Bruce Edwards and Grum Willcock won the Crail Summer Stages in the Darrian with Gary and Gordon Adam the only other crew on the same minute although some 40 seconds behind in their Mk2 Escort.
When the Tom Morris Metro 6R4 suffered a transmission failure, Edwards was virtually home and dry although Adam had no intention of letting up the chase.
Things were not quite so clear cut behind them with 2 seconds covering 3 Subaru drivers at the finish. Colin Gemmell tied with Ross Fernie, but it was Gemmell who had been fastest on the opening stage of the day, while Nigel Feeney just missed out on third place by one second.
He had thrown his Subaru round the old wartime airfield in a real ‘banzai’ attack on the final stage to beat Fernie by 2 seconds, but it wasn’t enough. Similarly, Fernie was on a mission to wrest third place from Gemmell and although he was 5 seconds quicker over the final test, again, it wasn’t quite enough. What a finish.
Some time out of the driving seat, Bob Grant was a bit rusty, but rounded off the top half dozen in his Subaru getting quicker as the day wore on. Stuart Baillie was seventh not recovering from being badly baulked on the first two stages and Ross Marshall was eighth in his 2 litre Escort.
Lee Hastings was ninth and pleased with his test ahead of next weekend’s Circuit of Donegal while Barry Renwick was tenth and another to complain about catching slower cars.
Fortunately the rain held off but it had been bitterly cold all day and despite the weather many wondered whether they would ever be back to Crail. It would appear that the site owners are pretty close to securing planning permission and the site would be sold. Another venue lost and nothing in sight to replace it – except closed public roads, if that ever happens in these ‘enlightened times’ with safety reviews causing mayhem and havoc!
Leaderboard after 8 (of 8) stages:
1, Bruce Edwards, 56m 13s
2, Gary Adam, 56m 53s
3, Colin Gemmell, 57m 36s
4, Ross Fernie, 57m 36s
6, Nigel Feeney, 57m 37s
6, Bob Grant, 58m 08s
7, Stuart Baillie, 58m 26s
8, Ross Marshall, 58m 31s
9, Lee Hastings, 59m 05s
10, Barry Renwick, 59m 15s