DAN Boardman clocked the best result of his career after winning his class in the Manx International Rally - by a staggering 12 minutes.

The Ribchester rallyman was in a class of his own, finishing 29th overall and top of the N1 category in his self-built Suzuki Swift GTi.

And he did it with an engine described as an old banger!' "The car has a completely standard 1300cc engine, which came out of an old banger with 110,000 miles on the clock," explained the 26-year-old engineer.

"All I did was put a cambelt on it to improve the reliability and that was it."

And the result was a second win in a row for Boardman, after he won the N1 class in May's Manx National.

Although Boardman's priority was to finish the gruelling three-day event, he set a blistering pace from the outset, finishing the first night's stages with a 55-second lead over his rivals.

A brave choice of slick' tyres in changeable conditions paid handsome dividends when the afternoon stages dried up, increasing the lead to five minutes.

By the end of the first day Boardman and new co-driver Kevin Haven were also leading the next class up - for cars above 1600cc - and second in the 2-litres!

The final day was a case of survival and ensuring the car was brought home in one piece.

I was under a lot of pressure to finish the event which I knew I had to do,'' he said.

I was content with a class win, but I also would have liked to beat everyone in the two classes above. They have much more power and experience, but if there is someone ahead, I want to beat them.

The final classic stage was the best of all, past the famous Brandywell cottage and winding down some very fast and technical roads into Douglas and across the finish at the TT Grandstand in front of thousands of spectators. That was an amazing feeling, just brilliant.'' And Boardman paid tribute to his sponsors, Rossall School, EBC Brakes, Lancashire Salvage and especially Autobreakers.co.uk in Preston who struck a last-minute deal with the team to enable them to travel to the Isle of Man.

He added: "I would like to thank them and all my family and friends who have put aside a lot of time and money supporting me.

It is a huge team effort and it would be completely impossible without them. This weekend has proved how worthwhile it has been."