Round 1: Rallye Sunseeker International, 24-25 February 2012
MSA Team UK member Mark Donnelly and co-driver Dai Roberts won the opening round of the 2012 championship, the Rallye Sunseeker International, to take an early championship lead.
Donnelly took victory following an intense battle with Jarkko Nikara and co-driver Petri Nikara. The two crews were never separated by more than four seconds, and the neck-and-neck duel ended only when the Finnish pair retired on the penultimate stage with a loss of engine power.
Nikara’s exit helped Desi Henry and Niall Burns to shoot from fifth to second in the final loop of three stages, crossing the line just 0.2 seconds ahead of Team UK’s Elfyn Evans and Andrew Edwards, the first Class 6 car home.
Results1 Mark Donnelly / Dai Roberts (Renault Clio) 1h7m06s2 Desi Henry / Niall Burns (Citroën DS3) +1m49.5s3 Elfyn Evans / Andrew Edwards (Ford Fiesta) +1m49.7s
Championship positions (provisional)after Round 11 Mark Donnelly – 20 points2 Desi Henry – 183 Elfyn Evans – 164 Osian Pryce – 155 Peter Taylor – 14