The Keystone Cops couldn't have a done a better job at Crail yesterday. There were tyres and bales going everywhere. If anyone claimed not to have hit, skiffed, spun or overshot, then they were fibbing, mistaken or on the wrong tablets.
It was certainly end of term for the Blackwood Plant Hire Championship, the season long protagonists hellbent on proving that cold tyres, cold brakes and cold brains need a bit of warming up before venturing out on to the open tarmac plains of Crail.
Cauld? By goad it wis cauld. Even the polar bears were complaining. Despite the rich feast of human flesh on offer and the tempting aromas from Big Winnie's mobile burger wagon, the Bears stayed in their hibernation hideaways. They were the wise ones.
As it was, Nigel Feeney took the win, but lest ye think it was a faultless run. It wasn't. He clipped a tyre, spun off and landed in the field, then stalled it. Lee Hastings was second, but had no anti-lag all day so that was a valiant effort. There was a bit of sibling rivalry going on for third place. On the first stage, Ian Paterson biffed a bale which let Stuart Paterson ahead, thereafter, Ian was faster than his wee brother on each of the remaining 6 tests to claim the final podium step.
Tom Blackwood's magnificent Mk2 was sporting a few black scuff marks on the bright yellow paint job as he sped to fifth with Ian Archer sixth.
Best result of the day? That might well have been Michael Harbour's 7th in the class winning 1600cc Citroen C2. At first I thought it was a leftover firework from earlier in the week, but no, Michael's wee red rocket was a treat to watch as it scooted round the chicanes.
Shaun Sinclair lost out on the first stage when he clouted a tyre marker, bent a bottom arm and broke a driveshaft, John Rintoul had a piston fail, Gordon Morrison broke a bottom balljoint, Taylor Gibb broke his transfer 'box, Colin Gemmell's Escort cut out as it sat in the queue for the first stage and stubbornly refused to re-start, and Jimmy Christie had a misfire in the Lancer which was getting worse, so he called it a day before serious damage was done.
1, Nigel Feeney/Phil Sandham (Mini JCW WRC) 59:55
2, Lee Hastings/Cole Hastings (Subaru Impreza) 60:14
3, Ian Paterson/David Crosbie (Subaru Impreza N10) 60:40
4, Stuart Paterson/Allan Paterson (Subaru Impreza) 62:08
5, Tom Blackwood/Gordon Winning (Ford Escort) 62:51
6, Ian Archer/Neil Ogilvie (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo9) 62:56
7, Michael Harbour/Ian Macdougall (Citroen C2R2 Max) 63:34
8, Brian Watson/Charlie Sayer-Payne (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo) 64:03
9, Graeme Rintoul/Jim Rintoul (Ford Fiesta) 64:12
10, Alan Wallace/Darren Robertson (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo6) 64:18