1999 – Murmur Chapter 9

MULLMURMURSMULLMURMURSMULLMURMURS – Chapter 9

– published on the island, during the event by Jaggy Bunnet

Results after 22 Special Stages:

1

Chris Griffiths/Aled Davies

Subaru Impreza

2 Hrs 43 Mins 49 Secs

 

2

Dougi Hall/Gareth Williams

Ford Escort

2.45.57

 

3

John Price/Caroline Broad

MG Metro 6R4

2.48.53

 

4

Callum Guy/Fred Bell

Vauxhall Astra

2.50.36

1st 2 ltr

5

Daniel Harper/Les Reger

Vauxhall Astra

2.51.21

 

6

William Bonniwell/Ali Campbell

Ford Escort

2.51.48

 

7

Rob Barry/Alan Whittaker

Mitsubishi

2.53.10

 

8

Mark Hudson/Dave McKinlay

Ford Escort

2.55.33

 

9

Mark Jasper/Alan Snell

Escort Cos

2.56.08

 

10

Doug Weir/Duncan Brown

Vauxhall Nova

2.57.13

1st 1600

18

Dougie Ingram/Adam Greenway

Mini

3.02.59

1st 1300

There was something inevitable about the 30th Philips Tour of Mull Rally. Before the event, there was a general feeling about this being Chris Griffiths' year. Oh sure, all the others reckoned their own chances, but for the three times runner-up there was just a quiet air of confidence and the nonchalence of a man who is happy with life and enjoying his rallying.

At the finish both he and Aled Davies had plenty to celebrate. It was their first win since the Harry Flatters in Wales some 5 or 6 years ago (Chris' memory is failing him – is it age or emotion?) when he was driving the Opel Manta. "It hasn't sunk in yet", said Chris, "I'm wide awake at the moment, it'll be Monday before I realise I've actually done it, and I'll be suffering all next week once the adrenaline has gone."

Dougi Hall and Gareth Williams were equally upbeat, the 2.4 Escort splitting the four wheel drive domination at the top of the field. Fourth 2 years ago this was their best yet, "I was able to back off a bit on the long one," said Dougi, "and Gareth was able to keep up with the Notes for the first time because I was going slower!"

When they beat the Bogey on the opening Vodafone Millennium stage through the streets of Tobermory, John Price and Caroline Broad looked as though they might be on course for their first victory in the island but it wasn't to be. Indeed they were lucky to reach the finish. The starter motor failed and they had to park the Metro facing downhill at the start of the final stage to bump-start it.

The two litre battle was eventually won by Callum Guy and Fred Bell in the Astra just holding off the similar car of Daniel Harper and Les Reger. John Cressey and Ian Grindrod had been making this a three way battle until their Astra took exception to the profane language that was being used to urge the device on to ever greater feats of speed and daring. During the daylight stages, the old timers actually got past the youngsters and had set their bi-focals and contact lenses on Guy and Bell when disaster struck.

Top 'local' this year was William Bonniwell with Ali Campbell, and their 6th place is proof that miracles do happen. When the cam belt jumped a tooth there were fears that the long suffering Escort wouldn't make it. It did, but the doors will never close properly again after the old girl went baggy at the knees after a bad landing.

Rob Barry and Alan Whittaker had a trouble free run to 7th despite breaking a driveshaft – on a road section (now there's lucky!), Mark Hudson/David McKinlay were 8th, and 9th for Mark Jasper/Alan Snell was reward for sheer cussedness in the face of adversity. Apparently the Escort took exception to Mark's attempts to re-profile it on Mishnish Lochs and thereafter the spoiled brat did everything to frustrate the crew and infuriate the service lads.

Rounding off the top ten were the top 1600 runners Doug Weir and Duncan Brown ahead of George MacDonald (11th) and Martin Mclean (16th). Weir's pace was quite surprising and his main job was keeping a silencer system on it, resorting to fridge parts to patch it up. Dougie Ingram and Adam Greenaway's 18th place o/a in their 1300 class winning Mini proved there is life in the little BL boxes yet holding off the Peugeot 106 of Chris Tooze (19th) and Nissan Micra of Wynne Jenkins (25th).

But they were the lucky ones. Last year's winner Callum Duffy made a big impression again this year, unfortunately it was the wrong kind of impression – check out the marks on the Gribun armco for yourself. When a TCA broke it launched the smart black Escort into the corrugated tinwork and bang went his chances of a back to back victory. Similarly, the O'Donnell twins went swimming at Gribun but chose to take the Escort with them. Eddie's not quite sure what happened, but something unsettled the car which then clattered the wall and rolled over the top. Not a nice one, but the 'gruesome twosome' are both OK. John Cope's top ten bid ended upside down at the toilets at Calgary but stoutly denies it was deliberate. Since his food poisoning bout the poor soul has been running to toilets endlessly and some unkind members of society suggested he just needed 'to go' again. And Island hopes for a 'home' win ended in Aros when James MacGillivray's Mitsubishi plunged off the road, but there is no truth in the rumour that he'll need a map to find it!

On behalf of the 2300 Car Club organising team, our thanks to Philips Electronics, Vodafone Communications, Mull Community Council, Argyll & Bute Roads Dept, the Polis, the islanders and everyone else who helped. Thanks also to those stalwarts of the sport, the Marshals – at least they didn't get drookit this year! And to those other unsung heroes, the service crews – may your sockets never rust! A special thanks also to 'Bulletin Bill' and 'Shilent Sharon' for their services to newsletter recycling.

And finally, a special thanks to the man who had a vision, the desire to convert it to reality, the will and determination to see it through and the foresight to build the right team to carry it on. Thanks Brian.

That's yer lot for this year,

Yer auld pal, Jaggy Bunnet
Tobermory, Sunday, High Noon.

Leave a Reply