MullMurmurs – Chapter 5
Provisional Leaderboard after SS7 (of 17)
1 MacKinnon/MacGillivray 48 Mins 04 Secs
2 Hall/Hall 49m 36s
3 MacGillivray/Fraser 49m 52s
4 Duffy/Duffy 50m 00s
5 Harper/Campbell 50m 22s
6 Pye/Falconer 50m 45s
7 Cope/Fagg 50m 45s
8 Pattison/Whittaker 50m 53s
9 Bardy/Smith 51m 01s
10 Sisson/Stone 51m 13s
(Note: These positions may change as more Time Cards come in)
At the close of play on Friday night at the end of the first Leg of this 40th Tunnock’s Tour of Mull, Paul MacKinnong and Ewan MacGillivray still lead the rally. For the moment, Paul has picked a pace he is happy with: “I’m not really bothered what the others are doing at this stage. I’ve stiffened the suspension up a wee bit but it’s still skipping a bit on the bumps.”
Behing him Dougi and Sam Hall are holding station in second place. “I’ve softened the suspension up a bit,” said Dougi, “but these boys are flying tonight.” Ewan MacGillivray is still in third place but the fast closing Calum Duffy has designs on higher positions: “I was pretty steady in Scridain,” said Calum, “but I pushed a bit in Gribun.”
John Cope dropped back a bit: “I stalled on the startline of Scridain,” he admitted sheepishly, but the car appears to be bottoming out too much for his liking and this will need to be checked overnight. Tony Bardy is cursing himself for being too smart: “I changed the steering rack for this event as I thought the new one would be a bit too nervous over the Mull bumps, but if anything it’s worse!” Daniel Harper is still going well, despite: “I know it can’t be helped, this is rallying after all, but I just can’t get going with all this stopping and starting.”
So as the top seeds head off to bed, the 2300 Club organisers were still working on the notional times for stages 3 and 4. The top seeds managed to get through them all, but after the accident they were forced to run the later runners around them and they would all get a notional time for the tests. Anyway, that will all be sorted out.
Meanwhile, further back in the field, Euan MacKay (99) was worried about some smoke appearing inside the car but it didn’t seem to slow him down and Callum Bendall (82) had a wee spin in SS5 when the Ka got a wheel on the grass verge. Mark Borthwick (101) exclaimed: I thought Otterburn was bad, but this takes the biscuit.” (I wonder if he meant that as a pun? Think about it. Oh please yourselves, I’m tired and it’s late).
Jim McDowall’s (97) gearknob came off in his hand, David Johnston (102) is worried about his clutch pedal sinking to the floor and David Calvert reckoned the lost the Notes somewhere in Loch Tuath but it didn’t slow them down. Martin Page was planning a precautionary underside inspection at Service after a really heavy landing on one of the Tuath jumps and Graham Brown was worried about heavy landings too. All his electrics cut out, but came back after some frenetic wire waggling but he had Gribun ahead with even more jumps! Ross Hunter (112) was slowed when he caught a car and Haydn Williams (111) caught a deer. It was so close it knocked a door mirror glass out. Bruce Hosie is worried about excessive play on his power steering but is carrying on at unabated pace and David Steggles has concerns about his brake pedal ‘going long’ at all the wrong times. Alex Brown in the MacCrone Peugeot is taking things steady, it’s his first real rally in the wet and Gordon MacFadyen (126) arrived at the Salen Control with smoke reeking out of the back brakes.
First time out in a 4WD car, Iain ‘Fuey the Fireman’ Noble is getting on fine but he’s never driven a car with so many switches and buttons. Aye this new technology catches up with us all Fuey. When the back end of the Sunbeam stepped out on him, it made James Fairbairns (129) wake up smartish and Shug Rutherford (124) is concerned about his low oil pressure. It might be John Hislop’s (130) first time on Mull but co-driver Gareth Williams has been around here a few times with Dougi Hall. Kevin Charles (132) was just dead chuffed to have caught and passed a car and Norman MacPhail (134) was struggling to get back on the pace after the long wait before Stage 5, but he was looking happier as he headed towards his home stages in the south of the island.
That’s yer lot for now,
Yer Auld Pal, Jaggy Bunnet – Friday, 4.00 am, At the Sea Life Centre in Oban
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