Peter Hunter in the Mitsubishi Lancer EVO9 has taken an early lead after two stages on today’s Charterhall Stages Rally in Berwickshire. He was fastest by 11 seconds from Dale Robertson on the first one and 4 seconds slower than Dale on the second – but that was because he spun the Lancer on the slippery surface. That’s because it rained this morning, but it’s a good job it did, it was billowing dust clouds like the Sahara yesterday!
So those two share the fastest times so far, but not far back is young Dom Buckley Jnr Jnr, the third generation of rallying Buckleys. He’s driving the same Impreza he last used on the Jim Clark Rally so considering his limited outings, he’s doing no bad. Michael Glendinning has got off to a cautious start and is holding fourth in his Impreza from the EVO3 of Billy McClelland and the Impreza of Doug Brydon.
But Doug is lucky still to be going. The clutch was slipping badly on the first stage and the crew set to taking the gearbox out while someone was dispatched to his home nearby to get the spare clutch and bring it back in time to get it fitted and out out for the second stage!
It looks as though Stuart Paterson is out. He finished the stage with smoke billowing from the engine bay. A power steering pipe had punctured and the fluid had caught fire, but the fire was put out on the Finish line before too much damage was done.
Stuart Walker lost 4 minutes on the first stage with a front wheel puncture. It happened early so the crew had no choice but to stop and change it.
1 Peter Hunter, 15m 26s
2 Dale Robertson, 15m 33s
3 Dom Buckley, 15m 47s
4 Michael Glendinning, 15m 50s
5 Billy McClelland, 15m 55s
6 Doug Brydon, 15m 58s
7 Chris Collie, 15m 58s
8 Michael Horne, 16m 08s
9 Lee Hastings, 16m 23s
10 Jim Sharp, 16m 24s