MullMurmurs – Chapter 6
Provisional Leaderboard after SS12 (of 17)
1 Hall/Hall 1 Hr 24 Mins 11 Secs
2 Duffy/Duffy 1h 24m 49s
3 Cope/Fagg 1h 25m 02s
4 Harper/Campbell 1h 25m 10s
5 MacGillivray/Fraser 1h 25m 20s
6 Bardy/Smith 1h 25m 33s
7 Sisson/Stone 1h 26m 02s
8 Pye/Falconer 1h 27m 01s
9 Sinclair/Hamill 1h 27m 37s
10 Sherrington/Bould 1h 28m 29s
It's all change at the top of the leaderboard after the five daylight stages on this 40th anniversary Tunnock's Tour of Mull Rally. Dougi and Sam Hall now lead the rally after 12 of this year's 17 stages but they are coming under severe pressure from the Dervaig Dervishes, Callum and Iain Duffy.
Hall has had his troubles today though: “We did a driveshaft on Tuath. It's banging and clattering away, and it feels worse on lefthanders than righthanders. We nursed it through the first two stages, pushed a bit on Calgary, and then said **** it, and went for it over the last two. But we'll need to see what exactly is wrong before tonight. It feels like three wheel drive at times and I'm not sure at others.”
Duffy was in trouble too but not of his own making. After changing the crown wheel and pinion in the axle last night, the MkII is flying today. “I got hit by Paul MacKinnon,” he said, “Paul had gone off and was reversing out helped by Marshals. They were telling him when it was safe but whatever happened he started coming out just as we were going past. We were lucky, he hit the tail of the car but missed the wheel,. Otherwise we might have got mechanical damage as well.”
A close call, but it means MacKinnon is out as he didn't make it to the final Control this afternoon. That puts John Cope back into contention. He was on fire over the second Hill Road setting fastest time and has moved up to third place, but he was lucky too: “We were on slicks when that downpour hit us on Calgary!”. Daniel Harper had a fright too when the hub came loose from the strut: “The pinch bolt worked loose and the hub was clattering against the strut, but we fixed it at the end of the stage.” James MacGillivray was beaming at the end of the Lochs: “I was cursing. I thought I had picked too soft a tyre, but it rained in Calgary and my choice was perfect. I also got held up a few seconds at Paul's off.”
Tony Bardy is now happy with his steering: “It feels like an ERF but it's not darting left or right as the other one did.” Wayne Sisson is picking up pace now too, and had a spin on the Hill Road, but Tristan Pye dropped back with a front puncture half way through the final stage of the afternoon. Outside the top ten last night, Shaun Sinclair is on a mission today. He's up to 9th now despite spinning on somebody's oil on the Hill Road: “It was a full 360 and then some, but I lost 30 seconds getting it turned round and on its way again,” he said. Tugs Sherrington rounds off the top ten despite the wipers getting themselves knotted during the downpour in Calgary and he couldn't see.
Denis Biggerstaff came out of the Lochs with a huge grin, “I just love that stage”, he said. Steve Cressey's new Subaru has a crumpled front corner courtesy of a huge deer in Gribun last night: “We were flat in sixth and there was this big deer right in the middle of the road!” Doug Weir spun on the Hill Road: “It was my own fault – I missed a gear.” Iain Mackenzie has the wee Peugeot well wound up but is losing time to the bigger cars now that conditions are drying later in the afternoon. Dave Pattison is toiling. A string of good times has been ruined by three punctures this afternoon alone. Curly Haigh is heading straight to service, his gearbox is grumbling and due a change before tonight. Jonathan Mounsey is enjoying himself: “It's slicks all the way, the wetter the better!” Bluidy masochist! Stevie Brown forgot to Note the shiny tar during the recce – he found it today, but you just can't faze these youngsters these days. John Rintoul's lack of pace last night was explained in daylight, a turbo pipe was leaking. Grum Willcok is going better, he's got his confidence back, the brakes are working well. Tim Stell was having a good run till it “dowsed it down on Calgary” but he's still inside the top twenty. Ian Chadwick is 2nd in class but doesn't think he can get 1st because of the notional times, so he's just out for the 'craic' now. Cameron MacLean has cured his brakes troubles from last night with new front calipers and the noisy back axle was only a rattling leaf spring! John Morrison got caught in the heavy rain on the Hill Road but at least it was washing the mud off it a bit. Stuart McQueen didn't need a fag at the end of the Lochs – he must be getting cocky now, and Paul Kirtley is struggling with an intermittent turbo problem. One minute no boost and the next plenty, and usually when he doesn't want it. And the grin is back, Andy Knight was smiling so hard it was stretching his helmet. “We got the brakes sorted out last night,” said Andy, “that was good in there,” he said referring to the Lochs. But he needs a good skelp and a severe talking-to. A wee 1400 shouldn't be cuffing turbo motors.
That’s yer lot for now,
Yer Auld Pal, Jaggy Bunnet – Friday, 3.00 pm, At Island Bakery, Oban
MullMurmurs – Chapter 6
1 P MacKinnon/D Barritt (Subaru Impreza) 49m 48s
2 C Duffy/I Duffy (Ford Escort MkII) 50m 09s
3 D Harper/C Campbell (BMW MINI) 52m 36s
4 J MacGillivray/I Frazer (Ford Escort MkII) 52m 58s
5 K Hall/R Millener (Ford Fiesta) 53m 01s
6 J Cope/R Fagg (Subaru Impreza) 53m 04s
7 W Bonniwell/K Rae (Subaru Impreza) 53m 14s
8 T Pye/K Riddick (Subaru Impreza) 54m 00s
9 D Miller/A Bailey (Subaru Impreza) 54m 30s
10 P Kirtley/D jones (Subaru Impreza) 54m 32s
11 E O’Donnell/S Proud (Ford Escort MkII) 54m 38s
12 T Sherrington/S Bould (Mitsubishi Lancer) 54m 56s
The young guns are taking charge. At the end of the first Leg of the 39th Tunnock’s Tour of Mull Rally, the boys are taking over the old school. Star pupil is 21 year old Paul MacKinnon out there in front, but only 15 seconds clear of Callum Duffy. The other star in the making is Kris Hall lying fifth in a Fiesta. When co-driver Richard Millener was asked what it was like sitting beside the 19 year old, he said: “I’m just hanging on!”
As for their Dads, they are both out. Neil MacKinnon saw engine oil temperatures soaring and each time he pulled over to let it cool, it started boiling again when underway. No choice. Stop. As for Dougi Hall. His Lancer is parked in a ditch. We don’t know why, either puncture or shiny tar. And that’s the big story on this weeknd’s Tunnock’s Tour, grip, or lack of it. It was wet in the run up to the event and although there was little rain overnight, what there was left the roads in treacherous conditions. This is a place fit only for the brave and the foolhardy.
Paul hasn’t been without his problems though. Overnight the power steering pump was being replaced while Calum went back to base to check out a misfire. Daniel Harper is mighty pleased with third in the MINI but there is still some fine tuning to be done although team mate John Cressey is out with a broken gearbox. Young Kris Hall is an amazing fifth ahead of a disconsolate John Cope. After 6 stages he still doesn’t know whether it’s him or the car that is off the pace. Willie Bonniwell is as happy as a schoolkid in a sweet shop and Tristan Pyre would probably go quicker if he would stop wildlife watching (see previous Murmurs). Dave Miller is content to be in the top ten while Paul Kirtley is jus working his confidence back up after a massive slide on Gribun where there was no room for a small slide, let alone a massive one!
John MacCrone is leading the 1600 class in his Peugeot from Iain ‘Ogg’ MacKenzie in the 106 and Irishman Jim McKenna in the Toyota. Matthew Tarbutt tops the 1400 class in his Nova from Mark Constantine in the Corsa and Donald Brown in the Suzuki engined Nova. As for the girls, it looks as though Donna Ingram is leading from Nicola Harper, but as for Louise Thomas, she seems to have disappeared in the dark!
And now for daylight. Whereas carrots are supposed to be good for night vision, here’s my tip for daylight – a Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer. Well, it keeps me going. As for the boys, they’d better watch out. The old men will be able to see better in daylight!
Yer Auld Pal, Jaggy Bunnet – Saturday, 10.30 am, Tobermory.