Eyebrows were raised at the end of Stage 7, all three leading drivers had stopped the clocks on the same time, 7m 18s, but it would appear that the times are genuine. That’s how tight things are getting at the top of the leaderboard.
Even so Euan Thorburn has extended his lead to 18 seconds over Jock Armstrong: “I made a mistake in that last one,” said Jock, “the first two chicanes were fast and open, the third one wasn’t. I came in too hot, it slid sideways and I slid forward and nudged a bank. No damage but it cost me 10 seconds or so.”
No such problems for the leader: “I just don't know what tyres to use,” said Euan, “the worn ones or the not so worn ones.”
Dvaid Boge had a wee bit of trouble too: “I lost the back brakes in that last one, but it wasn’t a major problem, the wheels had just filled up with stones.”
Mike Faulkner is still holding station in fourth place, but Donnie MacDonald has moved up to fifth and is going well.
Quintin Milne lost time when he booked into a Time Control and incurred a 2 minute penalty. Time will tell whether the penalty will stand or not as there was some confusion at the Control.
David Wilson appeared at service. No damage to the Escort, and it wasn’t a Right 6 he went off at: “No, it was a Left 6,” said David, “I had grip going in, then lost it, then got grip again, and it just slid off on the outside of the bend. If there had been more than 2 spectators I could have got it out. They tried hard but the back wheels were stuck in a ditch. I’m just seeck!”
And the reason for Barry Groundwater’s departure? He clipped a log pile and tore a wheel off. There’s no other mark on the car, but he was left with 3 wheels on his wagon.
Jon Burn is out too, the Subaru smacked a tree stump, and is going no further.
T op Ten so far after 7 Stages (of 10)
1 Thorburn, 27m 39s
2 Armstrong, 27m 57s
3 Bogie, 28m 00s
4 Faulkner, 28m 48s
5 MacDonald, 29m 00s
6 Collie, 29m 01s
7 Inglis, 29m 25s
8 McClory, 29m 51s
9 Nicoll, 30m 26s
10 Christie, 30m 37s