After wrapping up the BRC4 class title at the Ulster Rally, Prestone MSA British Rally Championship contender David White was aiming to end his season on a high at the final round of the season, Rally Isle of Man (14-17 September).

But despite taking the win at the first of two points scoring opportunities during the weekend, White was all out of luck as the Mirage Vape Store Fiesta R2 was forced to pull over with a loss of drive with just two stages to go on the event, retiring on the spot.

The Barnsley ace has enjoyed his first season in the British Championship after stepping up from becoming two-time National Asphalt Group N champion. With an up-and-down start to his campaign, White found his pace over the midpoint of the season and secured the title at the penultimate round in Northern Ireland last month.

White and co-driver son Mathew could head to the Isle of Man without needing to concentrate on the points situation and enjoy the three-day, 150 competitive mile rally. Such as the arduous nature of the event, there would be two points scoring opportunities available with the first (round seven) ending Friday afternoon and second at the event’s finish podium on Saturday afternoon (round eight).

Class rival Gee Atherton arrived on the island with a newer Fiesta R2T which meant keeping up with the more powerful model would prove tricky. But White had the bit between his teeth and after Thursday evening and Friday morning’s stages, found himself taking the top score in round seven.

Putting his previous experience of the Manx lanes to good use, White was on course to make it a double win when on stage 19 of 21, was forced to retire the Fiesta with a loss of drive, ending his hopes of securing a fifth win this season.

“It’s always a bitter pill to swallow when you retire from a rally so close to the finish ramp and I’m truly gutted to be honest,” said White.

“But we have had a fantastic season and it could have been so much worse for us. I’ve enjoyed every moment of this rally, it’s been really hard work but that’s certainly part of the draw for me. Huge thanks to the team and all our supporters and sponsors this season. We could not have done it without them all. It’s been amazing fun”.

White will now evaluate his options for the remainder of the year and the 2018 season.

Image: Jakob Ebrey Photography

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