With the International field leaving the Deeside Service Park at 05.45Hrs this morning on the Dayinsure Wales Rally GB, the National event runners had a more leisurely start at 09.00Hrs. Ahead of them lies 50 miles of tough, wet and slippery going contained in 5 stages, and no service once they leave here. So they are on their own.
Overnight there was work being done under the lights. James Gibb had to change a complete front hub after yesterday’s bothers. The wheel bearing had completely disintegrated and this contributed to the wheel studs stretching and the wheel nuts coming off. They tried to borrow some wheel nuts from other competitors but were unsuccessful until a local lad offered them a set from his road car Rover! That enabled them to get back to Service without penalty as they were running quite late on the road.
There was much midnight oil burning in the Cowan MG camp too. When Niall and the boys were looking under the bonnet they spotted a cracked mount at the top of the gearbox, so the gearbox had to come out and get welded up and then re-installed. Fortunately for them, there was an ace welder on hand – but he was working for another professional team although he managed to sneak away to help the boys out and fabricated a new one and another one for the back of the ‘box. There are some really nice folk around our sport, eh?
The drive shaft for Andrew Gallacher’s Focus turned up just 8pm last night so there was a rather more leisurely and straightforward repair job to do compared to the previous night.
Over in the Wink Hyundai camp, instead of a having rest day, Colonel Chaos (Ken Wood) and Hamish are facing a shift before the rally car returns: “The van’s propshaft seized at Abington on the way down,” said Ken, “so we’ve got to change so that we can get back home.”
And one other thing, there has been an unusual addition to the Gold/Hay team. Perched on the roll cage cross bar peering out the windscreen and baring its bum to anyone following behind is Bob the Hedgehog. No, of course it’s not a real hedgehog, but this cuddly wee creature was presented to Jean prior to the rally here at Deeside by a hedgehog lover. Apparently she had seen Jean’s Facebook post about rescuing a baby hedgehog last year. It had arrived at their back door weighing some 350gms with the local Rescue Centre saying it would need to be at least 700gms to survive the Winter. They had no room at the Hedgehog Rescue Centre so Jean and Ellya took the matter in hand. They kept the wee thing on a heated mat and fed it cat food. By the time Spring came around, the ‘wee’ thing was up to 850gms and sent on its way. Guess what, they’ve now got 4 or 5 regular visitors at their back door already this coming Winter and have invested in one of those night cams to check the comings and goings.
Stop Press: Just heard that John Morrison and Peter Carstairs may be out. They’ve got an engine problem with the Lancer.