Euan Thorburn led the McCombie Builders Granite City Rally from Jock Armstrong at the half way point, but David Bogie is out. Bogie set the fastest time through the opening stage and completed the second stage, but at the Stage Finish, he pulled over to the side of the road and parked up. Th crew suspects the rucurrence of an ignition pack problem and didn't want to risk going any further till they find out what's wrong.
Conditions were difficult as drivers headed towards the first stage this morning with thick mist intermittently reducing visibility to under a 100 metres at times. There was a delay at the start of the first stage too, due to the huge numbers of spectators belatedly trying to get in to see the action.
Running second car on the road, Focus driver Euan Thorburn said: "The first stage was worse than the second. At times I struggled to see 40 or 50 metres in places. The second was better but was bit muddy where they had been logging."
Jock Armstrong is quite pleased with second in his Impreza, but: "I c*cked up in the first one. My fault. went straight on at a Right, up a firebreak, luckily!! The mist was bad in places. It's not nice when you're doing 90 mph and then go over a crest and suddenly see nothing."
Mike Faulkner is third in the Lancer but looked a bit concerned as he booked into service: "We had an overshoot in SS2 and I think we have an oil leak. I can smell it. I lost concentration a bit after that looking at temperatures and pressures."
Holding fourth place is Quintin Milne: "I've got my sensible head on today. I'm here for the the points." That's not to say he wasn't trying: "You know I didn't put a foot wrong for the last 8 miles of that stage," he added, "and felt I was driving really well - then I saw Jock's time - and went up and shook him by the hand. He took a chunk of time out of me in there. Fair play to him."
Donnie MacDonald is fifth: "Those were the hardest stages I've ever done. I can't see at the best of times, even when I'm wearing glasses. I couldn't see 'f' all in there."
Sixth is Barry Groundwater: "The first stage was a nightmare. I couldn't see a thing. The second stage made up for it. It was brilliant. An excellent stage."
Mark McCulloch is going well but the Subaru feels down on power and he thinks the turbo is needing to be changed. In worse trouble are Chris Collie and Bruce McCombie. The turbo on Chris' Lancer slackened off at the manifold and it's puffing like an old tar boiler. The turbo on Bruce's Lancer has failed completely and he's hoping to change it at service.
Andy Horne is just outside the top ten in 12th place first time out in his new Focus WRC: "I made a pig's ear of the first stage. I was off in the first 100 yds, but the second stage felt better" and then he grinned like a bag of Cheshire cats.
Leaderboard after 2 (of 4) stages:
1, E Thorburn, 24m 06s
2, J Armstrong, 24m 27s
3, M Faulkner, 25m 02s
4, Q Milne, 25m 18s
5, D MacDonald. 25m 39s
6, B Groundwater, 26m 12s
7, M McCulloch, 26m 14s
8, C Collie, 26m 21s
9, A Inglis, 26m 23s
10, F Wilson, 26m 33s