Saturday 8 August 2015

Rally - Solway sunshine

The sun shone on Solway today, at least until the prizegiving and then it started to rain, and now it’s wet outside, but not enough to dampen spirits inside. The Senior Rally is over and it was undecided until the last stage.

Going into the final 8th stage of the day, Mark McCulloch had a 3 second lead over David Hardie and after all sorts of silliness by both drivers it was McCulloch who snatched his third successive victory on the ‘ Solway Coast Rally’ by 6 seconds from David Hardie.

At the finish McCulloch said: “I was off times 4 times in the last 3 stages. On that last stage there I went straight off at a tightening junction and had to reverse out, I thought that was it.”

But it wasn’t, David Hardie had a ‘senior moment’: “I was running first on the road and Mark was a few cars back, so I was sitting on the Start line of the final stage just waiting for the Course Cars to clear and then the clock started to count down, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 – I hit the throttle, the revs shot up, the engine roared – and the car stood still. I had forgotten to put it in gear.”

With a Mitsubishi and a Subaru in the top two places it was a Ford that filled third place with Rory Young over a minute behind the top two such was the pace at the head of the field today. Young said: “I spun on stage 2 and we lost our place on the Notes for a mile or so, but this is my first time on tar with the Fiesta and I’m still learning.”

Nigel Feeney finished fourth in his Subaru and young Greg McKnight finished top 2WD in his Escort when Gary Adam pulled off the road in SS6 and parked up. 1989 and ’90 Solway winner (in a Talbot Sunbeam) Richard Dickson rounded off the top six in his Subaru.

Stuart Baillie’s rally ended with the Subaru’s nose in a ditch and its rear wheels in the air, James Ford snapped a wishbone on the Subaru’s suspension and Colin Gemmell cracked his Subaru’s gearbox casing. Stuart Walker damaged the Skoda’s transmission and Jim McDowall smacked a bale – hard. 

Top Ten:
1, Mark McCulloch/Mairi Riddick, 47m 15s
2, David Hardie/John McCulloch, 47m 21s
3, Rory Young/Allan Cathers, 48m 38s
4, Nigel Feeney/Phil Sandham, 49m 38s
5, Greg McKnight/Liam Harkness, 50m 05s
6, Richard Dickson/Roger Alcorn, 50m 19s
7, Lee Hastings/Julie McGuire, 50m 20s
8, Steve Retchless/John Richardson, 50m 47s
9, Ian Paterson/Helen Brown, 50m 50s
10, Iain Wilson/Keith Riddick, 50m 52s

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