Bearing that in mind, Gary Adam, finished his day in the Mk2 with a six second lead over the Lotus Exige of Alistair Inglis. Two rear wheel drive cars ahead of the four wheel drive cars of Tom Morris and Colin Gemmell. Given the fact that the last four stages were wet and puddled, that might come as something of a surprise.
According to Adam it was all down to the right tyres, and yet his heated windscreen wasn’t working and the car was misting up. So his pace was quite mesmerising in those conditions. Nobody was more surprised at Inglis in second place than Alistair himself. He was struggling with a new Quaife gearbox in place of his much loved MakTrak unit but he is getting the Lotus sorted more to his liking these days.
As for Morris, he had three spins in the Metro on the very wet fifth stage: “Two monster spins, and one normal spin – wrong tyres” he said. Gemmell’s Subaru was on the pace too and he was closing the gap on the leaders as the rain fell harder.
And that was the story of the day, the first four stages were mostly dry and then it started to rain, ending the first day wet, with huge puddles of standing water (floods) everywhere, and that’s where the fire came in. Ross Fernie smacked a bale, split it open and it caught fire. Seeing flames leaping high in the air and huge plumes of smoke out in the middle of an airfield was a worrying sight. However the crew were OK and the Subaru had a sore nose, and the fire was put out.
There was another surprise in fifth place with number 32 seed David Ross in the DAM just 10 seconds clear of the Mk2 of Ian Woodhouse.
Bruce Edwards was in the hunt early on but a spin and a stall cost the Darrian driver dear: “As it spun I must have knocked off the fuel pump switch,” said Bruce, “once I got it going again I was off. Then the car started spluttering and it just conked out. All I could see was pound (£) signs and then I just sat there wondering what was wrong and looked at the gauges – no fuel pressure. Then I noticed the switch was off. Dohhh!”
Leaderboard after 8 (of 12) stages:
1, Gary Adam, 49m 31s
2, Alistair Inglis, 49m 37s
3, Tom Morris, 50m 20s
4, Colin Gemmell, 50m 35s
5, David Ross, 51m 05s
6, Ian Woodhouse, 51m 15s