Daniel Harper was playing down his valiant performance last night: “We’ve done a lot of work to the car. Things were going well on the Isle of Man when the driveshaft broke and we were lying fourth. I’m not going quick, the others are going slow,” he joked, “but it’s all about keeping the pace here.”
John Cope said: “The car is fine, I just didn’t drive it well last night, but now it’s daylight I’ll be able to see where I’m going.” Alan Gardiner didn’t feel he was going well last night, till he saw his times: “We were on slicks all night. They were fine, till we got to Dervaig!”
Kev Dunn’s Nova (45) looks as though it is sitting high: “We’ve gone up a wheel size. It’s the same as the R2 Fiestas and it feels alright. It also gives us more choice with tyres.” This is his first event since last year’s Mull. Explaining his top 20 pace in the Mk1 Curly Haigh (24) didn’t claim any driving credit: “It’s just one near miss after another. Constant near misses,” he laughed. Steven Ronaldson (30) is still smiling after his night in the Metro: “It was aquaplaning down the Glen so I had to back off a wee bit to get through it. There’s also lots of mud on the road from the front runners cutting.”
Nigel Worswick (14) had to change the clutch master cylinder in the Escort Cosworth overnight and is softening up the suspension for today. Ian Chadwick (25) said everything was “going swimmingly” in his 170hp Honda Civic. Gary Adam punctured 3 mls into the first stage and then struggled to change the wheel as the studs were too tight, then a second tyre (on the same side) went soft in SS2. John Rintoul (34) remarked that the ferns are higher this year and he can’t see round the corners as well as last year. He’s also having trouble with the Hyundai’s gearbox: “It’s difficult to get it into 6th gear and its jumping out. I don’t want to force it – I borrowed the ‘box from Steve Petch.” First time out for 12 years, Simon Proud (38) says he’s just trying not to crash it: “If I do, the wife says she’ll buy a horse!”
Mike Storrar (73) in the Horris Maronda is still going: “She’s a bit excitable. Up on tippy toes a bit, I’m just trying to find a set up that works.” Alasdair Currie (90) had the light pod fail on the first stage when a fuse blew but no excuses in Calgary when he sideswiped the Armco: “The back end just stepped out and we bounced off the Armco but it jammed Steven’s door shut and he couldn’t get out at service.” Not only is this Greg McKnight’s (60) first Mull, he’s never been on a ferry before: “And I thought gravel was slidey!” Jim McDowall (56) is having to keep an eye on his clutch slave cylinder which is leaking. Reay MacKay (33) said: “I’ve never experienced anything like that in my life before – getting caught in a monsoon with 300bhp and rear wheel drive.” When Mark Constantine (41) changed his steering rack last night, the wheel bearings came loose and he wonders if that was what was causing the Corsa to dart about the roads. He’ll find out today if it’s fixed.
Nick Thorne (78) had a panic this morning when he couldn’t find his ignition key on the start line but a spectator found it and handed it to a marshal and when the call went out over the tannoy, the marshal stepped forward and saved the day. Euan MacKay (65) found his tyre pressure gauge was 10psi out this morning: “I was running the tyres at 45psi last night and wondered what was going on.” Normally servicing for John Cope, Peppe Planeta was driving on his first Mull when his Mitsubishi sprung a radiator leak: “I borrowed an egg from our B&B and put the egg white in and some flour – we’ll be having cake at the finish.” Still, the bodge seems to be working.
After marshalling here for a few years, Jamie Stewart (72) built a new Peugeot 205m for his first run out in two years and first run out on Mull. Jimmy Allan (92) reckoned his suspension was “hard as buggery” and it was darting about all over the place so they’ve softened it up for today. First time out in LHD, Fuey the Fireman (94) executed a perfect 360 at Dervaig hairpin last night in the Italian built Fiat 500. The Nova of Donald Bowness (119) lapsed on to 3 cylinders on the start line of SS1 and then the ignition switch melted, so the stage was done with Donald driving one handed and holding the switch together while Ian changed gear!
Driving the smallest car in the rally, Neil McCarthy (112) said his wee 649cc Daihatsu is so slow that when he crested one rise in the road he saw a hedgehog half way across the road, but it made it safely to the edge before the car reached it!