Come along to the Summer Fun Day at Garmony Rugby Club. A great day out for all the family.
Autosport is the UK’s best-selling weekly motorsport magazine.
The regulars and locals have known it for years but now an even wider audience, or at least the readership of Autosport, knows just what a unique and exciting event the Mull Rally is.
In a recent issue of Autosport The Mull Rally has been listed alongside other iconic events such as the Singapore Grand Prix and the Surfers Paradise V8 Supercars. Not bad.
The founder of the Rally Brian Molyneux, once wrote a book about the origins of the event which was titled “The Best Rally in the World” There’s little shame in this claim when you see it listed alongside some of motorsports biggies like The Canadian Grand Prix, The Nurburgring 24 Hours and the Daytona 24 hours.
Within the four page article Autosport claims:
‘There’s no more beautiful place in the world than the Scottish Highlands in Autumn and a Ford Escort MK11 on the ragged edge around Calgary Bay completes that picture’.
‘If you have never stood in a graveyard at two in the morning with rain driving at you and rally cars driving round you, you’ve never lived.’
Lets hope that this ringing endorsement attracts some new disciples to the island in October so that they can also learn that once visited it becomes an annual pilgrimage.
Calum Duffy wins Tunnock’s Mull Rally, MacCrone second.
Dervaig duo Calum Duffy and John MacCrone finished 1-2 in the 43rd running of the Tunnock’s Mull Rally. The Mull pair finished ahead of the Subaru of England’s John Cope.
Duffy, piloting his Ford Escort MkII and co-driven by his brother Iain, clinched their seventh victory — and third in four years — in impressive style by setting the fastest time over the closing 22.5-mile stage, the Long One.
“It’s been very, very difficult,” Duffy — who set fastest times in seven of the 17 stages, and who eventually finished 2mins 07secs ahead of MacCrone — said.
“John’s the real hero here this weekend. To achieve what he’s done in a two-wheel drive Ford Fiesta, is fantastic: what a drive. People keep calling me the Mull Master, but he’s the future of the event. He’s fantastic.”
Duffy though emphasised the fact he won’t be retiring to make it any easier for his nominated successor: “To be the best, you’ve got to beat the best…”
MacCrone meanwhile, who took 24s out of Duffy on the opening stage of the closing Leg 3, was obviously delighted with his best-ever finish … in fact, his first finish since he brought his Peugeot 205 home in 2008.
“I’m delighted: to finish second is class: and to do it in the middle of Dervaig is just a dream,” the 22-year-old said. “I can’t believe it, to be honest. The party tonight’s going to be big.
“What Calum has achieved over the last few years is amazing. To me, he’s the best. He’s the Master — we’re the Apprentices.”
And MacCrone was praised by his co-driver, Glasgow’s Stuart Loudon, making his first appearance on Mull.
“John’s been fantastic over the past two days,” Loudon said. “It’s been my first time here as co-driver, and it’s blown my mind. We had an advantage in that we came here straight from the WRC Academy event in France last weekend when we finished third.
“I’ve learned so much over the past two days. Co-driving at night has been amazing, but the fact John knows these roads like the back of his hand was the key to us being so quick.”
Walshaw’s John Cope took third in his Subaru Impreza, finishing 3mins 20secs behind MacCrone.
“We’ve had a really good evening, and got a push on,” Cope said. “We had so many problems last night, so to turn it round and fight through from eighth to third is a really good feeling.”
Cope took full advantage of the misfortune suffered by long-time second-placed Tony Bandry (Richmond) who rolled his Nissan Sunny GTi-R on the penultimate stage. It was cruel luck for Bandry who has been consistently quick, setting fastest times on eight of the 16 stages he started.
There was disappointment too for Tobermory’s Lewis Gallagher. The Subaru Impreza driver started the final stage in fourth, but slipped back to eighth when he dropped 5mins 12secs on the final test.
That allowed Tristan Pye (Bishop Auckland) to move up to fourth in his Subaru, more than two minutes ahead of Eddie O’Donnell jnr, whose Ford suffered a puncture on SS14.
Sixth went to Jonathan Monsey’s Mitsubishi, 17s ahead of the BMW Mini of John Cressey (Long Preston). The top 10 was rounded off by Alistair Inglis (Montrose) in his Mitsubishi Evo 5, who edged ahead of 2002 winner Daniel Harper (Nelson) by just 4secs.
Stage final stage was halted after Car 57 — the Peugeot 106 of Euan Mackay (Brora) and Michelle Falconer (Inverness) — caught fire. Both crew members thankfully escaped uninjured after vacating the car. The Peugeot suffered less well and was badly damaged. Organisers had to send a fire tender into the stage to deal with the blaze as the car was in close proximity to property.
In the classes, MacCrone took Class B by a country mile, while the Ford of Ellon’s Doug Weir sealed Class C by 61s from Graham Willcock’s Opel Manta. And Stephen Tompson (Kirkcudbright) won Class A in his Vauxhall Nova, ahead of the Lotus Elise of Howard Moore (Banbury).
In the Historics, H5 was won by Andrew Smith’s Ford Escort MkII, and H3 by Jim and Charlotte McDowall’s Hillman Avenger.
Tunnock’s Mull Rally — Result (Provisional):
1. Calum Duffy 2hr 25mins 34secs;
2. John MacCrone +2.07s;
3. John Cope +5.27s;
4. Tristan Pye +6.16s;
5. Eddie O’Donnell jnr +8.26s;
6. Jonathan Mounsey +9.36s;
7. John Cressey +9.53s;
8. Lewis Gallagher +10.17s;
9. Daniel Harper +11.43;
10. Alistair Inglis +11.49.
Car 1, Calum Duffy, Ford Escort MkII, (Dervaig): Took it quite steady. Went for slicks and we had a few moments in there which weren’t necessary. Very slippy, but still going 90-95%
Car 10: Tony Bardy, Nissan Sunny GTi-R, (Richmond): Very slippy in there. Time to kick myself up the arse.
Car 7: John MacCrone, Ford Fiesta, (Mull): Went on Inters, but they went halfway through, which made it hard through the glen. I think we’ll change to Slicks. Think we took some good time out of Tony.
Car 3: Daniel Harper, BMW Mini, (Nelson): Not bad. Slippy, but road’s drying.
Car 8: Jonathan Mounsey, Mitsubishi Evo VI, (Settle): Just caught Eddie O’Donnell at the end of the stage. He was crawling.
Car 9: Lewis Gallagher, Subaru Impreza, (Tobermory): Quite fast, but we had a slow start. Running Slicks with a couple of cuts.
Car 5: Eddie O’Donnell jnr, Ford Escort RS, (Tobermory): Puncture on the back right and we were down to the rim for the last half-mile. Definitely wanted to get the full value of the tyres. Got overtaken by Jon (Maunsey), so we’ve dropped at least a minute.
Car 4: John Cope, Subaru Impreza, (Walshaw): On Inters. Pushing quite a bit, hence the glowing brakes.
Car 6: Tristan Pye, Subaru Impreza, (Bishop Auckland): Very slippery.
Car 39: John Cressey, BMW Mini S, (Long Preston): Struggling to see in the dark. Probably getting a bit old.
Car 32: Ian Chadwick, Honda Civic: Not very happy. Lights are back to flickering, which makes it difficult to see.
Car 19: Alan Gardiner, Ford Escort MkI, (Biggar): Pretty good. Lots of grip. Really fast in there. Just pleased now to get to the end.
Car 17: Donnie MacDonald, Mitsubishi Evo IX, (Culloden): Not good. We had a terrible start. Cold tyres and cold brakes. Really let myself down. Really disappointed.
Car 20: Stephen Lockhart, Mitsubishi Evo, (Oban): Broke a driveshaft coming up to the Dervaig Hairpin. Only ourselves to blame. That’s it over for us.
Car 21: Alistair Inglis, Mitsubishi Evo V, (Montrose): Got to let my brakes cool. Cut Slicks went off: cooked them.
Car 26: Alex Taylor, Subaru Forester: We were close behind the No37 Escort that hit the bank. Hampered us a bit.
Car 15: Steve Cressey, Ford Escort (Chesterfield): Absolutely awesome. Perfect tyre choice: thoroughly enjoyable.
Car 14: Doug Weir, Ford Escort MkII, (Ellon): That was a lot better: dryer and faster.
Car 37: Neil Morgan, Ford Escort, (Congleton): Rubbish. Hit a rock, and buggered the front. Punctured front left and bent the rim.
Car 86: Andrew Smith, Ford Escort MkII, (Northallerton): It’s hot and sweaty in here. I’ve been trying a bit too hard: not smooth. Looking in the mirror too much because I’m conscious of all these 4x4s behind me.
Car 88: Matthew Keeson, Vauxhall Nova (Dunblane): Over-driving in a bit. Just need to relax.
Car 120: Stewart Wiltshire, Vauxhall Corsa, (Tobermory): Car’s handling like a shopping trolley: nightmare. Hit something and the handling’s shot.
TUNNOCK’S MULL RALLY — LEG 2 REPORT & QUOTES:
Tunnock’s Mull Rally — Overall Top 10 after SS13 of 17:
1. Calum Duffy 1hr 38mins 19secs;
2. Tony Bardy +1min 44secs;
3. John MacCrone +2.07s;
4. John Cope +4.19s;
5. Lewis Gallagher +4.21s;
6. Tristan Pye +4.44s;
7. Eddie O’Donnell jnr +5.07s;
8. Jonathan Mounsey +6.02s;
9. Billy Bird +7.04s;
10. John Cressey +7.18s.
Overnight leader Calum Duffy maintained his stranglehold on the 43rd running of the Tunnock’s Mull Rally, but the Dervaig driver saw his lead reduced to ‘just’ 1min 44secs after he was “too cautious” with his tyre choice for SS13 at Calgary Bay.
“I should have gone with Slicks, but I opted for Inters,” he explained after seeing Tony Bardy take 10secs out of him over the 21.89-miles.
But while Duffy was left ruing the tyres on his Ford Escort MkII, Bardy was delighted with his drive through the four stages.
“We’re sort of in unchartered territory,” he laughed. “It’s a bit of a new experience being here for the Saturday night runs, and being so far up the leaderboard.”
But the Richmond driver accepts Duffy is in pole position to win tonight.
“Calum’s been here before, and with the gap he has he should be able to control it to the end,” he continued. “But that can bring its own problems: backing off has a habit of coming back to bite you hard. And as we know, it only takes a puncture in the wrong place.”
The Englishman’s pace through the final stage of the afternoon Leg in his 4WD Nissan Sunny GTi-R, also saw him pull away from the John MacCrone.
The 22-year-old Mull ace, piloting his 1600cc 2WD Ford Fiesta, bagged two fastest stage times today, first through Gribun 2, then Mishnish 2. That though wasn’t enough to stop Bardy open the gap to third-placed MacCrone to 23secs.
“We’re doing all we can do, and there’s not much left in the car,” the islander explained. “We’re driving as hard as we can without doing anything stupid. We’re pushing very hard, and I have to hope the rain comes back this evening.”
The afternoon loop proved painful for Daniel Harper. Fourth overnight in his BMW Mini, he popped the tailgate on his car after a heavy landing, then lost time with a puncture. Worse though was to follow when the Mini suffered a driveshaft problem on SS13. He now lies 18th.
And there was a close shave for Settle’s Jonathan Mounsey. At 120mph, he pitched his Mitsubishi EvoXI into a ditch after clattering a rock.
“Yeh, it was a pretty big one,” he admitted. “We came over a crest, the car went light and we ended up looking at the sky with the back of the car in a ditch. Somehow though, the car just pulled itself out and we were abel to continue.”
In the classes, MacCrone continues to lead Class B by a country mile, while the Ford of Ellon’s Doug Weir leads Class C by just 17s from Graham Willcock’s Opel Manta. And Stephen Tompson (Kirkcudbright) leads Class A in his Vauxhall Nova, ahead of the Lotus Elise of Howard Moore (Banbury).
In the Historics, H5 is led by Andrew Smith’s Ford Escort MkII; H3 by Jim and Charlotte McDowall’s Hillman Avenger: and H4 by Martin Healer’s Ford Escort RS1600
Car 1, Calum Duffy, Ford Escort MkII, (Dervaig ): We made the wrong tyre choice. We struggled for grip at the rear and then they went off. I know we’ll definitely have dropped time. Not ideal.
Car 10: Tony Bardy, Nissan Sunny GTi-R, (Richmond): We had worn inters on and were on the pace, but even with the issues Calum had, he’s got enough of an advantage to stay ahead.
Car 7: John MacCrone, Ford Fiesta, (Mull): That was good, but I’m not sure how good? Very slippy, especially under the trees where the moisture has stayed: plus there’s leaves everywhere. There were some strange lines on the road coming through there. We were pushing very hard. I have to hope the rain comes back this evening.
Car 9: Lewis Gallagher, Subaru Impreza, (Tobermory): That was ok. We lost power at the start, but after the first mile it came back. I passed Jonathan Mounsey.
Car 8: Jonathan Mounsey, Mitsubishi Evo VI, (Settle): W had no boost for most of that stage. I think we’ve dropped a turbo pipe. Essentially we had 100bhp instead of 300bhp. It happened right at the start of the stage.
Car 4: John Cope, Subaru Impreza, (Walshaw): Worked hard in there, but it was good fun. Just set about it and went for it. Passed Daniel Harper in there: think he has a driveshaft problem.
Car 6: Tristan Pye, Subaru Impreza, (Bishop Auckland): We had a few anti-lag problems: just kept flicking on and off. But we’ll sort it out for the final leg tonight.
Car 16: Billy Bird, Vauxhall Chevette (York): Slippy, but we’re still here and just ticking the stages off.
Car 3: Daniel Harper, BMW Mini, (Nelson): We broke the driveshaft just three miles into the 22-miler. Dropped a shed-load of time, probably around five minutes.
Car 5: Eddie O’Donnell jnr, Ford Escort RS, (Tobermory): Great stage. Really pushed it to try and make up the time we dropped on the earlier stage when we had a puncture.
Car 19: Alan Gardiner, Ford Escort MkI, (Biggar): We put hard tyres on the back, and though they weren’t ideal for SS12, they really helped on this one. We’ve got a problem with the brake pads glazing, but I think we’ll be ok tonight.
Car 17: Donnie MacDonald, Mitsubishi Evo IX, (Culloden): Brilliant stage: I just didn’t have the bottle for it. Can I go back now and do it again?
Car 21: Alistair Inglis, Mitsubishi Evo V, (Montrose): Fantastic: that was something else. Wish I could maintain that pace right through to the end of the rally.
Car 27: Richard Cook, Subaru Impreza, (Lamplugh): Just lacking a bit of confidence there. Car 21 passed us. The downhill sections I just backed-off. But great stages.
Car 26: Alex Taylor, Subaru Forester: We’ve a front left puncture. It’s completely disintegrated and it came off the rim about half-a-mile from the end of the stage. It’s caused a fair bit of body damage, but hopefully the suspension’s ok. I always think you’ve got be in it to win it: we won’t win it, but we’re still in it!
Car 38: Matt Tarbutt, Peugeot 306 Maxi, (Huddersfield): Wheel sheered from the car. Thankfully both Matt and co-driver Joff Haigh ok.
Car 20: Stephen Lockhart, Mitsubishi Evo, (Oban): Not very good, really. Lost time with a puncture.
Car 36: Craig Rutherford, Honda Civic Type-R, (Mull): We’ve had no drive — well, very little — and the power steering keeps coming and going Oh, and the gears keep slipping. Very slow: we got passed by the Peugeot 106 of Euan Mackay (Brora).
Car 54: John Marshall, Ford Escort, (Dunblane). How was that? It was shite. I’ve got what feels like a valve cap stuck somewhere in my crash helmet, and the pain’s been excruciating right through the stage. Can’t wait to get it off.
Tunnock’s Mull Rally News — Quotes & Positions after SS11:
Overnight leader Calum Duffy extended his advantage on the Tunnock’s Mull Rally after the opening two stages today.
John Cope was fastest thru SS10, John MacCrone fastest in SS11. Duffy extended lead over Tony Bardy to 1min 53secs. MacCrone just 4s off 2rd & 34s from Daniel Harper in 4th.
Tunnock’s Mull Rally — Overall Top 10 after SS11 of 17:
1. Calum Duffy 1hr 10mins 59secs;
2. Tony Bardy +1min 53secs;
3. John MacCrone +1.57s;
4. Daniel Harper +2.30s;
5. Jonathan Mounsey +3.07s;
6. Lewis Gallagher +3.11s;
7. Eddie O’Donnell jnr +4.03s;
8. John Cope +4.04s;
9. Tristan Pye +4.23s
10. Billy Bird +5.27s.
Car 1, Calum Duffy, Ford Escort MkII, (Dervaig ): It’s still pretty slippy out there to be honest. Not a lot of standing water, but we’re going well and just taking everything steady. Touch wood the car’s running well.
Car 10: Tony Bardy, Nissan Sunny GTi-R,(Richmond): Certainly see lot more in the daylight, but it’s still very puddly. We’re getting a lot of vibration from the rear of the car. Slid wide on one of the corners and filled it full of mud. We also broke a gearbox last night and the crew worked brilliant last night to replace it.
Car 7: John MacCrone, Ford Fiesta, (Mull): They’ve both gone well, but we’ve no idea of times. Just doing all we can do, and there’s not much left in the car. We’re driving as hard as we can without doing anything stupid.
Car 3: Daniel Harper, BMW Mini, (Nelson): We came flying over that last jump, landed bit heavy and the bootlid flew open.
Car 8: Jonathan Mounsey, Mitsubishi Evo VI, (Settle): Had a big off in there: spun at 120mph and hit rocks. Don’t know what the damage is, I just cranked it back up and headed off again. I imagine though the bumper’s wrecked, and hopefully it’s not done any damage in the engine bay.
Car 9: Lewis Gallagher, Subaru Impreza, (Tobermory): Everything’s going ok. Had a spin on Calgary stage last night which cost us time, but hopefully we can claw it back this afternoon.
Car 5: Eddie O’Donnell jnr, Ford Escort RS, (Tobermory): I can’t believe the number of people who are crammed into that stage.
Car 4: John Cope, Subaru Impreza, (Walshaw): No problems. Everything feels good at the moment.
Car 6: Tristan Pye, Subaru Impreza, (Bishop Auckland): We’ve a bit of a problem with the car, but we know what it is and we should be able to fix it at service.
Car 16: Billy Bird, Vauxhall Chevette (York): Bit damp through there, but it’s ok. I’m pleased with our performance, but we’re not setting any records.
Car 22: Chris Haigh, Ford Escort, (Helperby): We seemed to be in the air as much as we were on the road in that stage. It’s brilliant. Absolutely fantastic stage.
Car 39: John Cressey, BMW Mini S, (Long Preston): Briliant. I didn’t know I liked it sloppy, but I’ve realised now that I obviously do. But there’s just as little grip today as there was in the rain last night. But it’s a blast.
Car 32: Ian Chadwick, Honda Civic,: That was a bit naughty really: I didn’t realise when we did this stage last night that the seas was so close. I felt we could almost reach out and splash our hand in the sea. And we could hardly see through the windscreen which has sited up again. But it’s great.
Car 19: Alan Gardiner, Ford Escort MkI, (Biggar): We’ve got the right trues on, and thankfully got a lot of grip. It’s going well.
Car 17: Donnie MacDonald, Mitsubishi Evo IX, (Culloden): That was frightening: how close were we to the sea? But I’m loving it.
Car 11: Peter Taylor, Ford Focus WRC (Carlisle): Things going a lot better today. We made the right tyre choice, but after last night it’s like starting all over again from scratch. Hopefully now we’ll get faster and faster.
Car 20: Stephen Lockhart, Mitsubishi Evo, (Oban): That’s one of our favourite stages in the world: but God was it scary! We’re going to make some changes to the suspension at service. The car’s not ideal, but it’s doing a job today.
TUNNOCK’S MULL RALLY — LEG 1 REPORT
The Tunnock’s Mull Rally got underway in some of the wettest, soggiest, slippery conditions in its 43-year history. How bad were conditions? Well when Dervaig’s Calum Duffy opted to start the rally on four wet tyres for the first time ever, you realise conditions must have been pretty treacherous.
But even before the rally started, there were disappointed faces in the field.
Car 70, the Vauxhall Nova of John Paterson (Salen) and Lee Paterson Proud (Dervaig) suffered a broken camshaft on the way to scrutineering and failed to start.
Then Car 42, the Ford FiestaST of Luke Pinder (Shipley) and Martin Taylor, burst its power steering on way to the start. At one stage it looked as though they might be able to carry out repairs and take their place on the start, but they couldn’t get the parts.
Duffy though, co-driven by Iain Duffy, threw down the gauntlet right from the start, opening up a 12-second lead on the BMW Mini of Daniel Harper (Nelson) and the Ford Fiesta ST of Iain MacKenzie (Dervaig).
“Very slippery out there: probably some of the worst conditions I’ve rallied in,” Duffy said at first service. “Glad we softened up the suspension before we started. Our front tyres had a bit of grip, but the rears we just couldn’t get enough heat into them. We obviously need to soften the rear suspension, so we’ll be faster next stage.
“It’s very easy to go off tonight: stages are very slippery. We’ll get through the next few shortish stages, then make another big push over the closing two long stages tonight.”
But while all went according to plan for pre-event favourite and six-time winner Duffy, it was a nightmare opening 100-metres for rival James MacGillivary.
The Mull driver, seeded No2, ground to a halt in his MkII at Post 1 on the opening stage with fuel and electrical problems: and with it evaporated any chance of winning the rally.
MacGillivary eventually managed to identify the problem and restart, but by that time he’d dropped just under six minutes. Ironically, the car then proceeded to run faultlessly for the rest of the night. Typical Mull!
Duffy continued to set the pace through the next stage, the 14-and-a-half miler at Hill Road, though by now Tony Bardy had found his feet in his Nissan Sunny GTi-R. The Richmond driver was just 2.0secs off the pace and eased himself into second overall.
Bardy then took 8secs out of Duffy on the two circuits of Bunessan, and the gap at the top was down to 12s. It had closed to 7s by the time they exited the to blasts round the 2.62-miles at Ardtun.
At this stage the two drivers were so well matched that they set identical times of 4mins 13secs on SS6, the 4.63-miles at Loch Scridian. Duffy though was about to light the blue touchpaper.
Fastest again through the eight-miler at Gribun Rocks, where Lewis Gallagher was second-fastest in his Subaru and Bardy dropped 10s, it was the night’s final test at Calgary Bay where Duffy stamped his authority.
The Ford driver finished 38s ahead of the field, with Mull’s WRC Academy contender John MacCrone finishing second in his Ford Fiesta. Significantly, Bardy dropped 1min 34secs, though he was perfectly content with his night’s work: “We’re taking no risks and just not overdriving the car,” he said.
That left the Duffy leading Bardy by 1:51s overnight. All the more impressive given he’d run through Gribun on dipped lights. The headlights hadn’t been charging properly due to the alternator hanging off because a bracket had broken. How did the crew fix the problem?
“The Boys fixed it with a tree-felling wedge to tension the alternator pulley, tied in with a bit of fence wire and held in place with tie-wraps,” Duffy explained.
Tunnock’s Mull Rally — End of Leg 1 of 3 (Overall Top 10 after SS9 of 17):
1. Calum Duffy 59.37;
2. Tony Bardy +1min 51secs;
3. John MacCrone +2.01s;
4. Daniel Harper +2.10s;
5. Jonathan Mounsey +2.34s;
6. Lewis Gallagher +3.01s;
7. Eddie O’Donnell jnr +3.49s;
8. John Cope +3.57s;
9. Tristan Pye +4.10s
10. Billy Bird +4.55s.
MacCrone starts today just 10s behind Bardy, and 9s ahead of fourth-placed Harper. Jonathan Mounsey (Settle) was fifth in his Mitsubishi Evo XI, 24s behind Harper, with Lewis Gallagher’s Subaru sixth. The Tobermory driver starts today just 27s adrift of Mounsey.
Top 10 was rounded out by seventh-placed Eddie O’Donnell’s Ford Escort RS, 8s ahead of the Subarus of John Cope (Walshaw) and Tristan Pye (Bishop Auckland) Billy Bird’s Vauxhall Chevette holds 10th.
In the Classes, MacCrone holds healthy lead of almost 3mins in Class B ahead of the Honda Civic of Ian Chadwick. Class C though is shaping up to be a tight battle, with the Opel Manta of Graham Wilcock 15s ahead of the Peugeot of Huddersfield’s Matt Tarbutt. He in turn holds a 37s advantage over the Ford Escort MkII of Ellon’s Doug Weir. Kircudbright’s Stephen Thompson leads Class A behind the wheel of his Vauxhall Nova.
In the Historics, Northallerton’s Andrew Smith leads H5 in his Ford Escort MkII, with John Marshall (Dunblane) ahead in H4 piloting his Escort. The lead in H3 is held by Jim McDowall’s Hillman Avenger.
ON THE ROCKS
The Peugeot 205GTi (Car 69) of Nantwich duo, Andrew Woodward and Tom Bowen, ended up stranded on rocks after it went off on SS8 at Gribun. The medics and midpoint rescue crew attended the incident and both competitors were taken out of the stage uninjured.
Subsequently Car 68 — the Citroen C2 R2 of Yorkshire crew Richard Sykes and Simon Taylor — was reported ‘missing’. As a result of the rescue crew from the start of the stage being sent in to ‘find them’, a decision was taken to run the remaining 25 cars through ‘uncompetitively’.
“We had huge numbers of spectators standing waiting to see the action at Smithy Corner and Dervaig,” Clerk of the Course Iain Campbell explained, “and as it was looking like the gap would be up to around 35 mints, we didn’t want to leave them standing in the pouring rain with no action to watch.”
There’s at least one ‘celebrity’ on Mull this weekend. Roy Pilkington was marshalling on Bunessan last night, and will be on the Long One this evening. He has though been getting chased by autograph hunters. Why? Because he’s one of the guys filmed in Eddie Stobart Truck & Trailers. Aye, the stars are all here!
Car 118: Zak Hancock, Mull, but living in Cockermouth (Austin Mini Cooper): We’re having fantastic time and we’re looking forward to Ardtun. I don’t need pacenotes — my other half lives in that side of the island — so I’ll let my co-driver Chris (Atkinson) watch. The Mini we’re using has been used by three generations of the family: Grandfather, Mother and now son.
Car 41: Alec Brown, Tobermory (Citreon Saxo) — “Not a good start. We spun at Achnadrish and dropped 20secs then, a mile into SS2 the alternator gave up and as a result we had to do the while stage with no spotlights … and no wipers. Not good really. Hopefully though, with the help of this new alternator, we can claw back a bit more time.”
START OF SS7:
Car 14: Doug Weir, Ellon (Ford Escort MkII): We went off at a 90-right on SS4 and we got stuck in a ditch, which cost us a fair amount of time. We also lost the bootlid and cracked some of the rear lights. It’s amazing how many people are out there at this time of night watching the rally.
Car 19: Alan Gardiner, Biggar (Ford Escort MkI): Running intermitten Dunlops now, instead of the Kumho wets which gave us no grip at the start. Now we have much better grip and the car is handling much better.
Car 25 Dave Miller, Stoke-on-Trent (Subaru Impreza): Really sloppy: done it a few times but we’ve made a few modifications and it’s made the car too tricky.
Car 23: Graham Willcock, Easingwold (Opel Manta): Going not so bad, now that we’ve got the right tyres on. We cut them a bit to allow us to get more heat into them.
Car 24: John Rintoul, Leven (Mitsubishi Evo VII): It’s been terrible. We lost the lights on a couple of stages: the crews made adjustments to the lights and loosened the lights too much … and the lights toppled over. Then we lost the clutch as well: brilliant!
END OF SS8:
Car 3: Daniel Harper, Nelson (BMW Mini): Not so good: the windscreen misted up and we drove quite a bit of the stage with no visibility and dropped a bit of time.
Car 4: John Cope, Walshaw (Subaru Impreza): Feel’s like there’s something wrong with the car again: feels like it’s wandering across the road. We’ve had driveshaft problems earlier.
Car 6: Tristan Pye, Bishop Auckland (Subaru Impreza): Better than the first couple of stages: getting used to the extra power in the car.
Car 5: Eddie O’Donnell jnr, Tobermory (Ford Escort RS): Nearly had a major accident in there: really big accident.
Car 7: John MacCrone, Mull (Ford Fiesta): It’s been ok: we’re not taking any risks. We’re just keeping it steady and cool.
Car 11: Peter Taylor, Carlisle (Ford Focus WRC): Good, but we had no brakes at one stage because I’d made a schoolboy error and had by foot resting on the pedal along a straight: then had to back off and let the brakes come back to me.