Originators of UK closed road motorsport

2002 – Murmur Chapter 2


– published on the island, during the event by Jaggy Bunnet

Scrutineering for this 33rd Philips Tour of Mull Rally is now over and the usual lull has descended, although the sparks from the welding gear in MacKays Garage indicates that there is still last minute work going on. Those who have successfully passed Scrutineering now have to prepare themselves for the mayhem which will shortly commence at 8:00 pm with the formal rally start in the bay front car park.

John Baird has managed to baffle and bemuse co-driver Stan Quirk who normally co-drives for Jon Burn in the claustrophobic MG Metro 6R4. The Mitsubishi Lancer is palatial by comparison, with Stan having acres of space to store things like maps and timecards whereas he normally has two helmets on his lap … Jimmy Christie has rebuilt the RWD Astra’s gearbox and diff since the Milltown Stages two weeks ago and is ready for action … take a look at Steve Simpson’s bi-plane wing on the back of his awfy smart Subaru Impreza, the all-aluminium fabrication came from Japan and is one of only two in Britain. It don’t half look the business … Anda Campbell had a wee fire in the RWD Peugeot when it blew back on him this morning but made it through Scrutineering … don’t look too closely at Gordon MacIntyre’s Chevette, it’s just been rebuilt following his roll on the Kames Trophy Rally – apparently, it is best viewed at night … John Rintoul has two brand new diffs and a viscous coupling following his retirement from the first stage of the recent Milltown Stages, which means that he has replaced virtually the entire transmission this season so far … doesn’t Diddy Dave’s Mini look minted? Previously a chase car for Paddy Hopkirk, Dave has owned it since ’94 and the A series 1300 with its 12 inch wheels and authentic colour scheme looks terrific … have you seen Paul Daniel’s new Ralloy built MkII? Absobloodylutely glorious. He had just picked it up and hadn’t even driven it himself when his mate phoned and asked to use the gearbox. His mate is Steve Bannister and he needed it for the Trackrod so Paul’s got the gearbox back, fully ‘run in’ by the Malton Missile himself! … Richard and Pat Egger are back in the 2 litre Nova and since they are sponsoring Mullmurmurs this year we wish them all the best – although it’s a difficult wee tyke to drive with its wide track set up … Paul Kirtley was late through Scrutineering, the ’98 spec Impreza WRC car has some ’99 spec bits in it and they are not talking to each other, but it still looks superb … Derek Hosie’s Fiesta looks good in its bright yellow paint job. Big difference from its roll here two years ago … nice to see Mike Curry back with the Clan Crusader. He can still get most Imp parts for the 95 bhp 998cc engine and knows who’s got the original Clan fibreglass body moulds. But then again, if he couldn’t get the original parts he could always use Tupperware! … did you know Jim McDowall has a 2.2 Lotus engine in his Talbot Avenger? Very tasteful.

Could he be the youngest competitor this year? Murdo  Morrison’s sixteen and half year old son Stewart is contesting his first event, co-driving for Dad. Only trouble is he’ll be erring on the side of caution when calling the Notes to-night. He won’t be wanting Dad to bend the brand new MkII as young Stewart has ideas about driving it himself once he gets his driving licence! And then the bonnet blew up when the left the Noise Test and now sports a tidy set of ripples in the panelwork … Watch out for Duncan Cameron in the 1300cc Peugeot Rallye, he could spring a surprise this weekend. He won his class by 16 minutes on last weekend’s Le Touquet Rally in Northern France. He also caused the Scroots a double-take when they saw his mandatory Fire Extinguisher and Engine Cut-out instructions ‘Tirez’ and ‘Poussez’ (that’s French stupid, we’re almost in the EU now!).

Despite the seriousness of this competition, lunacy abounds. Tim Stell’s Escort Cosworth has the word ‘Sausages’ on the side window where the navigator’s name should appear. Apparently this refers to a phrase in their Pace Notes – “walls, medium left tightens to K left’ and since this is on the Gribun Rocks section, the instruction has not to be taken lightly. Even so, when co-driver Mike Yates calls the word ‘walls’ Tim responds gruffly through the intercom ‘sausages’ (well, they think it’s funny!) – and gets off the gas kind of quick! … Crawler of the Month must go to Simon Cottrell who has a sign on his side window stating “Thank You for Marshalling”, he says it works a treat on road rallies!

Meantime all our thoughts are with Mark Goosens. The Chief Results Officer had a bad fall on Wednesday night, was airlifted to hospital in Glasgow that same night and operated on yesterday. He has broken both legs, but reports today indicate that he is much better. Take care and get well soon Mark. So with that sobering thought in mind, would all spectators please take care out there to-night. Rallying may be safe but walking isn’t! Please note and abide by all Road Closure orders and when parking your vehicles may sure they don’t block anyone in or cause an obstruction.

And did you know, the ‘Fisherman’s Pier Chip Van’ got awarded a ‘Les Routiers’ award and medallion earlier this year? So now you know, this is the best fish and chip (and haggis!) carry-out in the business – and it’s official!

And finally. Pace Note provider extraordinaire, Bill Sturrock even provides Notes for the Polis Road Closing Car and rumour has it that some of the lads in uniform are just a wee bitty dis-chuffed (allegedly) about the allocated vehicle – a Land Rover Freelander as opposed to the previous Vauxhall Senator and Volvo official cars. It would appear that Bill has enhanced and ‘personalised’ the Notes for the Polis drivers adding additional pages with such messages of endearment and encouragement as “bet you wish you were in a Senator now”, and “or even a Volvo”, and “In a Freelander, remember to lean into the corners, especially over the yumps”. Nothing like rubbing salt into the wounds, eh?

So get yourself a Philips Tour of Mull Programme drive safe and sensible, walk with care and attention, and enjoy yourself.

That’s yer lot from pre-event formalities,

Now let’s get on with the action,

Yer auld pal, Jaggy Bunnet, Tobermory, Friday, 5:00 pm.

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