Alan Kirkaldy made it look easy. Second fastest on the opening stage of 8 he was fastest on the next one and then just kept on going. Over a minute clear at the half way point he finished over 2 minutes clear of Donnie MacDonald by close of play.
A wet, slushy track and a snow capped Knock Hill greeted competitors on their arrival, and there was no warm welcome from the mercury either. If you had a thermometer, the liquid stayed well hidden in its wee bubble at the foot of the scale! The sun and blue sky did make an appearance in the afternoon, but the temperature stayed firmly in the permafrost zone.
Given those freezing conditions, Alan and Donnie did their bit to cheer up the huddle of human icicles in the shelter at the Hairpin. Forget ‘racing lines’ these boys looked as though they were auditioning for the title of Drift King Scotland as they tyre smoked all the way in, round, and out of the tight uphill bend on SS7. A little bit of magic to crack frozen cheeks into a smile.
Kyle Adam was first 2WD car home in 3rd place just ahead of John Marshall debuting his new Skodaru. His total mileage in the car prior to today was a 3.5 mile run out at Race Retro on Friday.
Robert Marshall was 5th actually tying with 6th placed Andrew Kirkaldy who lost out badly in the slush in the first stage and spent some time in the sheuch on the 7th.
Joe McKeand was a sensible 7th ahead of the top 1600 runner Des Campbell who stole the show with Steven Hay in the 1600 Corsa until the engine suffered a mighty bang in SS5. These two were fighting for podium places early on till the track dried out, and before the Corsa made a passable impression of the nearby Mossmorran complex with a flare-out and smoke. Lots of smoke.
90s star Jock Threadgall made a one-off appearance in Nigel Atkinson’s Lancer to celebrate his 60th birthday and finished 9th ahead of young Harry Chalmers. Mention must be made too of the 11th placed runner, Michael Cruickshank’s 1 litre Micra. Think flea on the back of a cheetah.
Scott MacBeth was holding 2nd place till a turbo pipe blew off the Lancer in SS6 and Trevor Gamble retired his Fiesta R5 when it started overheating.
The real star of the show? Shona’s Mars bar cake – not so sure about the chocolate banana cake though!
(Full report and all the embarrassing details will follow in the on-line mag later in the week)
1, A Kirkaldy/C Lees (Ford Fiesta R5) 40m 36s
2, D MacDonald/A Falconer (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo9) 42m 53s
3, K Adam/S Brown (Ford Escort Mk2) 42m 56s
4, J Marshall/S Crawford (Skodaru) 43m 03s
5, R Marshall/L MacDougall (Subaru Impreza) 43m 12s
6, A Kirkaldy/P Carstairs (Ford Escort Mk2) 43m 12s
7, Jope McKeand/C Shanks (Subaru Impreza) 43m 27s
8, D Campbell/C Forsyth (Peugeot 206) 43m 44s
9, J Threadgall/K Atkinson (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo9) 44m 53s
10, H Chalmers/E Muir (Subaru Impreza) 45m 07s