|Andy Horne does panel beating!|
Reay MacKay won the Stravaigers Lodge Fort Augustus Gravel Sprint by 2.2 seconds from David Wilson but as the event sponsor when asked how he felt about collecting his own prize, replied: “I’ve been gubbed for the past five years on this event, so I don’t feel at all guilty about winning!”
He actually set his best of six times on the third run of the day by which time the Inchnacardoch forest road was starting to cut up on the corners and at the hairpin, and few folk bettered their earlier times – apart from Wilson.
MacKay’s pace was impressive, but Wilson’s was flamboyant and he set his best time on the fifth run having ruined a very promising fourth stage time: “I might just have caught Reay on that one – but I put it off at the hairpin!”
Third quickest was Dougal Brown but like Wilson was trying right to the end, maybe a bit too hard for he slid off the road on his fifth run and clouted the front near side corner on a tree. No mechanical damage, just cosmetic.
Kevin Ronaldson set the fourth best time in his Subaru ahead of the top 2WD runner, Ian Cattanach in his Sunbeam having set his best time of the day on the opening test and then missed out on the afternoon runs when his gearbox started blowing oil out of a seal.
Neil Morrison was sixth in his Sunbeam having set his best time on the second stage before the diff bolts sheared and he lost all drive. With the two Sunbeams unable to run in the afternoon, Alex Pirie thought he might have been in with a shout for the top 2WD award in his Corsa.
He had missed out on the first two stages when a stub axle sheared and although he got going later in the morning, the deteriorating conditions frustrated his attempts to improve and he finished just two seconds adrift – that equates to a second a mile over the 2 mile stage.
Fastest Times of the Day:
1 Reay MacKay (Subaru WRC) 1m 50.4s
2 David Wilson (Mitsubishi EVO9) 1m 52.8s
3 Dougal Brown (Mitsubishi EVO9) 1m 56.4s
4 Kevin Ronaldson (Subaru) 2m 03.8s
5 Ian Cattanach (Talbot Sunbeam) 2m 09.4s
6 Neil Morrison (Talbot Sunbeam) 2m 10.9s
7 Alex Pirie (Corsa) 2m 11.2s
8 Richard Ramsay (Subaru) 2m 11.3s
9 Andrew Morrison (Ford Escort) 2m 12.9s
10 Alasdair Graham (Ford Escort) 2m 12.9s