MullMurmurs – Chapter 4
From the Tunnock’s Mull Rally, 2010
Top Times after 3 (of 16 Stages)
1 Paul MacKinnon 21m 52s
2 Calum Duffy 21m 59s
3 Dougi Hall 22m 07s
4 James MacGillivray 22m 33s
5 John Cope 22m 53s
6 Daniel Harper 22m 58s
7 Hugh Hunter 23m 22s
8 Willie Bonniwell 23m 31s
9 Eddie O’Donnell Jnr 23m 41s
10 Tristan Pye 23m 58s
The top three are going at it hammer and tongs out there in the dark and the dry on this 41st Tunnock’s Mull Rally. And that’s a surprise in itself – dry I mean. This is Mull after all!
MacKinnon and Duffy tied on the third test at Loch Scridain and Dougi Hall was only 4 seconds behind them, but MacKinnon’s Subaru is showing the strain already. He was having to hold it in 5th and 6th gear over the last stage before service as it was jumping out, but the Pye Motorsport boys changed the gearbox although it’s only a standard synchro box they have put in. Fingers crossed. Duffy is having his own troubles too: “The tyres keep going off so you have to back off till they come back, and then they go off again. You just can’t rely on the grip when you need it!” As for Hall: “I’m just keeping in touch – that Bogey on the first stage helped though!” Holding station in 4th is James MacGillivray: “I’m just hanging back – waiting to pick up the pieces!” he said hopefully.
Other tales included Willie Bonniwell losing his maplight in SS1 … Tristan Pye snapped an exhaust hanger and the banging noises made him think it was something worse so he backed off … Wayne Sisson said: “I’m not brave enough but happy. It’s too quick and it’s too dry!” … Hugh Hunter is really enjoying his first Mull sporting a huge grin … Young Ogg MacKenzie is enjoying his first run in the Fiesta but hasn’t found its limits yet: “It’s deceiving. It’s much smoother and quieter than my own car, but it’s quicker” … John Cressey had to push start the MINI at SS3 when the starter motor failed: “I daren’t spin it” he said … Alan Gardiner said a shock absorber burst a seal before the rally start: “Better then than on the rally,” he said … John Morrison lost 4 mins in SS3: “I think it’s the CAT material in the exhaust blocking it, it popped and banged its way all through the stage” … Reay MacKay’s Subaru is losing gearbox oil … Curly Haigh is back to his old brake pads … Eddie O’Donnell had his alternator fail … Stuart Egglestone says the car is fine just the driver that’s rusty but having to keep an eye on fluctuating oil pressure and fuel pump which has cut out twice so far … Grum Wilcock had the brakes go again on SS2 and then a wire came off the alternator finishing the stage with very little light … Jimmy Christie got a left front puncture in SS1 … Pat Johnson was luckier, he had two punctures just as he was leaving the finish of SS1 so got them changed before SS2 … Paul Daniel went off over the rocks in Gribun but bounced back on the road bending the Watts linkage in the process … Mark Constantine’s suspension in the Corsa was crashing out over the first 3 tests but raised the ride height at service … Mike Storrar is losing a bit of gearbox oil … Dave Thwaites is finding his suspension too hard in the MkII, crashing out and bump steering … Billy Bird is having his first run out in the Chevette: “It’s a lot better than the Astra” he said … and Tim Stell hit a boulder in SS2 and punctured a tyre
And with the weather holding out so far, Mull is sure in a mellow frame of mind – and so am I, I’ve just had a lovely vegetable and chicken pie in the Salen Hotel. Ain’t life wonderful.
That’s yer lot for now,
Yer auld pal, Jaggy Bunnet, Salen Hotel, Friday, Gone Midnight.
( Note: MullMurmurs also available online at: www.mullrally.com or www.scotmaps.co.uk )