Calum & Iain Duffy put in a magnificant performance to bring their total tally of wins on Mull to six. In a hard fought battle, they pipped Paul MacKinnon and Ewen MacGillivray to the final win.
MullMurmurs – Chapter 6
Provisional Leaderboard after SS8 (of 19)
1 Neil MacKinnon/Daniel Barritt (Subaru Impreza WRC) 54 Minutes 35 Seconds
2 Dougi Hall/Andy Richardson (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8) 55m 29s
3 John Cope/Robert Fagg (Subaru Impreza WRC) 55m 58s
4 Paul Kirtley/Jim Kitson (Subaru Impreza) 56m 34s
5 Daniel Harper/Chris Campbell (BMW MINI Cooper S) 56m 51s
6 James MacGillivray/Ian Fraser (Ford Escort Mk2) 57m 03s
7 John Swinscoe/Paula Swinscoe (Mitsubishi Lancer) 57m 32s
8 Denis Biggerstaff/Graeme Thomson (Subaru Impreza) 57m 57s
9 Tristan Pye/Kirsty Riddick (Subaru Impreza) 58m 09s
10 Tony Bardy/Reg Smith (Hyundai Accent WRC) 58m 41s
As dawn clambered over the rocky outline of Mull on the morning of Saturday 13th October there were many bruised egos and battered cars littering the landscape. Last night provided a typical ‘crash, bang, wallop’ start to this 38th Tunnock’s Tour of Mull Rally, but out front was 11 times winner Neil MacKinnon, with Daniel Barritt, going for win number 12.
Speaking of winners, we’ve already had one winner this weekend. After his cycling exploits on the 22 miler on Wednesday, Dougi Hall entered the Tunnock’s Teacake eating contest at Craignure on Thursday night, and he won! 20 teacakes and a bottle of Irn Bru in 4 minutes. What an athlete this boy is.
Looking further down the results listing after the first Leg of 8 stages Lewis Gallagher is leading the 2 litre class in his Peugeot 205 by just 3 seconds from Curly Haigh in the MkI and holding 16th and 17th places overall respectively. In 20th place is 1600 leader Mike Storrar in the Anglia with nearly a minute in hand over young Kris Hall (son of Dougi) in a Peugeot 205. In the wee class, Matthew Tarbutt’s Nova has 2 minutes over the Nova of Ewen MacGillivray.
There is one change to the overnight interim positions. In the previous Bulletin we didn’t have times for Denis Biggerstaff, but following a gearbox change at Craignure, Northern Ireland’s finest is still running, albeit quite far down the running order, and he’s currently lying 8th at the overnight halt.
But if there was a prize for sheer stubborn stupidity, Jim McDowall would be in the running. His ex-works Sunbeam seized its engine 3 miles into the first stage last night, so he called home to Newton Stewart (in the deep south west) and told the boys to bring the engine out of his Avenger up overnight. They are busy fitting it at the moment ready to (hopefully) re-start the Trophy Rally this afternoon.
And if there was an award for gardening, that would be down to Brian MacLeod (82). He went so far off in SS2 last night, the local farmer thought someone had started the ploughing early. That was nothing compared to the service crew who spent the next couple of hours prizing and poking packed earth out from driveshafts, gearbox linkages and stuffed sumpguards creating enough mess to start a new series of the Beechgrove Garden.
Now it’s daylight and the survivors have Leg 2 to look forward to, so doubtless there will be more motoring mayhem on Mull to come. But spare a thought for McDowall’s team, the only thing that’s keeping these boys fuelled is a constant supply of Tunnock’s caramel wafers. However did they manage without them before?
Yer auld pal, Jaggy Bunnet, Tobermory, 11.00 am Saturday
MullMurmurs – Chapter 1
Well, hullawrerrchinasanhowzyertastebudstinglin? Welcome one and all to the 37th running of the annual Tour of Mull Rally and an especially warm welcome to that harbinger of all things scrumptiously tasty, St Tunnock’s of Biscuitry, sponsors of ‘the best rally in the world’.
Things got off to a quietly rowdy start in the Aros Hall last night where a Scotsman, an Englishman, a Welshman and an Irishman gathered together for the pre-rally forum chaired by someone from another nation entirely (but we haven’t found out where), Mr John Fife. First time on the panel James MacGillivray represented the Scots and for someone who’s shy proved remarkably adept at the spoken word. John Cope was there on behalf of the English and determined to go well this year, the most ‘winningest’ man in British rallying and having driven more types of rally car than anyone else, John Price is back for another crack at the one event which has frustrated his trophy cabinet and Denis Biggerstaff is back – just for the craic!
But even before that Rod Brereton was up to his usual tricks on the Wednesday night running a music quiz in the MishNish and raised £275 for the RNLI while another on ‘good works’ duty was Dougi Hall. He cycled the full length of the 22 miler yesterday setting a time of 1 hour 7 minutes 33 seconds and averaging 19.94 mph for the trip – then he cooled down by cycling over the lochs! And the reason, he was being sponsored to raise funds for the bear Cubs, the groups of rallying youngsters that Steve Davies is helping out – and Dougi is still open for donations, it’s a good cause!
And just before the rally gets underway, make sure you get ‘tooled up’ for the weekend, the 2300 Club girls are selling Tunnock’s Tour of Mull gear in the Aros Hall and the fully informative programmes are on sale there too and many shops around the towns and villages. This is essential reading because it contains stage maps and timetables, without which you will see nowt to-night!
But back to the rally, Scrutineering opened for business at Tobermory Distillery where first through was Tony Bardy who has hired a Steve Petch Hyundai WRC machine in place of his Nissan. “It’s an early 50th birthday present to meself” said Tony – about one year early I thought.
John Swinscoe’s Lancer EVO9 looked mean. He brought it in direct from Japan and started prepping it on the 11th of September. Mark Jasper sounds as though he’s well prepared. He and Don Whyatt (2nd time at Mull) drive the stage once to make the Notes and then drove them once to check them! The Metro looks well after its ‘bump’ on Ulster: “I was leading at the time,” said Mark, “and doing 100 and something, then we went off!”
When asked why he had such a huge airbox on top of the Metro V6, John Price said: “It needs a lot of air!” Still, it’s cheaper than petrol I suppose. Next up was the MINI triplets of Daniel Harper, John Cressey and Ian Dawes. The cars have around 270 hp and 6 speed gearboxes built by Minisport. Daniel and John’s cars are the same as last year but Ian and Gary Dawes have forfeited their Astra in favour of the MINI. According to Daniel it’s a “2 Dawes model” (Think about it!).
Ian Colman appeared in his facelifted Nissan. He put it into Tony Bardy’s place for a checkup and they moved the intercooler from the top of the engine to low down at the front. More efficient, but more exposed!
Dave Thwaites has got a new 2.4 Duratec in the MkII in place of the 2 litre Vauxhall. It’s got more power and more torque and a big Atlas, with big diff and big shafts … Chris Tooze is hoping for a better run out on Mull than he had in Ulster. The Corsa shed a wheel 2 miles into the 1st stage … Eddie O’Donnell came through Scrutineering with clean hands! The car has actually been ready since June when he went to do the Donegal, only he didn’t. The cylinder head went porous and he had to withdraw his entry so all he had to do was get the engine rebuilt for Mull … Duggie Ingram’s Mini looks a bit of a handful with its Jack Knight 16 valve head and throttle bodies … and John Rintoul has new glasses, now he’ll actually see what he’s been missing over here all these years! … Dave Taylor is a lucky starter. He got his car pinched out of the garage on Tuesday after thieves played bumper cars with 8 other showroom vehicles to get it out. But it ran out of fuel after 4 miles and the thieves couldn’t get fuel into the WRC spec filler. A lady jogger spotted it behind a hedge and phoned Easson’s garage so they got it back … not so lucky is Billy Bird, the Lancer put a rod through the block last night … Ian Grubb had a fright last night too when the Lancer’s brake pedal went to the floor but an overnight master cylinder change had him back in action this morning.
We didn’t see Neil MacKinnon this morning but we saw his car – he was still in bed, but sone Paul was there with Emma McKinstry’s Lancer. The car is up for sale, but the MacKinnons did a deal with Kenny for two cars on Mull this year. And local hero Calum Duffy was there too. He’s got a new engine in the car. He did Crail late last year and did the Sperrins Rally in Ireland a few months back where he finished 16th overall and 2nd in class so he should be match fit for this weekend.
It was also good to see Dutchman Lex Koevoet back again. He marshalled for the first time on Mull last year and was so taken he’s back for more. He will be marshalling at Ardtun with the BMRMC whose stage starter is none other than Vanessa Bott who is the Chief Start Marshal at Oulton Park. Apparently Oulton Park does a bit in motor sport too!
And finally, Mull does strange things to folk when they first visit and then keep coming back, but few stranger than this. Granite City Clerk of the Course, Gerry Potter and Entries Secretary Rae Osborne got married in Tobermory registry office yesterday morning at 11.00 am witnessed by Doug Weir and Stevie Brown and photographed for posterity by Iain Robertson. Gerry said they did it quietly to save a lot of fuss (I reckon he was saving money!) but if you see a car out there to-night on marshalling duty with steamed up windows, just be careful, it might be the newlyweds! Congratulations from all of us to all of youse.
And finally, finally, the Polis have one of them new fangled see-far-away radar guns that can spot a speeding motorist at a mile! So be careful and be sensible. And if you hear a siren and see flashing lights just ahead of the rally to-night that could be Bulletin Bill with the MullMurmurs, so look out and be ready!
Yer auld pal, Jaggy Bunnet, Tobermory, Noon, Friday