Friday 11 October 2019

Rally - scrutineering underway

Scrutineering is well underway again this morning after a slow start as folk slept in after a night in the Mac or the Mish, but the poor Scroots are ever hopeful that the Tobermory Distillery will one day put a roof over the yard. All this waatter and not a dram to put it in, eh?... The team got through 58 cars last night, so that's just another hundred to check today... It would appear that there is a former Scottish Saloon Car Racing champion on the island. One Jimmy Pinkerton Esq has been roped in to help service, advise and manage the Tony Fleming/David Fotheringham (129) comeback kids in their Peugeot 205. As mentioned earlier, Tony and David competed on the first Mull Rally 50 years ago so felt they couldn't miss this year's Beatsons celebratory Mull. But w Ord of advice, don't try and engage Jimmy in conversation, you'll be there for days - he's got an opinion on everything. He can talk any engine out of giving up without lifting a spanner... The McColm family (131) have swapped places this weekend. Campbell is on the Notes while his Dad Donald takes the wheel of the Peugeot for the first time. They've been watching this event for the past 10 years and it's always been a bit of a  dream to do it, and here they are - see, dreams can come true... Martin Page (93) is 'Em-less' this weekend in the Mini. Daughter Emily has not been released from her uni exam studies so co-driver Michael Anderson has been pressed into Note duty. He has serviced for Daniel Harper for 20 years - but never co-driven!... If the Mk2 of Drew Gallagher (56) looks familiar that's because it's the car Greg Mcknight used so effectively in the woods a couple of seasons back and which was loaned to him by Drew. Now it's Drew's turn... First time visitor to Mull is Galway's Ray Cunningham (78) in the Mini Cooper. He's done the Solway Coast a couple of times but he was looking for something different and Dave Thomas talked him into this. Seems he and Dave got to know each other quite well in Ireland when the Mini Girls Rally Team were contesting the Mini Cup series a couple of seasons back. Ray won it and Louise was 2nd with Ray commenting after his recce: "I almost feel back at home, the roads are similar to Killarney."... Kevin Gray (127) has his fingers crossed. Although his striking looking self built Suzuki goes well it has suffered gearbox problems on the last 3 events. "It's disheartening when you're own work goes well but you can do nothing about component failures. We've changed everything, bearings and driveshafts for this event. I want reliability first, results later."... Former rapid Skoda R2 pilot Ian Chadwick (29) is looking forward to tonight with his new Impreza with mixed feelings: "I'm frightened to death of this thing. We've just replaced the standard engine with a new unit, and it's really scary. It's a different world."... The Darrian of Bruce Edwards (33) is back to looking its best after its inversion at Mach1, but is sitting rather higher than usual:" I have to raise it a wee bit for Mull," he said," but it's an easy job on this compared to other cars. You don't have to jack it up and crawl around underneath it." So there you have it, the Darrian is the ideal car for auld gits - until you try and get in and out of the thing... Craig Rutherford (40) hasn't been out for a while in the Subaru although he did Course Car on the Argyll Rally for the past couple of seasons. But his job these days is building roads for logging contractors so guess where he did a bit or private testing ahead of this - on one of his own self built roads... After it's roll at Crail, John Paterson's (43) Corsa is looking well. He'll be hoping for better luck this weekend as well because on the Ulster National Rally he broke 2 throttle cables and then an engine mounting on the final stage, finishing the rally with the engine sitting on the sumpguard. "Ulster's nothing like this," said John, "it's all high banks and smooth tar, you can't see round the corners and there are no bumps.". ... After two years without Mull, John Woodward and Kevin Ikin reckoned they were suffering withdrawal symptoms, John's done 27 Mulls, and Kevin 17... Oh, and by the way, if you want to teach your kids how to swear just bring them to a Rally when it's raining and the cars are wet - and the service crew are trying to put the door panels and stickers on the wet paintwork , some of them even made me blush... Gaun yersel boys.

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