Motor rallying...and in Kuwait last week (10 March), the service manager for the Volvo agency?
Motor rallying...and in Kuwait last week (10 March), the service manager for the Volvo agency in Saudi Arabia, Billy Murphy, held off strong opposition to win the Rothmans Kuwait International Rally driving a Volvo 244DL. The rally, which is in its fourth year, was held over two days.
SYNOPSIS: The event started from Kuwait's Messiah Beach Hotel, where the cars were flagged off by Sheikh Abdullah Jaber Al Sabah, special adviser to the Emir of Kuwait. This year a record 56 cars started, although only half that number were to finish the punishing 600 mile (960 kilometre) course.
This Honda Civic driven by Alan Maxfield, was one which only just made it, after rolling on the final stage. The Honda Civic of Michael Devey however was not so lucky. It had to be withdrawn after demolishing its suspension at 87 miles (140 kilometres) per hour.
Another Honda that failed was driven by the favourite for this year's rally, Roger Taylor, who had to pull out with damage to his engine not long after the start. All drivers, however, found the first stage difficult, particularly with the dust clouds churned up from the rough desert track.
The dust was expected, but competitors found they had to contend with an unforseen hazard -- enthusiastic spectators driving along the same tracks
The next day, competitors found they had to slow right down on several special stages over the hilly Al-Mutlah Ridge. Part of the course included a military tank training ground and featured some of Kuwait's toughest and most spectacular desert scenery.
The Volvo 244DL of Bill Murphy and co-driver Vincent Labbatte, however, coped well on this and managed to pull ahead of the field.
Not far behind than, though, was the Avenger GT driven by Ian Simpson and Mike Chowne, which had been in the first five since early in the event.
But it was the Volvo that came home first in the section placing it first overall in the rally. The Avenger was fourth overall.
For Bill Murphy it was a successful follow-up to last year's rally. On that occasion he took second place.