What a start to the season and what a finish to the Arnold Clark Thistle Snowman Rally. Going into the final 10 mile stage, Jock Armstrong had an 8 second lead over Mike Faulkner, but Mike was on a mission. Who knows how things might have turned out had Faulkner not suffered a puncture: "It was about a mile and a half from the end, I didn't feel we hit anything, but the tyre went down, and that was that," he said.
That allowed Bruce McCombie to score his best ever result snatching the runner-up position from Faulkner on the final stage: "There was snow in that last stage, high up in the middle of the forest, but just in the middle of the road and at the edges so you just had to keep it tidy."
As for the winner: "I won the Galloway Hills last year and now this, what a start to the season. Mike was pushing hard, but so was I. That's rallying."
Donnie MacDonald finished fourth and Andrew Gallacher's times were good enough for fifth place but a 2 minute road penalty cost him dear and he dropped to 8th. Even so, it proved that his new Fiesta Evolution has the makings of a very competitive machine first time out.
Barry Groundwater therefore finished fifth with Mark McCulloch making an excellent showing first time out in his new Lancer: "And there's more to come," he promised.
Quintin Milne missed out on a top ten finish when the gearlever snapped in the final stage and Chris Collie retired with engine failure just when a top ten finish was looking good.
Top 2WD was Malcolm Buchanan in his Mk2 in 14th place despite bending the propshaft with 5 miles to go in the final stage and Willie Stuart was second in 18th place in his Mk1.
1, J Armstrong, 43m 59s
2, B McCombie, 44m 15s
3, M Faulkner, 44m 28s
4, D MacDonald, 44m 51s
5, B Groundwater, 45m 06s
6, M McCulloch, 45m 23s
7, S Sinclair, 45m 46s
8, A Gallacher, 46m 56s
9, J Rintoul, 47m 41s
10, R MacKay, 47m 50s