After yesterday's rain, more rain, and even more rain, the sun peeked over the horizon at start of play for Day of the Mach 1 Stages at Machrihanish. There was one wee fight just after the second stage of the day got underway when a passing shower scattered the spectators but it was short-lived and it was pretty much slicks all the way, or in Eddie O'Donnell's case - knobblies, or not, depending on your point of view. Apparently they were knobblies when they were new to their previous owner who passed them on to Eddie who used them on the Argyll Stages forest rally at Dunoon and then used up what was left here at Machrihanish. Perhaps it's a good job Mull isn't on this year, I reckon he'd have a go at using them again.
Anyway, the rally was fairly won by Shaun Sinclair. After the disappointment of last year when a driveshaft broke while he was leading, the black beast (the car that is, not Shaun) behaved itself impeccably this time. Well, almost, it ran out of brakes two corners from the end and he only just made the Finish line.
Nigel Feeney debuted his new MINI and scored second while Alan Kirkaldy fought back from 19th after a rear puncture on the third stage yesterday to finish third overall in a scintillating display of Mk2 motoring. As one observer remarked: "That's human traction control in action!"
The DenSport boys helped out John Marshall on Saturday night and welded up the Subaru's exhaust and he finished 4th ahead of James Gibb in Brian Watson's Lancer with The Sheriff rounding off the top six in another Lancer.
Taylor Gibb had been on course for third place till a humungus overshoot caught the eye of the officials and they deemed he had gone 'wrong direction' so he dropped down the order.
But what a rally, this morning's stages comprised two 12 milers and two 10 milers, with most folks saying the new routes this year were a huge success and a terrific challenge. And you know what, I almost felt sorry for the boys who spent far too long in the pub last night for the 8.15am start this morning. You know who I mean!
If Kirkaldy's was the drive of the rally, then Gareth White was the second drive of the rally. Even a puncture didn't stop his 1600 Peugeot getting into the top ten on what was a tremendously fast rally, and Donald Bowness borrowed Archie McCallum's Corsa to score the 1400 class win with 16th overall.
And the only trouble with Sinclair's win? "It looks like I might have to do the Solway Coast now." Bring it on.
Provisional Top Ten:
1, Shaun Sinclair/Fred MacLean (Subaru WRC S9) 106m 36s
2, Nigel Feeney/Phil Sandham (Mini Countryman JCW WRC) 108m 02s
3, Alan Kirkaldy/Cameron Fair (Ford Escort Mk2) 108m 47s
4, John Marshall/Scott Crawford (Subaru Impreza) 109m 05s
5, James Gibb/Charley Sayer-Payne (Mitsubishi Evo9) 110m 17s
6, Brian Watson/Caroline Will (Mitsubishi Evo) 110m 37s
7, Alan Wallace/Darren Robertson (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo6) 113m 51s
8, Colin Gemmell/Derek Keir (Ford Escort Mk2) 113m 58s
9, Gareth White/Harry Marchbank (Peugeot 208 R2 Vti) 115m 08s
10, Tom Blackwood/Gordon Winning (Ford Escort Cosworth) 115m 16s
( BIG report to follow in: www.jaggybunnet.co.uk - when Jaggy gets around to it! )