The big problem today is cleaning stages. “I beat the Bogey by 2 seconds in SS3 and by 14 in SS5,” said rally leader Euan Thorburn,” and Jock and David are cleaning them too so we can’t get any advantage.” Otherwise the Focus WRC is going well.
Only six seconds behind is Jock Armstrong: “I slipped up badly in the fourth stage,” said Jock, “I forgot to switch the diffs on!” Again!!
David Bogie is third after getting delayed slightly by an incident on the first forest stage and then lost the intercom in SS4, so it’s not been a good day so far. He was on the case in SS5, but like the top two, cleaned it.
Mike Faulkner was in trouble on the fourth test: “I just dropped it in a ditch. It’s so slippy out there.”
And that seems to be the general consensus, the stages are good, but are very slippy and marbly. Malloch Nicol says: “It’s all over the place on the straights, and you just can’t lean on it in the corners.”
Chris Collie lost a few seconds over the last couple of miles of SS5 when the Lancer was running out of fuel, Jimmy Christie is worried about his clutch which failed in Cooper Park, “and then came back again” and Jon Burn is enjoying his return to the sport, but commented: “These young boys are going far too fast.” Alistair Inglis nearly dropped out of the top ten when the fuel pump failed on SS5 and he had to fumble around looking for the right switch to swap over!
Dougal Brown has retired the Lancer: “We had a puncture in SS3 and then lost all the gears in SS4.” And David Wilson is out too, the Escort leaving the road at the end of a long straight into a Right 6 and just disappeared over the edge. The crew are OK, but it would appear that something broke pitching the boys off the road.
T op Ten so far after 5 Stages (of 10)
1 Thorburn, 15m 42s
2 Armstrong, 15m 48s
3 Bogie, 15m 58s
4 Faulkner, 16m 14s
5 MacDonald, 16m 18s
6 Burn, 16m 21s
7 Milne, 16m 23s
8 Collie, 16m 23s
9 Lockhart, 16m 42s
10 Inglis, 16m 57s