With two stages gone in this year’s Beatson’s Mull Rally, Calum Duffy has seized an early lead despite all his misgivings about learning a new car. Even more impressive is the pace of second placed man, Daniel Harper in the MINI.
There’s a smirr of rain in the air tonight, wet in places and just plain miserably damp in others. That means it’s slippery underfoot, or undertyre.
Calum said the car is understeering badly and he is having to fight it on the straights, plus he’s running first car on the road and therefore can’t see the others times. He was surprised to be leading he added. Daniel had a slight ‘off’ on a bad Right over Crest: “It just slid into a ditch and popped back out again.” Jonathan Mounsey got a bigger fright and drove into service with bent front rim but the tyre had stayed intact: “It was the mother of all moments. We turned in, it went straight on and we ended up ploughing bracken. I just kept my foot in and we ended up back on the tar!”
Derek McGeehan is fourth but going no further. The MINI broke a driveshaft and also ended the second stage on 3 cylinders. A broken injector was diagnosed and he was out. Fifth is John MacCrone: “I did most of both stages on dipped headlamps only when a fuse blew. I replaced it at the end of SS1 and it blew again in SS2.”
Paul MacKinnon is at the bottom of a steep learning curve but enjoying himself although concerned about where the grip is, and isn’t. Donnie MacDonald was in a ditch (naturally!) early in the first stage but survived: “Everything was cold, the tyres, the brakes and me!”
Jim McRae is out with a blown engine, Fergus Barlow is in the trees, Ross Hunter has torn a wheel off then Tommy Graham had an accident in the second stage which blocked the road causing the later runners to be re-routed.
As for the rain, it is intermittent, but more is forecast tomorrow. Fingers crossed for the rest of tonight then, eh?
Leaderboard after 2 (of 18) stages:
1, C Duffy, 21m 07s
2., D Harper, 21m 31s
3, J Mounsey, 22m 05s
4, D McGeehan, 22m 10s
5, J MacCrone, 22m 11s
6, P MacKinnon,22m 24s
7, D MacDonald, 22m 30s
8, S Sinclair, 22m 31s
9, R Cook, 22m 32s
10, A Gardiner, 22m 32s