|Brian Wilkinson chats to Alan Kirkaldy|
Who'd have thought it? Sunburn at Crail! The weather started off pleasant, but by lunch time the Marshals couldn't have sat on the tyre bales for a rest, or they'd have stuck to them. Trouble was, there was such a cool breeze blowing off the North Sea that many didn't realise they were burning up under the sun. That meant a lot of red faces heading homewards after this 40th Kingdom Stages, and not because of embarrassment.
No such problems for Alan Kirkaldy and Cameron Fair though, the red Escort Mk2 taking its third straight victory on the trot. Even a puncture on the fifth test didn't cast any doubt on the eventual outcome. The Inglis brothers were second, but farther from the leaders' pace than they would have liked, while Gordon Morrison and Calum McPherson were an awfy lucky third.
Sitting in the queue to start stage 8, Gordon turned the steering wheel to move forward and there was an audible crack. The bottom balljoint had broken just as they were about to tackle the 100 mph straights of Crail.
Having almost forgotten what a rally finish looks like this year, John Rintoul was fourth in the Mitsubishi ahead of similarly mounted Taylor Gibb and there was a marvellous result for Ross McCallum, hustling the MG Maestro round into the top six for the first time.
Euan MacKay scored a marvellous result too in such dry and fast conditions, the 1600cc Peugeot 106 scoring a class win and a top ten finish.
John Marshall was an early retirement when the Subaru rumbled over a tyre marker. It broke the exhaust and the manifold and Tristan Pye retired his Subaru with gear selection difficulties at Leuchars. Rob Snowden went out with gearbox failure in his Escort and David Newall's top ten run was curtailed by diff failure in his Escort.
A nice touch at the weekend, was the winner of the first Kingdom Stages 40 years ago, Brian Wilikinson, being asked to flag off the cars on this special anniversary with Brian remarking that much has changed since his days!
1, A Kirkaldy, 94m 10s
2, A Inglis, 95m 38s
3, G Morrison, 97m 18s
4, J Rintoul, 98m 38s
5, T Gibb, 99m 06s
6, R McCallum, 100m 44s
7, B Watson, 101m 10s
8, C Gemmell, 101m 19s
9, E MacKay, 101m 28s
10, I Sanderson, 101m 42s
( Full report will follow in the on-line mag in due course )