2010 – Murmur Chapter 8

MullMurmurs – Chapter 8

From the Tunnock’s Mull Rally, 2010

Provisional Leaderboard after 16 of 16 Stages

1 Calum Duffy/Iain Duffy (Ford Escort MkII)                                   2h 06m 13s
2 Paul MacKinnon/Ewan MacGillivray (Subaru Impreza)                     2h 07m 43s
3 Dougi Hall/Alistair Wylie (Mitsubishi Lancer)                                  2h 20m 32s
4 James MacGillivray/Ian Fraser (Ford Escort MkII)                           2h 11m 56s
5 Willie Bonniwell/Allan MacDougall (Subaru Impreza)                      2h 12m 12s
6 Tristan Pye/Andrew Falconer (Subaru Impreza)                          2h 16m 12s
7 Wayne Sisson/Daniel Stone (Mitsubishi Lancer)                           2h 17m 46s
8 John Swinscoe/Paula Swinscoe (Mitsubishi Lancer)                      2h 19m 11s
9 Steve Cressey/Sam Collis (Subaru Impreza)                                2h 20m 10s
10 Billy Bird/Plug Pulleyn (Vauxhall Chevette)                                2h 20m20s Class C Winner

21 Ian Chadwick/  (Peugeot 106)                                              2h 27m 00s Class B Winner
22 Mark Constantine/Andrew Constantine (Vauxhall Corsa)            2h 27m 11s Class A Winner

Lords of the Miles

To those of our visitors wondering where the term ‘Lords of the Miles’ came from, perhaps a word of explanation is needed. The original ‘Lords of the Isles’ were the first kings of Scotland almost 1,000 years ago, and I suppose I was just getting carried away with the sheer majesty of Mull and the speed and spectacle of those magnificent men and glorious gals in their fleeting machines. And to the newcomers to Mull from amongst these visitors, I have another word of knowledge to impart. The weather is always like this over here! Honest it is, would I fib to you?

And what a weekend this was for the 41st Tunnock’s Mull Rally being run by a brand new team. The weather was as benign as the competition was fierce, but as in any sport, there can be only one winner. Last year’s winner had the Number 1 on the door panel, and that was the position that Calum and Iain finished on this year’s historic event. But it wasn’t easy. Paul MacKinnon and Ewan MacGillivray snatched an early lead and hung on to it tenaciously like a wee dug wi’ a burst ba’.

Even when the gearbox broke and a standard unit had to be fitted, MacKinnon kept his head, but a puncture in Calgary and a failed centre diff dropped him into Calum’s clutches. His fate was sealed on The Long One when he slid off the road within sight of the start and buckled a wheel. He dropped over a minute to the leader and you don’t do that to a man like Calum the Comet. He wasn’t without his troubles either, a blocked fuel filter on Friday night had caused a misfire but he was back on song on the Saturday afternoon daylight stages. He also dropped the gearing for the final night’s push, changing g the drop gears to give himself better acceleration at the expense of top speed. After that there was no stopping him.

And yet he couldn’t give up, MacKinnon was still on full re-heat, the Subaru harrying the tail of the Escort. One mistake and that lead would have gone. The pace was relentless, it was also quite lunatic. In this sport, the win is never assured till the car crosses the finish line. Calum could not relax until he could smell the Tunnock’s pies at the rally finish in Tobermory. Over that final 12 mile mad dash up the Hill Road and wild plunge down Glen Bellart, they both beat the Bogey (11m 10s) and blootered the previous record.

At the finish Calum paid tribute to Paul’s persistence: “That’s the hardest we’ve ever been pushed. The commitment levels were phenomenal and despite the dry weather, conditions were changeable, especially the new tarmac which offered different levels of grip depending on whether it was night or daylight.” It was an opinion shared by co-driving brother Iain: “It’s the fastest he’s ever driven. We say it every year ‘the pace can’t get any hotter’ and yet it does, and it did again this year.”

Paul was naturally disappointed: “I couldn’t have done much more. We had some good stages and some bad ones. In Calgary I think we hit the same rock Calum did. He got away with it we got a puncture. That’s rallying.”

The competition was just as fierce behind them. Dougi Hall initially held third place but James MacGillivray was persistently on his pace and on Saturday afternoon edged ahead going into the final night section when Dougi had two punctures: “My own fault,” he said. James then punctured on the long one and Dougi was there to capitalise, snatching third place with 3 stages to go. He still didn’t let up, but neither did James and they went at it like two wasps in a bottle.

John Cope failed to re-start on Saturday due to engine problems, so Willie Bonniwell moved up into fifth place after a slow start. The Dad-to-be has missed a few rallies this year so professed to being  a mite rusty at the start. Tristan Pye scored a solid sixth in the GrpN Impreza ahead of Wayne Sisson on his third visit to the island while John Swinscoe was delighted to finish: “That’s given me my confidence back after the shunts we’ve had,” he said at the finish. Steve Cressey moved up to 9th place after a hectic close-fought dice with namesake (and no relation|) John Cressey who punctured on The Long One and then the jack seized! Rounding off the top ten was Billy Bird in that stunning looking Chevette with wheels the size of windmills winning the 2 litre class in the process. Ian Chadwick was dead chuffed with his 1600cc class win adding that to previous 1400cc class wins while the tiddler class this year was dominated by Mark Constantine.

But those were the lucky ones. Daniel Harper plunged off the road on the 4th test when first “I ran out of road, then ran out of talent” and Tony Bardy was on the case till the Nissan hit mechanical problems with one stage to go. Hugh Hunter shattered a wheel, John MacCrone parked up on the very first stage and Eddie O’Donnell had alternator failure. John Morrison had over-fuelling problems, Stuart Egglestone had an ignition fault and then the clutch broke and Reay MacKay was getting quite used to the big Subaru before it spat out its dummy after final service. Cameron MacLean broke the Escort, Bruce Edwards cracked the Darrian’s sump, Jimmy Christie was cruelly robbed of a finish on the final stage when the head gasket failed and Steven Ronaldson had two separate driveshaft failures – and no more spares!

There were two accidents during the weekend, one on the rally and the other avoiding a deer before the start of the final Leg. As we write this, two crew members remain in hospital for observation and we wish them well. Scottish rallying has had a tough time over the past couple of weeks but it has highlighted the sheer professionalism of the ‘amateur’ Rally Rescue and Paramedic crews who look after our sport. We hope we never need you, but are only too glad to have you. Our thanks to all of you who do such sterling and dedicated work.

Our thanks too, to the brand new team who took over the running of this year’s 41st Tunnock’s Mull Rally. I won’t highlight any individuals because this was a team effort supported by the local Cooncillors and the Polis, who had an extra busy night, and to all the local folks and businesses who rallied round to ensure that the ‘best rally in the world’ lived up to its name and reputation. And in keeping with one of my own traditions, a special thanks to the man whose vision and tenacity led to the creation of this annual motor sports extravaganza in the first place. Thanks Brian.

If I was asked to sum up this year’s event, oddly enough, I could do it in one word:

Supercaramelisticallyextremelytastilydelicious

In other words our grateful thanks also to Saint Tunnock’s of Biscuitry, the purveyors of the bestest biscuits in the business and the most succulent pies. And how do I know this? I had two pies last night, one from each tray – purely in the interests of assessing the standards of quality you understand.

That’s yer lot for this year,

Yer auld pal, Jaggy Bunnet, Tobermory Bay, Sunday, 12 Noon.

( Note: MullMurmurs also available online at: www.mullrally.com  or  www.scotmaps.co.uk )

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