Tommy Morris still leads the Mach1 Stages Rally after 4 of the event's 8 special stages, but his lead is still only 23 seconds. Alistair Inglis has moved up to second place aided by Donnie MacDonald having a moment of indecision at the merge in SS4 and has dropped to fifth place.
But as the cars lined up to start stage 3, dark grey clouds rolled over the blue sky. After the first dozen cars had started the test the light drops had turned to a heavy shower. By half way through the field, the road was puddled - and just about everyone was still on slicks.
The final stage of the afternoon was a truly wet affair and gave the rally leader a bit of a scare: "We hit a puddle on the fastest part of the stage, about 110/115 mph, and the car snatched sideways. The Metro doesn't like puddles!"
Lee Hastings is currently third but faces an overnighter: "We have no second gear so we're going to have to change the gearbox and diff overnight." Did he have a spare with him? No, but: "We phoned home and Mark McCulloch is driving up tonight (from Newton bluidy Stewart no less) with the bits."
Gary Adam's crew is hard at work too, still in fourth place but: "We warped the discs in SS3 and had a terrible vibration through stage 4. We also got a puncture in stage 3, but to change the discs means stripping the hubs."
Alan Gardiner is sixth in the MkI ahead of Barry McKenna who recovered from a lurid spin on the first stage this morning to get himself back into the top ten.
Colin Gemmell had worked himself up to fifth place after SS3 then went out on Intermediates on the last stage and ended up 8th again. First time out in nearly two years, Stephen Lockhart is ninth and Quintin Milne is back in the top ten: "We bled the brakes after the first two, that has helped, but this is a top ten car, not a top 3." Q referring to the car which he purchased in Ireland on behalf of a client and is just giving it a shakedown here!
Nick Runcie is out though the Citroen suffering a broken diff bearing: "There's nothing but bits and filings in there." Stuart Paterson has a crumpled front n/s corner on the Subaru, courtesy of a marker bale and then the rear diff broke, but they managed to repair it using bits from two diffs.
Leaderboard after 2 (of 8 stages):
1, Tom Morris, MG Metro 6R4, 40m 40s
2, Alastair Inglis, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo5, 41m 03s
3, Lee Hastings, Subaru Impreza, 41m 33s
4, Gary Adam, Ford Escort MkII, 41m 51s
5, Donnie MacDonald, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo9, 41m 57s
6, Alan Gardiner, Ford Escort MkI, 42m 28s
7, Barry McKenna, Ford Escort MkII, 42m 32s
8, Colin Gemmell, Subaru Impreza, 42m 39s
9, Stephen Lockhart, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo7, 42m 43s
10, Quintin Milne, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo6, 42m 46s