Friday 8 March 2019

Rally - Testing Times

The weather was grey, dreich and cold, but the craic was guid, as rally crews gathered at the test day somewhere in Kielder ahead of this weekend’s Malcolm Wilson Stages Rally. Amongst our lot were Johnny ‘Cool’ Wink and Taylor Gibb.

Taylor needed the run out after his Cambrian troubles when the fuel tank in his new Fiesta R2 was ruptured. When Colin and Iain took a look they found the cause had nothing to do with Taylor or stage conditions on the rally, but looked the after-effects of a previous repair. It would appear that gravel had been left between the fuel tank heat shield and the underside of the Fiesta floor. Taylor managed just 20 miles or so before the gravel rubbed its way through the shield and damaged the tank. End of rally.

It was Taylor’s first time in the wet with the Fiesta and although he enjoyed it he did bemoan the lack of grunt out of the corners that he was used to with the Mitsubishi! It has to be said that his plans were ever so slightly delayed as he awaited the arrival of co-driver ‘Penelope Pitstop’ Nicol who exercised her regal right to be late.

One uncharitable suggestion was voiced to the effect that she had got lost, but ever the gallant gentleman, Ken Wood leapt to her defence. He said it was snowing over the northern half of Kielder when he drove down earlier.

Woody was there because ‘Johnny’ wanted to shake down the Hyundai ahead of next weekend’s Border Counties. This was the first time that the R5 had been seen with its new Grampian Graphics applied livery while Matt Edwards was also on hand to offer advice.

However, the biggest drama of the day had nothing to do with either rally car. The Gibb generator refused to fire up so they couldn’t make a pot of tea. Considering the damp conditions this was a serious problem and for half an hour or so, the wee beast’s stubborn-ness defied the efforts of those two engineering geniuses, faither James and the MD of Colin Telfer Engineering. Once again, Woody stepped into the fray and with the applied expertise and knowledge of ‘The Three Bodgers’ the recalcitrant lump of ironmongery was coaxed into smokey life, and the kettle got boilt!

Turns out, the thing had been lying on its ear inside the van and the oil had seeped through the filter into the cylinder. By goad they were fair knackert after taking shifts at the pull-starter persuading the idle lump back into life. It just made the tea taste all the more sweeter, eh?

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