In the National event which finished the first Leg tonight after 4 stages, Steve Simpson will go to bed with a 13 second cushion over Damien Cole. Peter Taylor is third ahead of Neil Simpson.
Steve Simpson commented: "It's quite slippy in places out there. We had a good few moments on the shiny tar. We had the tail out a good few times like a MkII Escort. The older you get, the dafter you get."
Damien Cole echoed those sentiments: "On one downhill into a square R we were totally sideways in Abbey St Bathans. There were a couple of other places where I thought we had a puncture for sure, but ti was just conditions. Still, not bad for a couple of old boys scrapping for the lead!"
Peter Taylor is going well but just a tad frustrated: "I can't keep up with the power cars. The Fiesta handles well but we lose out on he fast stuff. Then the brakes started to fade towards the end of Abbey."
David Hardie is going well in the top ten: "I'm pleased, but still a bit rusty. We could have gone quicker but I'm happy with my pace at the moment. We're just slackening off the suspension at the moment. We stiffened it up at the test last week, but it's skipping on the fast stuff tonight so we'll soften it a bit for tomorrow."
As for Keith Robathan, his biggest problem is with his co-driver, or his accent to be more precise: "I can understand him when he's talking slowly but when we speed up and he's delivering the notes faster I can hardly make him out." Understandable when you realise that Jim Haugh comes from the deep south west and speaks with a Galloway-Irish accent. It's their first time together but they are getting on OK.
Alex Laffey had a right rear puncture in Abbey and had stall on the start line of Tweedside when the Launch Control failed.
1, S Simpson, 22m 08.5
2, D Cole, 22m 21.7
3, P Taylor, 22m 50.1
4, N Simpson, 22m 51.9
5, J Stone, 22m 57.8
6, B Groundwater, 23m 07.6