MULLMURMURSMULLMURMURSMULLMURMURS – Chapter 1
– published on the island, during the event by Jaggy Bunnet
Well hullawrerr chinas, and howzitgaun? Welcome youseyins, from usyins to the 30th Philips Tour of Mull Rally here on the wonderfuel Island of Mull. What an anniversary, 30 years of tarmac sniffing, ditch hopping, dyke bashing and panel beating and still they queue up for more. Once again this year's entry is oversubscribed, disappointing many would-be rallyists. Maybe now that Scotland has its own Parliament, we can get the rules changed!
Programmes are essential for viewing this unique event and these are on sale in the Aros Hall along with all sorts of other exclusive gear. The full colour progs represent excellent value with detailed maps ensuring that even a rally numpty cannae get lost!
And if you are a newcomer and wondering what this rubbish is that you are reading, then a word of clarification. 'MULLMURMURS' is an on-event newsletter which attempts to inform, educate and entertain. And if we are stuck for facts, we'll make it up anyway. But be aware of it and look out for it. It will be distributed around the island by Bill and Katy. So if a complete stranger looms up out of the darkness and thrusts a piece of paper in your hand, it's not necessarily a parking ticket. These FREE scandal rags will be distributed around the rally route at Tobermory, Salen, Craignure.
And speaking of tickets, watch out for the Polis. Yes, they are here for our safety, but they are also pulling up motorists who are using their on-car fog lamps. The Polis will issue a fine – me? I'd kick their lights in!
Last night was Forum night in the Aros Hall where that paragon of rallying virtue John Fife, aided by Callum Duffy, Chris Griffiths, Daniel Harper and Bill Sturrock attempted to enthrall and incite an audience of deadbeats, diehards and those just wishing a roof over their heads for an hour. Question time was as riveting as paint drying but we all had a laugh and a giggle and went on our way to the hostelries thereafter. Our thanks again to all those who took part.
It was really appreciated that the top seeds took time out of their schedules for this. But they were the lucky ones, we all learned something about Pace Notes last night so it wasn't all fun and insults, it was educational. (Now there's a first!).
Top seed Callum Duffy arrived at Scrutineering this morning with a new set of wheels, no not the Escort, the wheels. The black machine looks pretty smart on its new Minilites. Apart from that the Exocet is the same spec as it was last year.
Chris Griffiths runs at 2 in the Subaru. The car is using his Isle of Man/Irish lanes set up but he's slackened off the roll bars to try and cope better with the bumps. Three times runner-up, could this be his year?
The MG Metro 6R4 may not be the ideal choice for Mull's twisting tarmac but Pricey can't half go. More daylight should suit him this year as he claims not to like the dark, but whenever he says that I think back to 2 years ago when he clattered a bridge parapet at Dervaig, dropped to almost last, then drove like a dervish back to 5th overall. Incredibubble!
Now if James MacGillivray can get a 1600 Corsa into third place, then what can he do with a Mitsubishi? First time in four wheel drive he doesn't know what to expect – apart from the fact that it is bluidy quick. And he reckons it's a bit light over the bumps.
Billy Bird's back for more, despite taking the side out of his rear wheel drive Astra on the Jim Clark Rally in July and then got gubbed on Otterburn. Billy thought he'd tackle the Tynside just event for a bit of practice and it was only when he was on the startline that he realised it was being run in the reverse direction to any of his previous attempts and his Notes didn't work backwards!
Dougi Hall has re-wired the Escort since last year's underbonnet fireworks display and John Cressey has already enjoyed a rally-threatening trip this morning. He fell over a Polis No Parking cone at Scrutineering but fortunately his wallet broke his fall. Doesn't his new GrpA Astra look just the business.
John Cope is another who might be lucky to start. He got a bout of food poisoning just before arriving on the island and wasnae well but he had some toast yesterday and is getting a transfusion of avgas before to-night.
Steve Smith's got a new motor. His GrpA Subaru fried its ECU within sight of the rally start last year and got no further so things can only get better with this year's GrpN Subaru.
And now a word about to-night. The Vodafone Millennium stage will kick off the 30th Philips Tour of Mull Rally. Please everyone be aware that till all cars have passed by, Main Street, Back Brae, Argyll Terrace and West Street are closed to traffic both on wheels and on foot. Please do as the Marshals request and the Police instruct. The safety of the rally depends on you. And if you have cars parked in the vicinity or on the road, please move them somewhere safe.
The 2300 Car Club organisers and the local folks of Tobermory have to be applauded for this unique initiative but it can only work if we all pull together.
The Rally starts to-night at 8:00 pm from the car park in Tobermory alongside the Philips Exhibition unit, but if you're intending to spectate on the stages, remember to get there early. Pick your spot on the 'city centre special' and get there in plenty of time and if you are going out and about, get there before the Road Closure Orders come into effect, do as the Marshals tell you, and take care out there!
That's yer lot meantime, more guff to come.
Yer auld pal, Jaggy Bunnet, Tobermory, Friday mid-day.