Sunday 15 July 2018

Rally - Mach 1 to Edwards

You could measure the extent of Bruce Edwards' rally victory by the thickness of his Darrian's fibreglass. That's because he left a fair chunk of it behind on the final stage of today's Mach 1 Stages Rally.

After Saturday's 8 glorious dry and sunny stages, the final 4 on Sunday were awash, and every time the rain let up, it was just to draw breath and then drop some more.

Running first on the road, Bruce was first to find out where the puddles were and where the grip wasn't. At 70 mph he was heading towards the Merge on the final stage when he went for the brakes, and the Darrian aquaplaned and just took flight. He hit the one tonne bales a glancing blow which whipped of the Darrian's tail and driver's sill as clean as you like.

"It was like a skating rink out there," he said, "the car was a bit skittish without its rear wing, but we had already done enough to keep Gordon at bay."

Try as he might, there was no catching Brucie on Saturday, so Gordon Morrison prayed for rain on the Saturday night. The big surprise was that somebody up there was actually listening to him, because it rained all night and all day Sunday. Each time the Subaru closed the gap a bit, the Darrian opened it up again, and the two finished just 16 seconds apart after 90 miles of stages.

There was a fierce old fecht for third place too with Ian Paterson just edging out Brian Watson to clinch the deal by 9 seconds. "I broke a prop shaft on Saturday," said Ian, "Simon Proud loaned me his spare, but Brian was taking time out of me in the wet." At least until the penultimate test when the Sheriff spun and lost 13 seconds to Ian. He got 3 back on the final test, but it wasn't enough.

Best of the Escorts was Tom Blackwood's bright yellow Mk2 in 5th place just ahead of the mighty Mk1 of Alan Gardner with Colin Gemmell finishing 7th in his Mk2.

The Mitsubishis of James Gibb and Donnie MacDonald tied for 8th place with James quicker on the opening test after Donnie almost got lost between the bales while Alan Wallace rounded off the top ten.

Alistair Inglis failed to finish when the electrics on his Lotus played up, again, but he thinks it's the crank sensor this time and John Rintoul was forced to retire his Fiesta RX when the brake pedal jammed on the floor and the car smacked a bale. Tom Morris managed to fix his Metro's misfire but it was something rather more simple which stopped play. The car misted up in the rain and it was worse than trying to peer through a bathroom window. Given the speeds that the crews were reaching on the day that was considered a wee bit too dangerous to carry on.

Donald Bowness scored a scintillating 11th overall in his 1600 class winning Nova while Cameron Craig took the points in the 14500 class in his Peugeot.

1, Bruce Edwards/Jim Smith (Darrian T9 GTR) 105 mins 18 secs
2, Gordon Morrison/Calum MacPherson (Subaru Impreza) 105m 34s
3, Ian Paterson/Callum Shanks (Subaru Impreza B13) 106m 30s
4, Brian Watson/Sean Donnelly (Subaru Impreza S11 WRC) 106m 39s
5, Tom Blackwood/Gordon Winning  (Ford Escort Mk2) 107m 28s
6, Alan Gardiner/Dave Robson (Ford Escort Mk1) 108m 12s
7, Colin Gemmell/Derek Keir (Ford Escort Mk2) 109m 23s
8, James Gibb/Taylor Gibb (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo9) 109m 59s
9, Donnie MacDonald/Chris Hamill (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo9) 109m 59s
10,  Alan Wallace/Darren Robertson (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo6) 110m 17s

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