Apart from the man at the front, the leading positions on this Tunnock’s Mull Rally are pretty close, only a bump or puncture away from the man in front.
But speaking of the man at the front, if ever a service crew earned its badge of honour on a rally, they did it tonight working on the Calum’s MkII: “I ran through Gribun on dipped lights said Calum, it wasn’t charging properly. When we got to the end of the stage we found out why. The alternator bracket had broken and the alternator was hanging off. The Boys fixed it with a tree-felling wedge to tension the alternator pulley, tied in with a bit of fence wire and held in place with tie-wraps.” It was a work of genius worthy of heath Robinson. More importantly it worked, and Calum’s lead of nearly two minutes after 9 stages was still intact.
Bardy continued to surprise himself in the Nissan Sunny, taking no risks and holding second place with John MacCrone on his tail: “I’m trying not to overdrive the car.” It’s obviously working.
John Cope struck more trouble and the Subaru has slipped back to tenth place: “The bolts came out of a rear driveshaft this time through Gribun and I just got to the start of Calgary with seconds to spare.” And after a bad start to the night, Peter Taylor’s Focus has lost diff pressure and the front end os making horrible noises when he turns into corners.
Doug Weir was off in the second run through Bunessan, the Escort smacking its rear o/side corner losing a light cluster and the bootlid: “We just went off in the wet,” said Doug. Billy Bird has found the cause of his repeating propshaft vibration in the Chevette: “It’s actually the gearbox that has a vibration and it’s shaking the prop bolts loose.”
Dave Miller’s windscreen steamed up in the Subaru through the final 20 miler of the night round Calgary and down Glen Aros: “The rain was really pelting down, and the heater couldn’t clear the screen, I couldn’t see a thing,” said Dave.
Wet? Even the ducks were going for cover.
Alex Taylor has a couple of problems with the Subaru Forester: “After a big jump in Ardtun, the centre diff switch broke and the steering has gone heavy.”
Alistair Inglis is expecting to go no further. After earlier suspect head gasket problems in the Lancer, the temperatures shot up over the last four stages and he may well have cooked the engine.
But the story of the night is ‘water, water, everywhere’ and pity the poor Marshals trying to write times on time cards which are turning to mush in their hands. These guys and guyesses are hardy souls indeed.
Provisional Leaderboard after 9 (of 17) stages:
1, Duffy, 59m 37s
2, Bardy, 61m 28s
3, MacCrone, 61m 38s
4, Harper, 61m 47s
5, Gallagher, 62m 38s
6, Mounsey, 63m 11s
7, O’Donnell,63m 26s
8, Pye, 63m 47s
9, Bird, 64m 02s
10, Cope, 64m 34s