Saturday 6 October 2018

Rally - Scots wha hae

Andrew Gallacher and Jane Nicol rounded off an already memorable rallying year with victory on the Dayinsure Wales Rally GB National Rally. Runner-up 4 years ago, Andrew made sure of finishing the job this year and the Ford Focus WRC was never headed all the way home.

John Wink and John Forrest made it a Scottish one-two but the Hyundai i20 was pushed hard all the way today by third placed Roger Duckworth in a Subaru Impreza WRC. The two Johns rose to the challenge and fought back to clinch second place by 8 seconds. Simon Hay and Calum Jaffray made it three Scots crews in the top ten with 7th place overall in the Mitsubishi but they were extremely lucky. The exhaust broke this morning on the way to the first stage and the fracture was close to the fuel tank. Simon decided to switch the anti-lag off to reduce the heat near the tank and ran without it all day so was well chuffed with 7th. There was half a crew in 10th place as young Sam Bilham scored a marvellous result with his Fiesta R2 co-driven by Cammy Fair. 

The results kept on coming with Ellya Gold and Jean Hay in 11th place and James Gibb and Charley Sayer-Payne finishing 15th despite having to change a front hub last night. Carl and Rob Tuer were 23rd in the Suzuki after their troubles yesterday, Ernie Lee and Ian Shiells were 28th in the BMW and but for a puncture and an ‘off’ avoiding a stricken car Gordon Alexander and Ian Clark would have done better than 32nd in their Vauxhall Nova.

Sadly, Alan Dickson and Martin Forrest didn’t make it. They were heading for a top six finish when they cowped the Lancer in Gartheiniog and Niall Cowan Jnr and Thomas Bruce were forced out at Sweet Lamb with two broken driveshafts in the MG. There was another Scot in the entry list. Terry Mallin was co-driving Tom Urquhart in a Suzuki Ignis on his first ever rally, and they finished. Job done.

Young Finlay Retson disappeared from the International results sheets this morning when the rear hub broke away from the axle and only the rear guard stopped the wheel from falling out and bounding off in to the distance. However, the boys have been hard at work this evening and will be ready for Rally 2 tomorrow.

So that’s it for the National. According to one finisher, today was fast and furious compared to yesterday’s rough and tough but on balance most folk seemed to have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. And even the weather was kind. No doubt I’ll write more later!

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