( Provisional ) Leaderboard after 9 (of 17 Stages)
1 P MacKinnon/D Barritt (Subaru Impreza) 1h 11m 33s
2 C Duffy/I Duffy (Ford Escort MkII) 1h 11m 57s
3 J MacGillivray/I Frazer (Ford Escort MkII) 1h 15m 28s
4 W Bonniwell/K Rae (Subaru Impreza) 1h 15m 40s
5 J Cope/R Fagg (Subaru Impreza) 1h 15m 49s
6 D Harper/C Campbell (BMW MINI) 1h 15m 50s
7 K Hall/R Millener (Ford Fiesta) 1h 16m 16s
8 T Pye/K Riddick (Subaru Impreza) 1h 17m 02s
9 D Miller/A Bailey (Subaru Impreza) 1h 17m 55s
Who’d have thought it? Sunshine at Dervaig. It’s as pretty as a picture here on the 39th Tunnock’s Tour of Mull Rally with the sun sparkling on the shimmering surface of the River Bellart as it flows under the dainty Dervaig bridge. It wasn’t so pretty last night when Darren Meadows rolled his Escort into it! Fortunately, he and Jonny Bould were OK, but going no further.
Paul MacKinnon started the afternoon Leg the way he finished off Friday night, in record breaking form, taking 2 seconds out of the Calgary West record on his first run through. The 2nd run was aborted and has caused a delay due to another competitor going off and the car having to be removed by the Rescue crews. Paul looked remarkably calm and composed. “I’m just taking it steady, and happy just to take a couple of seconds out of Calum when I can.”
As for Calum, he’s slipping back. “I can’t keep tyres on this thing. I’m running the hardest I can get and it’s still all over the place. You can’t slide it or drift it, it just wants to keep going.” But if you think he’s given up, think again. “I’ll get that back tonight – when it’s cooler!” James MacGillivray says “We’re holding our own” but he was promising a big push tonight. Daniel Harper finished the last stage with a bad misfire “It crawled out on one cylinder. I switched it off and started it up and it was fine – it must be Cressey’s wiring!” Kris Hall is going as hard as the little Group N Fiesta will let him but is losing out to the big boys in daylight this afternoon “I’m happy with my times, but I can’t go any harder.” John Cope was looking slightly happier “I’ve softened it up more than I have before but it’s still a bit too skippity. It’s better, but not right. I’ve caught Hall, now I’m after Bonniwell.” As for Willie Bonniwell “The tyres are working better today, it’s all about confidence now. It’s either that or Kevin – he’s got a bigger stick today!”
For all you spectators out there, it sounds as though November the 5th is coming early to Mull this year.
And what about Pye and Riddick? This time it was a pheasant!
Paul Kirtley has retired. The exhaust manifold has blown in Calgary and the excessive underbonnet heat would damage the engine, so he’s called it quits, gone back to service and hopes to get it fixed to go for a run out tonight. It also looks as though Ian Colman has retired, the Nissan is off in Calgary and caused a delay in the stage.
Yer Auld Pal, Jaggy Bunnet – Saturday, 2.30 pm, Dervaig
P.S. Any of you service crews lost a battery impact gun? It’s been found. Call Gary on 07796 861440 to reclaim it.