Paul MacKinnon continues to lead the Tunnock’s Mull Rally after 6 of the event’s 19 stages with Calum Duffy falling back but still holding second – well, nearly! News has just come through from SS8 that Duffy is out. The gearbox had been playing up through the short southern tests and it looks as though the gearbox has now failed completely.
Just spoke to a very disconsolate Hugh Hunter: “We stalled on the startline of the first stage, but we were still fifth quickest through it so that was good, but the Focus started to feel bad in the second stage. It was very skittish and jjst not handling right. We got to the end, stopped and got our time, but as we pulled away there was a rattle, and nothing. No drive at all. We’re gutted. We’ve been desperate to come back to Mull since last year. We had a good recce, and really looking forward to it. I’m just gutted.”
Paul Benn who looks after the car said: “We’ve never had this with a Focus before so we’re a bit puzzled. Until we get it back and open it up, we think it’s the main shaft inside the transfer box which has snapped.”
It also looks as though Dougi Hall is out. He didn’t report any problems after the first two stages, but he failed to re-start from service. It looks like gearbox trouble for the Lancer driver too.
And spare a though for the number 94 seed, Gordon Sneddon in his Corsa. He’s just made an image for a Haynes Manual – if you want an ‘exploded view’ of an engine with all its bits and internals on public display, that’s Sneddon’s Corsa!
Interim leaderboard after 6 of 19 stages:
1 MacKinnon, 27m 49s
2 Duffy, 28m 24s
3 John Cope, 29m 14s
4 Tony Bardy, 29m 44s
5 Alan Gardiner, 30m 02s
6 James MacGillivray, 30m 08s
7 Tristan Pye, 30m 10s
8 Curly Haigh, 30m 24s
9 Tim Stell, 30m 25s
10 Richard Cook, 30m 29s
These results are very provisional, because the rally has moved on from there, but as I said, it looks as though Calum The Comet is out.