Saturday 12 October 2013

Rally - MacCrone in control

Unfortunately Leg 2 of the rally started with a bit of a crash, bang and a wallop this afternoon, causing delays and frustration.he arrival of good weather brings out the worst in rally drivers, thoroughly bemused by all this grip they get underfoot, or under tyre, as the case may be. But when they do run out of grip the consequences are rather more severe than when speeds are lower in inclement weather.

John Cressey was first, crashing the MINI out on the first stage of the afternoon at Scridain, and Dave Miller was next having a bang and wallop between two rather large rocks in Gribun. The good news is that the safety cages in both cars did their jobs and the four crew members are OK.

John MacCrone continues to lead but Peter Taylor was fastest on both opening tests. The Focus driver took 6 seconds out of the Fiesta on Scridain and then beat the Bogey (by 2 secs) in Gribun taking another 3 out of MacCrone. The gap remains at just over a minute after 9 (of 19) stages.

"We were on the rev limiter for a lot of the time in both stages," said a remarkably calm and composed MacCrone, "we've got the tyres working well, and another couple of clicks on the suspension should just complete the set-up." Now we all know he's got the ideal car for the rally, but remember this is his first proper competitive run out in a 4WD machine - which is not his! It belongs to a chap called Malcolm who lives in Cumbria!

Peter Taylor is driving within himself too: "I could have gone quicker through Gribun, but I could see the sea down below - and the tide was in."

Eddie O'Donnell is still third and top 2WD car in the Escort with his co-driver celebrating his 19th birthday today. Happy birthday Matt.

Fourth is Daniel Harper in the sister car to Cressey's: "That's the quickest I've ever gone up those first two this afternoon," he said, "we've got the suspension sorted. That's the first time we went to bed on the first night without sore *rs*s." I didn't ask for any more detail!

Tristan Pye is up to fifth and Tony Bardy sixth ahead of Ogg MacKenzie. Lewis Gallagher is 8th even with a loose knob. This is a reference to his new gearbox to which he has fitted the wrong knob because the right one wasn't supplied, although the supplier (one T Pye Esq) claims differently!

Alan Gardiner is 9th and rounding off the top ten is Richard Cook who is also the leading Group N car in his Subaru.

Following the accident in SS9, the stage had to be cancelled because spectators started moving on the stage after the delay thereby preventing the organisers from sending the rest of the cars through! So spectators are urged to be careful and considerate. When roads are closed by Act of Parliament it is against the law to drive on them (technically even walk on them) until the road has been officially re-opened. The Polis haven't booked any jaywalkers - yet!

Provisional leaderboard after 9 (of 19) stages:
1, J MacCrone, 1h 00m 36s
2, P Taylor, 1h 01m 44s
3, E O'Donnell, 1h 03m 37s 
4, D Harper, 1h 03m 46s
5, T Pye, 1h 04m 22s
6,T Bardy, 1h 04m 33s
7, I MacKenzie, 1h 05m 17s
8, L Gallagher, 1h 05m 20s
9, A Gardiner, 1h 05m 30s
10, R Cook, 1h 05m 42s

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