... Meirion Evans and Jonathan Jackson scored their maiden rally victory when
they won the weekend's Dunoon Presents Argyll Rally. Unfortunately they were
unable to celebrate in traditional style as queries were raised when results
were declared provisional.
Freddie and Meirion - still pals
"It's not the way I would like to win a rally," said Evans, "I really thought Freddie (Milne) had it in the bag and was pretty sure the penalties would be dismissed, but they weren't."
With just one rally under his belt in the new car, Evans was still getting used to it: "I just need more confidence," he said, "these are very tricky and difficult stages. I actually thought my times were good on Friday, but I was more on the pace today."
Fastest crew over the 13 Special Stages was the Ford Fiesta R5 pairing of Freddie Milne and Patrick Walsh but they were given a one minute penalty for 'hitting a chicane' on Stage 7. The crew appealed but the Stewards upheld the organisers' decision and they finished third, denying them their maiden rally victory.
"I was aware that Meirion was closing the gap but I knew that I had enough of a margin that he would run out of miles so I could afford to ease off over the final two." And then the bombshell hit.
Daniel Harper and Chris Campbell in the MINI JCW WRC were the unwitting sandwich filling between Evans and Milne duel with Harper commenting after the rally: "These are some of the hardest stages I've ever driven, the car is as wide as the roads!"
The next three drivers, David Wright, Jock Armstrong and John MacCrone all incurred one minute penalties and finished in that order.
Hugh Hunter retired his Ford Focus with an intermittent misfire which caused severe spluttering, Melvyn Evans simply pulled out after being given a penalty, David Bogie crashed and Garry Pearson was out when the oil filter blew off - taking the oil with it!
1, Meirion Evans/ Jonathan Jackson (VW Polo GTI R5) 52:29
2, Daniel Harper/ Chris Campbell (MINI JCW WRC) 52:49
3, Freddie Milne/ Patrick Walsh (Ford Fiesta R5) 53:12
4, David Wright/ Paula Swinscoe (Ford Fiesta R5 Evo2) 53:32
5, Jock Armstrong/ Cameron Fair (Ford Fiesta R45) 54:58
6, John MacCrone/ Stuart Loudon (Skoda Fabia R5) 55:00
7, Gareth Sayers/ Gareth Gilchrist (Ford Fiesta R5) 55:10
8, Damian Toner/ Denver Rafferty (Ford Escort Mk2) 55:20
9, Aidan Wray / Kieran McGrath (Ford Fiesta R5) 56:24
10, Richard Hill/ Steffan Evans (Mitsubishi Lancer) 56:49
Note: Full Report in next Wednesday's 'Motorsport News' followed by a more detailed report ion the online 'jaggybunnet.co.uk' publication.
There was no on-line report last night because I was just too discomknackerated after a very long and yet very exciting day. Sad it ended like that.