There’s been a wee bit of re-shuffling in the top ten times (see below) and further down the field – it wasn’t gremlins which crept into the works during the night, it was waatter! But don’t go blaming Marshalls, Officials and Results Crews, their troubles were entirely down to the rain gods.
But even as the leaders sped away towards dry towels and bed, there were still rally crews out there entirely absorbed by their own pace - and survival.
Lucky to survive was Craig Rutherford in the Honda: “We had a big spin in SS1, and then we hit a manhole cover on the run into Dervaig and had another big spin.”
John Rintoul in the Lancer was looking dejected as he pulled into the Final Control of the night outside the Salen Hotel: “The lights failed in the first stage, then the clutch started slipping in SS3, and we spun at the hairpin in SS4. On that last one (the 22 miler) we got a puncture, so we just had to stop sand change it – we’re both soaked through to the skin.” Miserable? Neither John nor Jim could have looked more miserable than a kid whom Santa forgot at Christmas.
Matt Tarbutt is still going in the widetrack Peugeot Maxi, but something’s not right: “We hit something, and it’s crabbing a bit.” A bit? Matt’s driving with permanent left hand lock, whilst the right handers take care of themselves.
The nice thing about John Cressey is that even when he’s moaning, he’s smiling, and he had lost to smile about during the night in the MINI: “We ran out of brakes over the Lochs, just cooked them, but I had to wait till they came back, but the bigger problem is the sequential shift. It’s not right. It keeps going down a gear when I want to go up. That’s not what you want to happen when you’re going into’corners (note use of Yorkshire vernacular here for added flavour!) – but we’re here.”
John Woodward in the MkIV Escort was on his own for a bit over the Hill Road: “Kevin (Ikin his co-driver) hurt his ribs when we landed hard over a bump and I lost him for a bit while he got his wind back. Over the last few stages we’ve started to lose a bit of power, I think it might be fuel related.”
The ever jovial John Baird in the Lancer was smiling as he approached the Final Control at Salen: “We’re losing boost and power – but then, maybe that’s no bad thing in these conditions.”
Angus Mathieson admitted to a “little off” in Ardtun with the Subaru after “clipping a verge” saying that he was doing the Council’s job for them! Bruce Edwards is enjoying life in the Darrian but the lights have clicked off a fee times, so the electrical connections are suspect. Tommi Graham had no wipers on the Escort down the Glen – the really wet one! David Simister’s Ford Fiesta was out at the end of the first test when the car slid off the road at 20 mph, but clattered into a pile of rocks. Alec Brown wasn’t looking bets pleased in the Saxo: “We spun in the first stage, the alternator failed in Stage 2, we spun in Stage 3 and we’ve just broken a shock absorber in that last one.” Lucky white heather anyone?
Andrew Wood ward is out after parking the Peugeot on the beach in Gribun, lucky the tide was out! Martin Rowley cowped the Puma in Ardtun, David Tait broke a driveshaft in the Peugeot on the first stage, and Duggie Ingram is out with a broken gearbox in the Mini. Stephen Lockhart is out with electrical problems in the Lancer, Steven Ronaldson went off down in the south, but extricated the Metro and drive it back to Salen. Mark Constantine is out with engine failure in the Corsa and Cameron Mclean has added to his growing list of non-finishes in his ’new’ car “The old one wasn’t pretty, but it was reliable – it even finished the McRae Stages last weekend!”
Geoff Wright put the Nissan Almera off in Ardtun, Stuart Walker’s Lancer was off in Bunessan and pity poor Luke Pinder who didn’t even make the start of the first stage. After leaving the Start ramp in Tobermory, the power steering failed in the Fiesta – and he had no spares and ran out of time. How cruel is that?
Provisional Leaderboard after 9 (of 17) stages:
1, Duffy, 59m 37s
2, Bardy, 61m 28s
3, MacCrone, 61m 38s
4, Harper, 61m 47s
5, Mounsey, 62m 11s
6, Gallagher, 62m 38s
7, O’Donnell,63m 26
8, Cope, 63m 34s
9, Pye, 63m 47s
10, Bird, 64m 02s
And if you’re enjoying this drivel (it’s all perfectly true with no exaggeration), spread the word and tell your friends. That’s all for now, daylight beckons.