By Paul Evans
He’s co-driven on the Isle of Man many times, but driving on the Manx National Rally had always been a dream for Dale Furniss.
And the 30-year old navigator from Llanfyllin proved that he’s just as talented behind the steering wheel when he finished 17th overall and second in class after a stunning drive in his road-rally spec Volkswagen Golf GTI.
Co-driven by 18-year old Sion Williams from Blaenau Ffestiniog, Furniss set off at a great pace to complete the opening stage 30th overall and fourth in class. As darkness fell, he put his road rallying experience to good use in the slippery conditions to move up to 17th overall and second in class by the end of Friday’s opening day.
Saturday’s stages were a lot faster and less suited to his Golf, but despite this Furness managed to hold station – scoring a truly magnificent result as the event finished at the famous TT Grandstand.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to drive on the Manx National Rally, and doing it was even better that I thought it would be,” said Furniss. “I think I laughed all the way down Druidale – it’s such a classic stage and I couldn’t believe I was actually driving on it!
“We had a good run on Friday night and did everything that we wanted to do, and Saturday was a case of not doing anything silly and getting to the finish. It’s been a fantastic experienced and I’ve loved every second of it.”
Furniss is supported by Europlas, JD Tyres, D James Electrical, Pant Glas Body Repairs, SJ Williams civil engineering and Corkills Garage.