Sunday 17 May 2015

Rally - Competitive instinct

Course cars

It’s a funny thing, but yesterday, the top drivers were talking about having fun. They were saying this event is not a championship event so there is nothing at stake, but a subtle mood shift has been noticed amongst the top seeds. Give any one of them a sniff of victory and the old competitive hunting instinct bares its teeth and brandishes its claws.

And so it begins. Alister McRae appears to be entertaining no thoughts of finishing second, while young Aaron Newby still has his sights set squarely on David Bogie.

McRae setting off
Overnight, John Rintoul has moved up to fourth courtesy of a couple of ‘wrong’ times yesterday and looks pretty determined to hang on to that place this morning ahead of the fighting Mk2s. Having slipped ahead of Gary Adam yesterday afternoon, Scottish Legends Championship racer John Paterson lost out this morning and is now one second behind the former Scottish Rally Champion.

Quintin Milne is currently 7th after bending a rear suspension arm yesterday and John MacCrone is climbing back up the order after his steering problems yesterday. And Steve Perez’ Ford Focus WRC is advertising a roll of blue tank tape courtesy of an off and an obstacle but he’s still smiling.

As for Kris Meeke, you can take the hooligan out of Northern Ireland but you can’t take Northern Ireland out of the hooligan. His car control is quite uncanny and there are folk who think the Xsara is running on Irn-Bru – it’s phenomenal. Given the amount of tyre smoke being generated by his do’nuts and slides I’m surprised Dunfermline Fire Brigade haven’t dispatched an appliance to Knockhill.

Leaderboard after 7 (of 10) Special Stages:
1, Alister McRae / Craig Ritchie,  Proton Satria,  23 minutes 44 seconds 
2, David Bogie / Scott Erskine,  Ford Fiesta R5+,  23:51
3, Aaron Newby / Paula Swinscoe,  Subaru Impreza,  23:57
4, John Rintoul / Ross Hynd,  Hyundai Accent WRC,  24:30 
5, Gary Adam / Gordon Adam,  Ford Escort,  24:41 
6, John Paterson / Craig Wallace,  Ford Escort,  24:42 
7, Quintin Milne / Stephen O'Hanlon,  Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 9,  24:53
8, John MacCrone / Alasdair MacCrone,  Ford Fiesta R5,  24:57 
9, Ian Paterson / Helen Brown,  Subaru Impreza N10,  25:06
10, Tom Morris/Ashleigh Morris MG Metro 6R4, 25:12 

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