PRESS RELEASE: 12 November 2018
Jamie Jukes hits the PokerStars
Rally jackpot with victory in Spencer Sport Mitsubishi
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
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.
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.