2000 – Murmur Chapter 7

Provisional Leaderboard after 14 (of 18) Special Stages:

1   Neil MacKinnon/Mike Stayte (Subaru Impreza)   2hr 03mins 34secs
2   Callum Duffy/Hugh Duffy (Mitsubishi Lancer)   2hr 04m 04s
3   Andy Knight/Graeme Noble (Ford Escort RS2000)   2hr 08m 49s
4   Daniel Harper/Daniel Barritt (Vauxhall Astra)   2hr 09m 31s
5   John Cressey/Ian Grindrod (Vauxhall Astra)   2hr 10m 55s
6   Mark Jasper/Alan Snell (Ford Escort Cos)   2hr 11m 45s
7   Stuart McQueen/Alistair Green (Mitsubishi Lancer)   2hr 14m 03s
8   John Swinscoe/Paula Swinscoe (Ford Escort)   2hr 14m 14s
9   George MacDonald/Stewart Davidson (Nissan Sunny)   2hr 14m 29s
10   Roger Binyon/Nick Bray (Mitsubishi Lancer)   2hr 14m 51s

Bad news I'm afraid, 2300 Car Club have had to cancel the gondola race – it's too wet. Instead the 31st Philips Tour of Mull Rally for cars will continue around the tortuous winding canals of Mull. Remember the 1,000 Lakes Rally in Sweden? That's just a splash in the dark compared to Mull's Rally of a Million Puddles … But back at the front is nine times winner Neil MacKinnon, the wily old stager has had his troubles though. Earlier this evening he started on slicks expecting to change over at the end of the first stage, but due to the Polis escorting an ambulance he missed his rendezvous point with his service crew and had to borrow some fuel from another competitor only to find that the McKinstry car needs a special tool to open the filler cap – that cost a lot of road time and earned a few cuss words … Callum Duffy had the biggest near miss of his career so far in the long one. A shock absorber broke while flat out in fifth and he went from lock to lock to try and save it, "It was gone, I had no chance, till the tail caught a tree and that straightened it up – pure luck!", now he's got a diff problem but hopeful that it can be replaced in service … Eddie O'Donnell didn't make the re-start in Tob this evening courtesy of his earlier bent axle … Mark Jasper did most of Mishnish with a front puncture … Daniel Harper whacked something, but got away with it, but has borrowed John Cressey's spare clutch release bearing … meanwhile Cressey is having gearbox trouble, "Twice I went for 3rd and got 1st, it's not nice when you are in a braking zone and depending on getting the right gear," he said … John Swinscoe's going well in the MkII, "but I don't know what to expect at corners, these 4WD machines are cutting them and spreading mud on the road, it makes it all twice as tricky" … Paul Kirtley was another caught out on wrong tyres, slicks don't cut much grip on hail stones … For those of us mere humans we can't imagine the horrors of racing trhough rain like stair-rods, stotting off the ground so hard it creates a mist. These guys are heroes out there to-night, and so too are the Marshals … Oh, and by the way, following our earlier appeal, John Woodward got parts from Derek Carless and Dougi Hall, only to find that the bellhousing was cracked so he didn't make the re-start.

That's yer lot meantime, more on the road later. Yer auld pal, Jaggy Bunnet, Craignure, midnight, Saturday.

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