli Hopkins was back driving his brother’s Hopkins Specialist Race Trailers-backed Mirage. Co-driven by Ian Taylor, the Bristol-based driver was challenging for a top 10 position when the car skidded off the road and into a ditch. Oli continued, but having lost around eight minutes went on to finish 10th in class and 44th overall.

John Indri had given his bright yellow Mirage its competition debut on the Manx National Rally earlier in the year, during which he encountered monsoon-like conditions. The weather was even worse this time, as the Colchester driver battled through the Friday night deluge. Co-driven by Mathew Smalley, the Adrian Flux Insurance/Steve Harkness Tyres-backed driver’s good run came to a premature end due to a transmission issue.

On their first event on the Isle of Man and only their second event in their recently finished, Spencer Sport supported Proton Satria S1400, Ieuan Evans and Will Rogers were running as high as second in class at one point. Having been seeded at 71, their excellent run came to an unlucky end with gearbox problems.

At the finish, Jamie said: “We were dutifully cautious and got through Friday night without problems, other than a small electrical gremlin at the beginning of stage two. That left us in second and in a decent position for Saturday, which then required a measured push to the finish - not familiar territory for me I have to admit! Without question, it has already gone down in history as the wettest rally ever. We knew it was going to be bad and the team used some of the experience gained from the British Rallycross campaign to massage the car into something that could better cope with what was coming.

“It’s been quite some journey this one and I’m very pleased to have got the job done and won the Manx Autosport PokerStars Rally! I’ve so many people to thank: Dave Williams, my great friend and accomplice in all the highs and very lows that the Isle of Man has granted us; James Morgan for bringing his influence and talent into this absolutely fabulous little car; Charlie Jukes for taking the flack whilst doing his best for me - his little brother - and to everyone that make the wonderful Spencer ECA and Spencer Sport teams what they are. They’re very special and I could not be more proud of us.

“I also have to pay tribute to our Manx ‘friends for life’ that have looked after us since our big one that Dave and I had at Rally Isle of Man just over a year ago. Also, to event organisers Manx Auto Sport on delivering another great and well organised rally no matter what Mother Nature or anyone else throws at them. A big thank you to all you marshals, set-up crews and radio crews - you have our absolute respect and gratitude.

“The downer to all this is the uncertain situation with the driver of car 36, my personal friend and Spencer ECA’s totally reliable heavy haulage contractor Mark James. A nicer man you will not find, and from the bottom of my heart I hope it’s all okay in time. I dedicate this result to you pal.”

Charlie Jukes, Spencer Sport team manager, said: “Jamie has been rallying on the Isle of Man for several years, so this victory has been a while in the making and richly deserved. The conditions were horrendous, yet Jamie drove exceptionally well and the car ran almost faultlessly, which was extraordinary in the severe wet weather conditions. I’m really proud of the entire Spencer Sport team that ran four cars effortlessly on this challenging event.

“Oli Hopkins/Ian Taylor had a great run in their Mirage, with only an off in very tricky conditions denying them a good result. John Indri/Mathew Smalley suffered a rare transmission problem in their Mirage, and it was great to see Ieuan Evans/Will Rogers having such a great run on their Isle of Man debut, getting as high as second in class before retiring their Proton.”

Spencer Sport would to thank its partners for their support: Spencer ECA, Oil 4 Wales, Nicky Grist Motorsports, PIAA UK, Speedline Corse UK, Atech Racing, Motul, Hopkins Specialist Race Trailers, Sea & Slate Holiday Cottages and Rallycover insurance.

 

 

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: 16 July 2018

Impressive performance in Spencer Sport Mitsubishi Mirage on Nicky Grist Stages sees Tom back on the pace from the word go

Tom Cave and James Morgan showed they had lost none of their former pace, when they recorded the fastest time on the first of eight stages on Saturday’s (14th July) Nicky Grist Stages Rally. Following a day long battle for the lead, they went on to cross the line in second place. But having reached the finish, their convincing podium position was denied when, due to an admin oversight by the co-driver, the Welsh pair were disqualified for infringing an event regulation.

After a successful test in the Spencer Sport Mitsubishi Mirage last week, Tom was more than ready to make his return to the stages in a R5 specification car following a nine-month sabbatical since he and James finished third in the WRC2 category in October’s Wales Rally GB.

Saturday’s event featured a loop of four stages on the gravel roads on and around the Epynt Military Ranges in the morning, followed by the same loop of four in the afternoon. Seeded at number one, things started perfectly for Tom and James. In the dry and dusty conditions, they set the fastest time on the opening stage and consequently led the rally by two seconds, ahead of current British Rally Championship leaders Matt Edwards and Darren Garrod in a Fiesta R5.

During the following three stages before the lunch time service halt at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells, Tom and James delivered another first and two second-fastest times, which enabled them to maintain their lead by two seconds at the half-way point. Following a quick check around the car by the Spencer Sport team, they embarked on the afternoon’s four stages and, like the weather, the battle between them and their main rivals got even hotter.

In fact, on stage five both crews set exactly the same time, four seconds faster than anyone else. Still with a two-second advantage, Tom knew it would be flat to the finish and, although he and James pushed as hard as they could through the remaining three stages, they could not hold off Edwards/Garrod who fought back to take the win.

But on returning to Builth Wells, unknowingly Tom and James found that they had contravened an event regulation due to a rare co-driver error and were consequently disqualified from the results. Although a conclusion they and the team would not have wished for, Tom and James were pleased they had been able to get straight back to a front-running pace. The team were also happy that the stage times clearly proved the Mitsubishi Mirage was a match for any other R5 class car.

“Whilst the final outcome was of course, not what we had wanted, rallying is a complicated sport with lots of rules and regulations, so these things can and do happen”, said Tom at the finish.

“It was great to be back in an R5 specification car alongside James who did his usual great job on the notes. And to be straight back on the pace right from the start was very reassuring to us both.

“The Mirage has really progressed into a competitive car and the stage times prove it. It’s great to drive and I hope I have the opportunity to enter another event with it soon.

“I have to thank everyone involved who made this event happen for us: Spencer Sport, Spencer ECA, DMACK Tyres, Nicky Grist Motorsport, Walero Racewear, Atech Racing and the team’s sponsors: Oil for Wales, Speedline Wheels, Motul Lubricants and Sea & Slate.”

Further news about Tom’s next event will be announced soon

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: 8th May 2018

Indri, Hopkins and Jukes in three-car Spencer Sport Mitsubishi Mirage R5 assault on Manx National Rally

Spencer Sport will enter a three-car Mitsubishi Mirage R5 team on the Bet On Aces Manx National Rally (May 11-12), driven by John Indri, Philip Hopkins and Jamie Jukes.

The Penrhiwllan-based team, who currently lead the MSA British Rallycross Championship with its Mitsubishi Mirage RX Supercar, will be aiming for a good performance on round two of the Protyre MSA Asphalt Rally Championship to showcase the powerful Mirage R5’s speed, superb handling and impressive overall performance on Tarmac.

The challenging Isle of Man stages are a particular favourite of the West Wales squad, with many great results and happy memories of competing on the island - memories which date back to the late 1980s, when the now Spencer Sport team manager Charlie Jukes first visited the island to work as a rally mechanic for Phil Collins. He has returned many times since, always staying in the Welbeck Hotel in Douglas.

Indri will return to his favourite, and most successful, yellow livery as he makes his Mirage R5 debut on the Manx National. The Colchester driver has contested seven rallies on the Isle of Man, with eighth overall in 2013 in a Darrian T90 GTR his best result. He has tested the car once, in “monsoon conditions” at a very wet Welsh Motorsports Centre at Pembrey, and will test the car again prior to the event. Indri will be co-driven on the Isle of Man by Mathew Smalley and will have additional support from Adrian Flux Insurance and Steve Harkness Tyres.

This will be Hopkins’ fourth appearance on the Isle of Man, the highlights of which are finishing 18th overall on his closed-road rally debut in 2016 in a Mitsubishi Evo VI and 9th overall in 2017 on his first event in a Mirage R5. The Bristol-based driver will be co-driven by Aled Edwards; the pair contested the Tour of Epynt together and whilst it was Hopkins’ only second time on Epynt, they were running eighth overall before a slow first gear excursion in heavy rain on the final stage robbed them of a great result.

Few drivers enjoy rallying on the Isle of Man more then Jukes, and he’ll contest the event in a new Mirage R5. Co-driven by James Morgan, the Llandysul pilot was running comfortably inside the top 10 last time out on the Tour of Epynt, and will be out to showcase the car’s capabilities once again.

John Indri said: “I haven’t done many rallies over the last eighteen months, so I’m looking forward to going back to the Isle of Man. I’ve done the Manx National many times and it’s been a bit of a disaster every time, particularly in my blue Subaru Impreza S11 WRC and white Fiesta R5 - which, having enjoyed more success in a yellow Metro 6R4 and Darrian T90, is why the Mirage R5 will be in full yellow livery! The handling of the Mitsubishi Mirage R5 is fantastic, so I think it will work very well over the jumps and bumps, and the five-speed gearbox is one of the best I’ve ever come across. We’re very competitive and want to win, but we’re also going to the Manx to have some fun and I’m really looking forward to it.”

Philip Hopkins said: “This will be my fourth rally on the Isle of Man. We did the Manx for the first time in 2016, which was my first non-single venue rally. We were seeded at number sixty-seven and finished eighteenth overall after setting seven top ten stage times. Last year’s Manx was my first rally in the Mirage R5 and were sixth for much of it before eventually finishing ninth. We then did the Rally Isle of Man National and crashed on stage four. The Mirage ran faultlessly on the Tour of Epynt, we were eighth overall when we had a first gear excursion in the pouring rain on the final stage, so I’d be happy to finish anywhere between fifth and tenth on the Manx National this year.”

Jamie Jukes said: “I’m looking forward to taking a brand new Mitsubishi Mirage R5 to the Manx National as part of a three car Spencer Sport team. There will be a quite a bit of friendly inter-team rivalry to see who will come out on top, but the important thing for me will be to reach the finish and highlight what a truly competitive and cost-effective package the Mirage R5 is. We’ve had some very good runs on the Isle of Man in the past - the stages offer a good challenge and it’s always a big adventure, and the start of the first stage can’t come soon enough.”

Charlie Jukes, Spencer Sport team manager, said: “We’re proud and excited to be running three R5-spec Mitsubishi Mirages for the first time, in what will be a comprehensive Spencer Sport team attack on the Manx National Rally. It’s great to welcome John Indri into the team and to return to the Isle of Man with Philip and Jamie, both of whom love rallying on the island and who have gone very well there in the past. We’re aiming for another strong performance and to once again showcase the Mirage R5’s exceptional capabilities on asphalt.”

Based at the famous TT Grandstand, the Manx Auto Sport-organised Bet on Aces Manx National Rally contains 130 stage miles over 16 special stages. Leg 1 begins late on the Friday afternoon and runs past midnight, giving the added challenge of night stages, and contains four separate stages ran twice. The event continues on Saturday with another four stages ran twice, including Parville which, at 12.86 miles, in the longest stage of the event.

Spencer Sport would to thank its partners for their support: Spencer ECA, Oil 4 Wales, Nicky Grist Motorsports, PIAA UK, Speedline Corse UK, Atech Racing, Motul, Hopkins Specialist Race Trailers,Sea & Slate Holiday Cottages and Ryley Wealth Management.

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: 19 March 2018

Maximum points from British Rallycross Championship opening round endorses competitiveness of Spencer Sport Mirage RX

Driving Spencer Sport’s Mitsubishi Mirage RX Supercar competitively for the first time on Saturday, five-times British Rallycross Champion Julian Godfrey scored maximum points in this year’s opening round at Silverstone. It was a performance that also claimed fourth place overall, an impressive result considering the top three places were occupied by a trio of World Rallycross stars.

The first round of this year’s Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Championship marked a significant occasion in the sport, as it was the very first competitive event to ever take place at Silverstone’s new purpose built track that was commissioned last year. Whilst Friday’s temperatures were well into double figures, the near freezing conditions on Saturday were to make the loose surface sections of the track extremely slippery, with grip and visibility somewhat of a lottery.

To launch the championship and the new venue with a bang, organisers had invited three of the world’s leading stars to join the British regulars. They included nine-times World Rally Champion Sebastian Loeb in a Peugeot together with WRX front-runners Timmy Hansen, also in a Peugeot and Andreas Bakkerud in an Audi.

For the Spencer Sport Mirage and Godfrey, third in the first Qualifying Heat after suffering visibility issues from the mud thrown up by other cars was a satisfactory first-ever competitive outing in the car. This was followed by an excellent run in the second Heat, with Godfrey leading from the start and only passed by three-times British Rally Champion Mark Higgins towards the end of the session.

The start of the third Qualifying Heat was somewhat frantic, with Godfrey pushed into a spin on the first corner. The session was red-flagged and shortly after the restart Godfrey was in the thick of it again, this time having to stop when another car hit the Mirage, causing the front bodywork to move and shut off the electrical cut-off switch.

The session was restarted for a third time and the result of the earlier contact caused the switch to activate when landing after a jump. However, Godfrey was now aware of what had caused the loss of electrics and was able to restore the power. His swift actions allowed him to finish seventh fastest and consequently, go through to the Semi Finals where he was able to keep out of trouble, end the race in third place and line up as the sixth-fastest qualifier in the Supercar Final.

With the trio of WRX drivers occupying the front row, Godfrey knew it would be difficult to penetrate the podium positions - but that didn’t stop him from trying. When the lights went green he launched the Mirage perfectly off the line - the Mitsubishi gathering pace so rapidly he almost went into the back of pole-sitter Loeb as they headed towards the first corner! At that point Godfrey was up to third, but later in the lap he was passed by Bakkerud.

Now in fourth and leading the British RX field, Godfrey opted not to challenge for an overall podium placing, but to consolidate his position and thereby claim maximum British Championship points. His plan worked perfectly and he crossed the line to give the Spencer Sport Mirage RX its first British Championship victory and clearly demonstrate the competitiveness of the Mitsubishi, not just against the UK’s top teams, but also some of the best Rallycross drivers and cars in the world.

"I'm very happy with the result. I was extremely impressed with the performance of the Mirage and that we had the opportunity to show what its capable of doing. It’s a great handling car and is fantastic off the start-line - and that’s exactly what you want in Rallycross”, said Godfrey at the finish.

“If I hadn't been hit by other drivers in the Qualifying Heats, then everything would have gone according to plan. Other than that the Mirage ran perfectly and, with a few adjustments to the set up, I know there's even more to come!"

Support for Spencer Sport’s Rallycross campaign comes from Spencer ECA, Motul, Oil 4 Wales, Speedline Corse, PIAA, Hopkins Motorsport Specialist Race Trailers, Julian Godfrey Engineering and Sea & Slate Holiday Cottages.

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: 1 January 2018

Jamie gets back into his Spencer Sport stride

Having broken his neck just 15 weeks before in a rally accident, Jamie Jukes made a triumphant return to the sport on the West Wales Rally Spares JAFFA Stages, finishing second in the latest-spec Spencer Sport Mitsubishi Mirage R5, which was equipped with an impressive new engine upgrade.

Back in September, Jamie (from Penrhiwllan, near Llandysul) and co-driver Dave Williams were lying 3rd in class and 9th overall towards the end of the Rally Isle of Man when a mistake saw their Spencer ECA / Oil4Wales Mitsubishi Mirage R5 somersault off the road and so far down a hill that the Douglas Coastguard was involved in their rescue. It was only the incredible strength of the modern Mirage that saved them from worse injuries, although both were hospitalised with broken bones and bruises.

Yet Jamie – a former national hunt jockey with over 350 winners and several national titles to his name – was straight back into his stride at Pembrey recently, leading the event before settling for a safe second.

“Last year consisted of several fantastic rallies, in which we were very competitive in the Mitsubishi Mirage – even setting top four fastest times amongst the very best of the British Rally Championship guys on the Isle of Man,” says Jamie. “Unfortunately, that event ended in a fairly major shunt, in which I broke my neck and was hospitalised for nine days. I made a mistake towards the end of the rally and it was such a shame not to reach the finish line after such a good performance.

“To get back into the Mirage R5 and do a fun local event down at Pembrey before the year was out was absolutely ideal. We drove well within our comfort zone and reaching the finish in one piece was the number one priority. It proves the quality of the Mirage R5 that we actually led the rally early on and finished second, without, in all honesty, pushing hard at all.

“This year the Spencer Sport team is considering further promotion of the Mirage R5 by entering a customer team in the Protyre MSA Asphalt Rally Championship. We’re also keen to do more gravel rallies as well, as the Mirage is just as competitive on the loose surface as it is on Tarmac.”