Thursday 12 October 2017

Rally - All quiet

It’s Mull, but it’s not Mull. The night before the rally, the streets are quiet, hardly a soul wandering between the two Macs and the Mish. There are parking spaces all along Main Street in Tob. Tables available in the restaurants, without booking or waiting in a queue. Even the award winning chippie on the pier is all closed up. You don’t need to fight your way to the bar to get a drink and the staff are pleasant – they’re not harassed.

The competitors are mostly in bed, but there is a distinct lack of spectators and hingers-oan. They add to the buzz, but they’re not here.

Those who are here, are here to support the events and the island, and all expressing the fervent hope that normality will be resumed next year.

Sadly, that lies in the hands of Governments and insurers – two of the most difficult flocks of folk to deal with (apart from lawyers!) .

Our sport is not in our hands any more, nor is it in the hands of our governing body. Higher authority will determine our future.

Around the walls of the Mish there are pictures of rally cars. In colour, and black and white, recalling heroic exploits of years gone by. They’re fading now. I hope that’s not an omen.

If you have a God of whatever variety, please pray to him or her. I hope they listen. Or if you believe in witchcraft throw another couple of puddocks and newts’ eyes in the cauldron and give it big stir.

And yet there is cause for good cheer. We have an event tomorrow and another on Saturday.

Duncan Brown has laid on a cracking looking Targa event for tomorrow aided by friends and fans and the banter is good.

There are some entered who are here to win but Sid the Parrot asked the question: “If I finish last, does that mean I am the fastest?” His co-driver looked up from the test diagram with a shake of the head, then he asked: “What does the dotted lines on the test diagrams mean?” That indicates a reversing manoeuvre was the answer. “Gosh I didn’t know that,” he said.

Up the hill at Scrutineering, Dick Wardle’s car was presented for the compulsory check and when the Scroots opened the passenger door they found a large bucket in the footwell - for Jonathan Mounsey. The Scroots asked if it was homologated whereupon the boys lifted the bucket out applied the words “FIA 2017” with a big felt tip marker. It is now! And the Scroots passed it.

Perhaps the future is a little safer – let the good times roll this weekend.

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