KNUTSFORD rally racer Michael Igoe and co-driver Will Atkins head into 2024 favourites to win an overall title.

This is thanks to how 2023 ended for them.

After mixed results at the first two rounds, Igoe and Atkins headed to Donington Park for the Northside Truck & Van Stages, which was also the third round of the MGJ Engineering Circuit Rally Championships, this time with a change of machinery.

The first two rounds saw the pair take a win at Oulton Park then a solid top-five finish at Cadwell in their WPI Motorsport Fiesta R5, which is usually the car to have, but for Donington they chose the Citroën C3 WRC Spec Rally 2.

The single-day event saw the teams tackle six stages which were a mix of tarmac and gravel.

Sunday morning was bitterly cold with snow that had made the circuit extremely slippery in parts.

Seeded No1, Igoe and Atkins were first out on the road with no idea how much grip there was, or wasn't, especially on the snow-covered gravel sections.

After two laps on tarmac the cars entered the in-field gravel section for the third lap which saw everyone somewhat sideways.

Still the No1 Citroën was looking good but bizarrely after the first two stages they were down in fourth.

As the snow cleared in places the pace picked up and going into stages three and four they had a one-second lead.

With continuing rain, the track was tricky but an improvement over the snow was key as Igoe and Atkins maintained their lead to take a second win of the second.

Even with a different car, the skill of this pairing shone through.