Provisional Leaderboard after SS16 (of 19)
1. James MacGillivray/Ian Fraser (Subaru Impreza) – 2 Hrs 02 Mins 10 Secs
2. John Cope/Tony Cope (Subaru Impreza WRC) – 2h 03m 49s
3. Eddie O’Donnell Jnr/Eddie O’Donnell Snr. (Ford Esco rt MkII) – 2h 04m 43s
4. Tony Bardy/Reg Smith (Nissan Sunny Gti-R) – 2h 05m 00s
5. Denis Biggerstaff/Graham Thomson (Subaru Impreza WRC) – 2h 06m 31s
6. John Swinscoe/Paula Swinscoe (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) – 2h 05m 53s
7. Lyndon Barton/Johnny Vance (Subaru Impreza WRC) – 2h 09m 34s
8. Doug Weir/Duncan Brown (Ford Escort MkII) – 2h 09m 50s
9. George MacDonald/Ian Nichol – (Subaru Impreza) – 2h 10m 32s
10. Dave Hopwood/Paul Grattidge (Ford Escort RS) – 2h 11m 40s
(( Please note, this leaderboard is VERY provisional, and covers only those timecards received at the time of printing – it could well change.))
It’s windy and cold out there, but in the stages on this 36th Tunnock’s Tour of Mull Rally the competition is red hot. John Cope has just set a new record on the long Tuath/Calgary stage, 3 seconds quicker than Calum Duffy’s 2003 record of 20m 37secs so there’s a lot still to play for with three stages to go.
Rally leader James MacGillivray looked a little more concerned this time: “There’s a knock from the front end. It could be a driveshaft but it’s definitely the transmission.” So that will need to be checked out at final service. Denis Biggerstaff is still going well but the car is sliding around a lot and he’s slipping down the order although he was pleased to take 25 seconds off his own time for the long stage which he set last year so the learning curves is still onwards and upwards. And just when we were expecting a late night charge from Eddie O’Donnell, the oil light started to flicker: “I’m ha ving to back off, I can’t afford to have another engine go,” said a disconsolate Eddie. For once Tony Bardy was having a little bit of good luck, the Nissan nicked a rock and damaged a rim but the tyre stayed intact!
John Swinscoe is going well in the EVO9: “I just don’t want this to stop, it’s great out there.” It’s not so good though for top ten placed Dave Hopwood, the salmon pink Escort is not looking quite so smart as it was. Dave slid off on the outside of a hairpin and clattered the front corner. It’s only panel and headlight damage but he dropped a couple of minutes. Doug Weir is going better now that he’s changed the ignition pack and Lyndon Barton reckons he’s losing time on some of the dips in the dark when he cant quite see the landing points! A nd Keith Hall still has only 2 gears in the Lancer, 2nd and 5th.
John Cressey has joined the growing list of retirements with a broken gearbox in the MINI. The local fire brigade did their good deed for the day when the owner of the cottage at the end of Mishnish, Garth who is a member of the Fire Brigade, called the boys out to hose down an oil spill on the road which could have caused havoc to the rally cars in the dark tonight – nice one lads! Tony and Alasdair of the Sporting Escort Owners Club are running an X-Box Rally Challenge for RNLI funds in the Mishnish on Sunday – and there is a prize!
That’s yer lot for now, Yer auld pal, Jaggy Bunnet,
Riverside, Tobermory, 10.30 pm, Saturday night.
P.S. If you hear a siren ahead of the rally tonight, that could be The Bulletin Boys delivering copies of MullMurmurs, so get ready for them! Oh and by the way, remember that Posh Nosh behind the Post Office in Tob Main Street will be open into the early hours tonight to provide hot drinks and sustenance.
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It has just come to the attention of the mullmurmurs team, it is the birthday of that weel kent rallying scribe “Baggy Junnet” who, like this rally has iconic status within the rallying fraternity. Many happy returns and we look forward to celebrating with you again next year!!