Sunday, 12 March 2017

Rally - Mixed fortunes

The two extremes of rallying emotions were perfectly displayed at yesterday's Malcolm Wilson Rally after the first four stages. Down in the dumps were Euan Thorburn and Paul Beaton. The manifold had broken in the fourth stage and the Fiesta had limped back to service where the boys were quickly on the case. Trouble is, the manifold is tucked down behind the engine block and sandwiched between that and the bulkhead. It's a knuckle scraping, blistering, devil of a job to replace it at the best times and impossible when you've only got 20 minutes, so the Borderers were out despite four top ten times in the first four stages.

Just a few yards away under another awning a very relaxed looking David Bogie was seemingly unperturbed about the closeness of the competition. Keith Cronin had set two fastest times over the first four stages and David had taken the other two, so there was only 3 seconds between them - but in Keith's favour. "The next two stages are in Grizedale," said David adding, "I like Grizedale!" Ominous or what? As it turned out, the Skoda driver took 27 seconds out of the Fiesta pilot in 2 stages! David was only third quickest on the final stage: "I just drove through. The pace was there if you wanted to lean on the ruts, but that was risky. If you lean too hard and they give way, you're off."

Adopted Scot Wayne Sisson scored an excellent 10th place finish with Neil Shanks in the Evo10, especially considering it was last September since he last sat in the driving seat, with Rory Young/Allan Cathers 11th, and Freddie Milne/Chris Williams were 18th in the Lancer. Reay MacKay and Keir Beaton were 22nd in the Focus WRC, one place ahead of Barry Groundwater and Sean Donnelly.

Two teams in trouble were Greg McKnight/David Crosbie and Mark McCulloch/Michael Hendry. "The last stage was the best all day," said Greg, "the car cut out and stopped on us this morning and then we had more electrical problems before it cleared itself." They finished 26th just ahead of Mark: "We've been having problems with the diff pump," said Mark. "We ran all day without the centre diff. It's a problem we had on the Snowman so we'll need to get it sorted right for next time out."

John Wink and John Forrest were 46th but giving Team Manager Ken Wood a hard time. "When we went out to the service van in the morning it had two flat tyres," said Ken, " so we had to load essential spares into the back of a pickup, and then just after he left first service he phoned me to say he didn't think he had enough fuel in the car to do the second loop!"

In a superb 55th place overall and second in the 2017 Ford Fiesta ST Trophy class were Alasdair Currie and Steven Brown. A burst brake pipe in Greystoke was a minor problem: "That's the first clean run I've had since I left the Juniors," said Ally, "it's been a long time coming."

Caroline Carslaw and Douglas Humphrey finished 82nd in the Subaru and Adrian Stewart/Tom Hynd were 90th in the 205.

Kirsty Riddick finished third overall co-driving for Jonny Greer, Callum Atkinson thoroughly enjoyed his run with Steve Bannister into 24th place and first Historic crew, and Cameron Fair was 38th co-driving for Sam Bilham in a Fiesta ST. Paula Swinscoe and Heather Grisedale were busy too, Paula had another 'difficult' driver to contend with (she's a glutton for punishment that girl!), co-driving Nigel Worswick's Mk2 into 36th and 2nd in class, and Heather was first in RallyFirst with Andrew Wheatley's Ford Puma.

In addition to Thorburn going out, John Rintoul and Ross Hynd retired their Lancer when the head gasket failed, Brian Watson and Caroline Will had a shock absorber break on the first stage, and stepping in at the last minute to co-drive for Simon Rogers, Steven Clark's outing was curtailed when the steering column came loose on the Lancer!

If any other Scots or dear friends have been missed out, Ooops!
Wayne congratulates Baz

Baz congratulates Wayne

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