David Bogie continues to lead the Granite City Rally after 3 of the day's of Special Stages but sadly, Euan Thorburn's challenge was strangled on the opening test.
"We run over a rock in the road," said Euan, "the downpipe is completely flattnened and it simply strangled the engine. We were lucky to get it out of the stage, but it was going no further."
"I'm sure David (Bogie) put it there deliberately," he quipped, as he was running second car on the road behind his Focus rival.
Jock Armstrong is still second, the Subaru just 12 seconds behind the Focus: "I was well off the road in that last one," said Jock, "Kirsty called a Left 7 over a crest, but I saw it as the apex - and got it totally wrong. We were well off the road, but OK."
Quintin Milne is holding third place but look at this, the next 12 drives are all on the same minute! Chris Collie has moved up to fourth displacing Donnie MacDonald while Mike Faulkner is going like a dingbat moving up to sixth place after his earlier trouble: "We spun and stalled in the first stage," said Mike, "the rear end got a bit loose, and I had to handbrake it. It was either that or hit alog pile! We've spent so much time rebuilding this car and putting new bits on it that I haven't had a chance to do any proper set-up."
Dave Weston Jnr has dropped a place too, after "a large, small off" and Andy Horne's time loss on the first stage was explained when he pointed to the tattered rear n/s corner of the Dam Gti: "We got a puncture in the first stage. No mechanical damage, but it's made a mess of the bodywork." That's good news for co-driver Big Jim who makes the body panels for the Dam!
Many haven't made it this far, amongst them John McClory who has unchaacteristically cowped the Subaru into an Aberddenshire ditch and retired. Graeme Schoneville rolled the Peugeot 205, but is still going and young Timothy Cathcart retired the Fiesta with water in the fuel - but perhaps that had something to do with the fact that he cowped it in the burn that runs through Fetteresso!
Provisional Top Ten after SS3 (of 5):
1 David Bogie, 22m 11s
2 Jock Armstrong, 22m 23s
3 Quintin Milne, 23m 00s
4 Chris Collie, 23m 06s
5 Donnie MacDonald, 23m 15s
6 Mike Faulkner, 23m 16s
7 Dave Weston, 23m 21s
8 Bruce McCombie, 23m 24s
9 Barry Groundwater, 23m 25s
10 Alistair Inglis, 23m 48s
Just outside the top ten is the Proton Satria of 17 year old Ollie Mellors in 11th place after a puncture on the first stage and then again on the third, with Reay MacKay up to 12th in the Subaru after "a big spin in SS1."