Photo by chasingthecars.com
Johnnie Mackay refused to be too downhearted after his retirement from the Galloway Hills Rally.
The promising young John Easson Award winner was lying 16th overall, and posting some competitive times before a damaged sumpguard forced him out on SS3.
“We have to concentrate on the positives when incidents like these happen,” said Johnnie, who had a new co-driver, Barry Young, alongside.
“On the first stage, it was more about getting into a good rhythm with Barry, but we clicked pretty quickly. The pace in the second stage was slightly weird, in that we weren’t pushing overly hard, but kept everything neat and tidy.
“When we came out of the stage, and saw that we were 18th fastest, we reckoned we would go out and try and improve on that.
“But, we were about a mile into SS3 going into a left-hander when there was a thump underneath the front of the car. The impact on the sumpguard pushed the fan blades into the radiator, puncturing it.”
Driving slowly out the stage, the pair nursed the ailing Mitsubishi Evo7 on the three-mile road section to service, despite the engine temperature gauge heading for the red.
Worse was to come as they then noticed a ‘clumping’ sound coming from the rear suspension.
Explained Johnnie: “The priority when we got to service was to get the radiator changed, but when we looked at the back of the car the captive nut on the rear suspension had been ripped out of the chassis.
“The service crew were able to effect a temporary repair, which just left the radiator. There was only 30 minutes service time, but we managed to change it for our spare. Al that was left was to fill it with water.
“It soon became apparent, as water gushed out of the bottom of it, that the spare had a bigger hole in it than the original. At that point, we decided to call it a day.
“There are lots of things to be positive about though. Our times were looking promising, and going out early means our fuel bill wasn’t very big and I’ve still got four brand new tyres!”