JERSEY crews dominated the Comprop Guernsey Rally with Ross Le Noa and Domonic Volante picking up their fourth successive win.
They led home a sweep of the podium for Caesarean entrants, with Sam Touzel and Aaron Nicolle finishing second, 1min 21sec back, and Dave Oliveira and Victor Nobrega claiming third.
Sarnian favourites Dale Crowsley and Will Rutherford crashed out after a throttle jammed open in their Mazda Mx-5 GT as they tried to close the gap on the second day.
The Guernsey Rally began in 2018, but was forced into a two-year hiatus by Covid.
This year’s event covered 35 miles over Friday night and Saturday.
The winners finished with a total time of 47min 58sec.
‘Four Guernsey rallies and four times winners, so absolutely amazing,’ Volante said when asked how it felt.
He added that the set-up of the event was brilliant.
‘But trying to work our way round the Island again is like starting all over again.
‘We did it for three years, we got used to the roads, but missing it a year, we’re like “Where are we going?”.’
The stages are tighter than they were used to in Jersey.
‘You get to the corners and think “what’s around the corner?”
‘Back home we know the routes and over a couple of years you know where you are going without notes, but over here you need notes.’
They intend to return to defend their run.
‘We will come back here until they stop the Guernsey Rally, it’s an awesome challenge. Obviously they [Guernsey drivers] support us back home in Jersey so all we can do is come here and support them.’
Visitors took the top five positions, with the UK’s Dan Corner and Richard Evans in fourth and Andy Corner and Ade Campo fifth.
Friday’s opening consisted of fast and flowing stages contested primarily in the dark in the north of the island, at Vaugrat and Chouet.
Volante and Le Noa came out in the lead as their main threat, Crowsley and Rutherford, suffered a 30-second penalty for hitting a hay bale in the second of four Chouet stages.
The Guernsey pair took six of Saturday morning’s eight technical stages around the St Saviours reservoir and in St Andrew’s, moving into second behind the top Jersey duo.
Saturday afternoon’s Petit Bot stage – featuring a steep downhill run before a tricky double hairpin – was billed as a ‘game-changer’ by organiser Karl Marshall, and it certainly delivered.
Disaster struck Crowsley and Rutherford as their throttle jammed open on the descent and they hit the wall near the Petit Bot tearoom ending their push for home victory.
The 24th and final stage was cancelled due to a lack of time.