Paul MacKinnon leads the Tunnock’s Mull Rally after two stages but Calum Duffy was fastest over the first test of the night at Mishnish Lochs by 6 seconds from MacKinnon who then took 20 seconds out of Duffy on the second 14 mile test.
“The brake pedal went spongy half way through the long one,” said Calum, “and by the stage finish the pedal was sinking to the floor and there was nothing.”
As for Paul, first time out in the McKinstry WRC Impreza: “I stalled it twice on the start line of the first stage, but the second stage was good. The car is brilliant.”
Dougi Hall is lying third and reported a complaint shared by many on this unexpectedly dry and warm-ish first night: “The tyres went off, but we’ll need to see what the weather will do before we change them!”
John Cope had a gentle start and is holding fourth place ahead of Eddie O’Donnell Jnr with Alan Gardner sixth in the MkI.
Already out is Hugh Hunter: “A shaft broke. No drive. I’m pissed off!” Daniel Harper had a puncture 2 mls from the end of the second stage but drove out on it to minimise time loss. The alternator failed after 6 miles so he was driving on dipped beam only. Tony Bardy’s Nissan is overheating and he has broken the gearbox after a hard landing over a jump and can’t get fifth gear. Young Peter Taylor has lost a heap of time in the Clio: “The brakes failed and I pulled over to let Eddie (O’Donnell) past and the car slid off the road into a ditch. It took the spectators ages to drag me out but thanks to them I’m still going.”
Interim positions after 2 of 19 stages:
1 MacKinnon, 19m 03s
2 Duffy, 19m 17s
3 Hall, 19m 48s
4 Cope, 20m 21s
5 O’Donnell, 20m 35s
6 Gardiner, 20m 50s
7 James MacGillivray, 21m 05s
8 Tony Bardy, 21m 06s
9 Curly Haigh, 21m 08s
10 Tristan Pye, 21m 14s
So far, the weather is dry but the wind is picking up a wee bit. Road conditions are dry despite a slight smirr of rain, but it’s early days.