Overnight the Buckley boys changed the clutch on John MacCrone’s Fiesta and bled the brakes to try and restore some pedal: “It’s not down to heavy braking use, I’m just left foot braking just to keep the car stable,” said John.
Paul MacKinnon is looking at third place as a possibility: “Lewis (Gallagher) is going well, full credit to him, but I need to catch him. As for the other two (MacCrone and Dufy) I’ll need to keep going till Christmas to catch them.”
Derek McGeehan was looking forward to the daylight stages: “I don’t mind the dark, but the local boys get away from me. They don’t get as far away from me in daylight!” There aren’t too many rallies in Ireland which run in the dark, just the Circuit and Ulster, but the reason is simple, that’s when the pubs open.
Donnie MacDonald has his right wrist strapped up this morning and says it has helped (see earlier posts) but he’s still steering mainly with his left hand. Also in a bit of pain this morning is Steven Ronaldson in his borrowed Mk2: “The seat doesn’t fit me too well, and I’ve got a sore back!”
Gareth Hooper spent the night stripping his Manta’s engine when a camshaft broke. Finished at 7.00am, went for breakfast and then went to Scrutineering for the super rally. Greg McKnight explained his diff failure this morning, it happened when he spun his Escort on the first stage and then when he reversed, the rear wheels slipped off the edge of the road.
Jim McDowall’s centre diff isn’t working on the Subaru and he’s keeping eye on the other two. Steven Paterson stripped all the planet gears on his Corsa’s diff last night and had to fit a standard diff to get back in the rally. Nick Rintoul is ruing his decision to recce in a right hand drive Discovery and compete in a left hand drive Skoda: “I’ve been half off the road a few times. Stan keeps squealing – move over!”
James Hall was leading Class A in his Proton till the final stage last night when Stewart Dodds beat him in his Nova: “I don’t know how he did it,” laughed James, “he must have found a short cut. I was losing my brakes though towards the end. We bled the brakes overnight so I’ll get 20 seconds back today.” Fighting talk, eh?
The rally now faces 9 stages in daylight today, but it’s wet daylight in the south of the island. It was dry at the start at Craignure but as the cars headed towards Ardtun they were running into the rain.
Oh, and the pictures. The world’s top co-drivers know all the tricks in the book, or do they? Daniel Barritt and Clive Molyneux were spotted trying to find and plot the correct route to Ardtun on a large scale map (!) while Stuart Loudon took a rather different approach, checking the bus timetables!