Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Rally - Mull by Darrian



“Funny you should call just now, I’m just out of the chiropractor’s,” said a surprisingly chipper Bruce Edwards. Which prompted the next question: “No, No, it’s nothing to do with rallying, my back is a constant source of pain and aches – wee rally cars don’t help!”

To many outsiders, the choice of a Darrian for a rally car, especially tackling the Mull roads, might seem a bit odd: “Yes, it doesn’t suit the car, but I enjoy the rally. In fact if I wasn’t doing it, it is one of the few rallies on which I would spectate. I just love the place, the atmosphere and the people – and the pub in Bellachroy. I have no expectations when I do this event, I just compete against myself.”

Bruce has two Darrians; “I’m using the ‘old’ car with the Honda S2000 engine and 6 speed sequential ‘box with paddles. It’s good for 255 hp. Admittedly it’s not very good over the bumps and brows but it’s getting better. Never having driven anything else, I can’t compare it.”

So why a Darrian: “I started hillclimbing in a TR7 V8 and kept getting beaten by Escorts and the like so I started looking for something that would beat them, and a Darrian seemed to be the obvious choice. Then a friend suggested I could use up my old tyres doing the end of season rally at Knockhill. And that was it.”

Suspension travel would seem to be a bit suspect on such a low car: “The first time I did Mull, it was ‘Oh my God’ everywhere, the car crashed out every time, but it gets better every year we go back. We’ve tried different dampers and re-valved them a couple of times so it’s definitely getting better. My best result was in 2009 but we dropped a few places because of Notional times after an incident, then two years ago the oil system failed and I blew the engine, and last year I kept driving into things!”

What about visibility: “It’s actually very good. Yes, you sit very low and seeing over crests is not very good but apart from that, visibility is not a problem.”

Bruce has a ‘new’ co-driver this year: “My regular Mull co-driver can’t come this year so Jim Smith volunteered. He’s been over to Mull before but never actually competed so he’s got a fair idea of what’s ahead. We were over earlier in the year for a long weekend and did a bit of recceing, so he’s up for it.”

As a closing comment, the irrepressible former Scottish Tarmac Rally Champion added: “Mull is not the place to bring a Darrian – but that’s why we do it!”

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