Knockhill Race Circuit is hosting the first round of the 2013 Scottish Tarmack Rally Championship today and what a gey dreich place it is at present. Dawn didn't so much break, as just seep over the horizon at 8 o clock this morning. Then half way round the first stage, the heavens opened as a drenching squall swept across the track, followed by another shortly afterwards - never did a roll and sausage taste so good in the Knockhill cafe!
Anyway, top seed, John Rintoul is out. The Lancer slid off the wet track on the first stage and got stuck up to its oxters in glaur. He had to be towed out of the sheuch and although the car us undamaged, he's out of the running.
In other words, there's a wee shock at the top of the leaderboard after the first two stages. Stuart Walker is leading in his EVO9 which as one wag observed is something of a surprise since: "He's usually on fire or crashed by this time!" A little unkind methinks.
Ross Hunter is holding second place in his hybrid Peugeot 205 just one second clear of the Impreza of Stuart Baillie.
So far it's not a day for rear wheel drive. Ricky Wheeler has been off once and nearly off once more although at least he's still in the top ten. Quintin Milne has got bags of understeer and Alan Gardiner is struggling to get grip too. George Bryson's problem was rather different. His Escort ingested some wire 'caging' from the air filter but he managed to fish it out of the intake where it was jamming the butterfly valve.
If Rintoul was the first retirement then young Richard Stewart was the second although his was rather more definitive than John's - a con rod made a bid for freedom trough the Corsa's block!
Leaders after 2 (of 8) stages:
1, Stuart Walker, 7m 06s
2, Ross Hunter, 7m 10s
3, Stuart Baillie, 7m 11s
4, Lachlan Cowan, 7m 19s
5, Lee Hastings, 7m 21s
6, Colin Gemmel, 7m 25s
7, Ricky Wheeler, 7m 26s
8, Sean Robson, 7m 28s
9, Des Campbell, 7m 29s
10, Billy McClelland, 7m 29s