Enough of this Le Mans nonsense (see previous posts), back to the real world of club motor sport. It was all looking so good this morning at Crail for the Summer Stages Rally. After 2 stages, there were just 3 seconds between the leaders, John Rintoul and Bruce Edwards, and 2 seconds between the top 2WD cars, the Escorts of John Paterson and Gary Adam. We were in for a seriously close fecht, or so it looked. But this is rallying, it requires more than talent, it requires reliability and mechanical fortitude.
On the third stage John Rintoul: “had a wee spin, but an oil pipe to the diff fractured in the fourth stage and that was it,” sidelining the Hyundai.
Similarly it was outside factors which afflicted Paterson’s progress: “I could feel it as we approached the start line of the third stage, then on the first corner I knew. A rear tyre had punctured.”
That left Bruce Edwards in command with a 27 second gap between the Darrian and the rest of the field, but Bruce was far from confident: “I feel dampness in the air. The car is good in the dry and in the wet, but it’s not good if it’s just slippery.” As to the dampness in the air, that could be the harbinger of rain but this being Crail it could just be the cold, damp haar which cloaks the place and seeps into the bones of man and beasts.
Tom Morris is holding second place in the Metro but: “Gary Adam is only 5 seconds behind me and I had one wee scare in that last stage. Someone had taken the chicane out and that last time round I came through it in fourth – and then just remembered about the corner after it! But the sequential shift and engine braking makes a good job of slowing the car down, not like the old days when I was guddling about with the manual shift H pattern ‘box.”
Lee Hastings is back up to 10th place after a nightmare start with steam belching from the Subaru: “The fans stopped working as we waited in the queue and it got pretty hot, but we coasted the first half of the stage till it had cooled and then speeded up and we fixed it before the next stage.”
Ross Marshall was another in trouble on the opening stage with a misfire in the Escort: “It just oiled up while we were waiting to start the stage, but it took nearly a full lap of the airfield before it cleared.”
Leaderboard after 4 (of 8) stages:
1, Bruce Edwards, 27m 48s
2, Tom Morris, 28m 15s
3, Gary Adam, 28m 20s
4, Colin Gemmell, 28m 44s
5, Ross Fernie, 28m 55s
6, Nigel Feeney, 28m 56s
7, Bob Grant, 29m 05s
8, Ross Marshall, 29m 13s
9, Stuart Baillie, 29m 17s
10, Lee Hastings, 29m 37s