Saturday 9 September 2017

Rally - Armstrong's 9th

What an end to a championship. Good stages, high speeds and sunshine brought the 2017 ARR Craib Scottish Championship to a close. Three seconds decided the victors on the Armstrong Galloway Hills, but Jock Armstrong wouldn’t be denied his 9th win on his home event. With two stages to go he had a 23 second advantage, but 4th placed Euan Thorburn was on the case blasting through the final two tests to cut that deficit to 3 seconds.

As Jock said at the finish: “Close, but not close enough.”

It could have been different. Thorburn had a throttle problem on the first stage, had to stop, switch everything off, re-set the system before setting off again. Then on the second stage: “I had switched the anti-lag off when I had the problem,” said Euan, “but it wasn’t till I came to a hill in the second stage that I turned to Paul and said there’s something wrong, it’s not pulling – then I switched the anti-lag back on.” Dohhh!

Thorburn’s pace then carried him passed Mike Faulkner and Shaun Sinclair, but Sinclair hung on to third place although Faulkner lost out when the suspension broke on the Lancer and pitched him off the road on the final stage.

Rory Young was fourth ahead of Mark McCulloch with David Bogie happy in 6th. After a day spent at the wheel of his Mk2 looking out the side windows to see where he was going.

Bruce McCombie lost out too. He clouted a rock on the first stage and blamed Mark McCulloch. “It was a big clog (Aberdeen expression for large log) that Mark had pulled out of the ditch and left it for me right on the apex.” He finished the stage but the disc calliper had been rubbing badly on the wheel.” At least that wasn’t as bad as Freddie Milne’s disappearance. Freddie cowped the Lancer.

There was more drama amongst the Challengers. Michael Binnie had to beat Simon Hay today, and he did. Michael finishing 7th overall while Simon finished in the bushes. It appears he had gone straight on at a SqR in the final stage.

And there was even more drama. Your erstwhile rally reporter got stung by a bluidy wasp this morning and then on the way home this evening, got a puncture. There he was, the very picture of dejected misery standing in a layby with a bottle of sealant goop in one hand and silly wee 12v air pump in the other - and then it started to rain! Stung, deflated and soaked. Happy days, eh?

Top Ten:
1, Jock Armstrong, 39m 35s
2, Euan Thorburn, 39m 38s
3, Shaun Sinclair, 40m 19s
4. Rory Young, 40m 31s
5, Mark McCulloch, 40m 40s
6, David Bogie, 40m 51s
7, Andrew Gallacher, 40m 58s
8, Michael Binnie, 41m 48s
9, Donnie MacDonald, 42m 04s
10, Iain Wilson, 42m 09s

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