For the first time since 1999, there will be no MacKinnons on the Tunnocks Mull Rally. Neither 12 times winner Neil nor twice winner Paul have entered this year’s event scheduled to run over the weekend of 12th to 14th October.
“I just started a new business last year,” said Paul, “and need to concentrate on that. I’ve got a contract ferrying workers to the Glensanda quarry, then in the summer months I’m running tourist trips round Staffa and the islands.”
“I’m not finished with rallying though,” he added, “and hope to try again next year. Maybe even a few more events as well. It’ll be interesting to take a year out anyway.”
However, Paul will be around on the weekend of the event: “I’ll be helping John MacCrone before the event and during the weekend. I don’t think the machinery (the Fiesta R2) is good enough to challenge for the win. He won’t surprise me, because I think he’s good, but he’ll surprise a few others.”
According to Paul it is unlikely we’ll see ‘The Ol’Man’ back out: “The more years he’s out of it, the less inclined he seems to be to go back. Although he has promised he‘ll do his 60th (age-wise, not the 60th Mull!) and he says he’ll whup me again.”
So if the entry looks a bit MacKinnon-less, that’s the reason. And talking of reasons, why was there no MacKinnon in 1999? That was the year Neil had a broken ankle. It was badly broken and took a long time to heal so he missed the event. And how did he break it? It was in a car accident of all things, but not of his doing. A woman driver T-boned him on the public road!
It’s not rallying that’s dangerous, it’s other drivers.