It was wet and changeable at Machrihanish for Day of this year’s Mach 1 Stages Rally, with the final two of the day’s 8 stages the wettest and most unpredictable of the lot. Ian Paterson described it best: “It was so slippy in places, you were just a passenger,” but then added, “don’t get me wrong the stages are good, just very wet.”
With that in mind Alan Kirkaldy took an early lead in but lost it on SS3 when his Escort Mk2 picked up a rear puncture dropping him down to 19th place overall. Shaun Sinclair then took control, the Subaru WRC looking quite menacing in its matt black livery. He had already lost time on the first stage: “We had two half spins,” he admitted.
Perhaps the fact that he had two full spins on the first stage ensured that Taylor Gibb was second at close of play in his Lancer with Nigel Feeney third first time out in his new MINI WRC.
Last year’s winner John Marshall finished the day in fourth place but has doubts about tomorrow. The Subaru cracked an exhaust manifold and the team were looking for welding equipment as folk packed up for the night. James Gibb was fifth in a Lancer while Ian Paterson rounded off the top six after spending most of the first four stages catching cars.
Bruce Edwards didn’t last long. The Darrian hit standing water on the first stage under braking and clouted its nose on a large bale and Alistair Inglis was out shortly after when the Lotus also hit ‘Bruce’s bale’. Gary Adam was going well till the Escort spun ff and the back axle struck a concrete post and Gordon Morrison went out when a power steering hose spit and the fluid caught fire!
Top 1600 is Gareth White in the Peugeot in 12th place but rival Greg Inglis was sidelined when his Citroen developed a gearbox fault.
4 more stages tomorrow and the weather prediction is looking more promising – fingers crossed.
1, Shaun Sinclair, 52m 07s
2, Taylor Gibb, 53m 14s
3, Nigel Feeney, 53m 22s
4, John Marshall, 53m 29s
5, James Gibb, 53m 47s
6, Ian Paterson, 53m 48s
7, Tom Morris, 54m 11s
8, Brian Watson, 54m 37s
9, Alan Kirkaldy, 54m 48s
10, Alan Wallace, 55m 50s