Sunday 26 October 2014

Rally - Weston in control

There's no real change at the top of the leaderboard in today's Armstrong Galloway Hills Rally but there's quite a shake-up going on down below. Dave Weston continues to lead looking remarkably cool and unflummoxed now with 15 seconds on Jock Armstrong.

"I thought  had a rear puncture on that last one," said David, "it was moving about more on right handers, but when we got to the finish, it was fine!"

Perhaps that's just indicative of conditions today - the official word is 'dreich'. It's also cold and if there are any 'typos' I apologise, my fingers are frozen.

Jock doesn't think he can do anything about Weston but Bogie took a second out of him on that last one, so when David pulled into the Control, Jock was out looking at his tyres and going tut-tut (trying to out-psyche the boy!) but David was looking remarkably chipper: "We were told the Hards would be too hard for today before the rally," said David, "but it looks as though the Softs are too soft!" Even after a road run into service the tyres were still warm to the touch and the tread blocks could be squeezed between finger and thumb.

Dougal Brown is up to fifth: "Those last two were really fast," smiled Dougal while Peter Taylor was looking a lot happier too. "I thought my times were sh*t in that last one," said Peter, "but the time was good, maybe we are getting to grips with the Notes after all. I'm really enjoying it now."

Fraser Wilson is up to 6th but Dale Robertson is dropping back: "The rear end is wandering about," said Dale, "something's broken so we'll need to have a look at service."

Gareth Sayers is up to 8th in his Evo7 and grinning from ear to ear: "It's just great out there, we're sliding about everywhere."

Robertson is 8th and Mike Faulkner has got himself back into the top ten after his earlier troubles but now has a few more: "The throttle is sticking open," said Mike, "at least it makes you go faster - just at the wrong times though." Andrew Gallacher rounds off the top ten and is apparently running a 10 yr old set of Dunlops: "I got them cheap!"

Craig McMiken won't be going any further. He has shortened the front end of his Lancer against some scenery, which was a pity, he was going well this morning and Desi Henry has disappeared. The Lancer had a problem in SS4 when the Launch Control jammed on and it's doubtful if he can get the thing fixed. Liam Regan's Peugeot failed to come out of SS4 but we don't know why. Wayne Sisson has dropped out of the top ten, but nothing major: "The windscreen misted up half way through that long one," he said, "and we couldn't see a thing."

Niall McCullagh came into service in a  a bit of a flurry: "We got a puncture in that last one and broke a rear suspension arm," he said, "we also hit a rock and knocked the tracking out." Still, on  a cold, wet Galloway day like this it will keep the service crews warm as they rush to get the cars fixed and on their way.

Top 2WD is the incredible Toyota Starlet of Shane McGirr in 12th place ahead of the MkIIs of David Crossen and Steve Bannister.

Leaderboard after 4 (of 6) stages:
1, D Weston, 35m 13s
2, J Armstrong, 35m 28s
3, D Bogie, 35m 50s
4, D Brown, 37m 00s
5, P Taylor, 37m 33s
6, F Wilson, 37m 42s
7, G Sayers, 37m 43s
8, D Robertson, 37m 44s
9, M Faulkner, 37m 45s
10, A Gallacher, 37m 50s

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