Three Legs of Mann 2023 | A Field Full of Talent to Fight it out in Motorsport’s Promised Land
Choose a rally car. Choose a cold weekend in March on a rock in the Irish Sea. Choose history. Choose Fairies. Choose to compete in the footsteps of legends. Choose 26 tests and 21 regularities, across 360 miles all crammed into 2 days on an island that’s not even half as big as London. Choose changeable weather, rallying at night and all on the treacherous and exciting roads of the Isle of Man. This isn’t a choice, this is a compulsion, this is the Three Legs of Mann Rally.
The Three Legs, as it’s glibly referred to, is one of the most exciting events in the HERO-ERA calendar. Usually occurring biannually, the wait for this latest edition has been slightly longer, but now coincides with the diamond jubilee of the Manx Trophy Rally and the birth of rallying on an island that has been obsessed with motorsport since the beginning of the last century.
Yes, the Isle of Man is fanatical about speed on two and four wheels and as such is held high in the affections of petrolheads everywhere. “It’s just like coming home” says HERO-ERA Competition Director Guy Woodcock, who has himself been involved in motorsport on the Island for the past forty years or so, and returning here is always special for him, but this year he is particularly excited for what is to come. Most of that is to do with the incredible strength of the entry.
Mistakes during any part of the weekend will be costly, and making up time on wrong slots difficult, as while this place loves speed, it also respects it and the dangers of the roads will need to be recognised and speed limits adhered to. The Manx Police don’t mess about and anyone trying too hard to recuperate time could well end up visiting Jurby at the pleasure of His Majesty, rather than to enjoy the excellent tests on the airfield.
To compete on the Isle of Man, in any capacity, is to become part of a special story and rich history. You cannot help but be inspired in this place, as you pass by monuments and indicators of the greats that have attempted to tame the Island, all in the shadow of Snaefell Mountain. There is something in the air over here, it envelops you, gets inside you and leaves you giddy with excitement. The 60 crews that take to the start next Friday, under the gaze of the famous TT Grandstand, will all take their place in the ever evolving legend of motorsport on the Isle of Man.
The pieces are placed for a titanic battle, in a place where there have been so many other extraordinary encounters before and with a field full of fierce competitors, on a route carefully curated for action and excitement in 2023.
The Three Legs of Mann is looking like becoming one of the greatest ever. It isn’t long now until the starter’s flag drops and this hotly anticipated rally begins, it will certainly be worth coming along for the ride.