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.

1999 – Murmur Chapter 8

MULLMURMURSMULLMURMURSMULLMURMURS – Chapter 8

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

Provisional Top Times after 20 out of 22 Special Stages:

1

Chris Griffiths/Aled Davies

Subaru Impreza

2.15.38

2

Dougi Hall/Gareth Williams

Ford Escort

2.17.03

3

John Price/Caroline Broad

MG Metro 6R4

2.19.03

4

Callum Guy/Fred Bell

Vauxhall Astra

2.21.00

5

Daniel Harper/Les Reger

Vauxhall Astra

2.22.14

6

William Bonniwell/Ali Campbell

Ford Escort

2.22.29

7

Rob Barry/Alan Whittaker

Mitsubishi

2.23.22

8

Steve Smith/Alistair Douglas

Subaru Imreza

2.24.57

9

Mark Hudson/Dave McKinlay

Ford Escort

2.25.23

10

Mark Jasper/Alan Snell

Escort Cos

2.26.13

When asked about tactics for the final night of this year's Philips Tour of Mull Rally, leader Chris Griffiths replied, "I'm just going out for a quick recce for next year's event!" … Dougi Hall has a couple of reasons for his quick pace, "I've been on the Red Bull all weekend," he says, "and I've got my lucky sheep!" Apparently his daughter Shelley bought him a cuddly sheep which he has strapped to the spotlights and now daren't take it off. It's obviously working, he equalled Jock The Bull's record on Gribun and set a new Scridain daylight record this afternoon … The return of the duck – James MacGillivray has a wee yellow duck taped to his roll-cage, "It was on the Escort when I finished second six years ago, here's hoping it brings more luck to-night"

LATE NEWS – James MacGillivray is out. He rolled the Mitsubishi 4 miles from the end of Aros. Wonder if roast duck will be on the MacGillivray household menu this weekend ??

Dougi Hall is continuing to fly not only maintaining his lead over John Price but increasing it. Just two stages to go now, but as Neil MacKinnon proved last year, anything can happen in this game.

And finally, the editor of this here humble epistle must apologise for the poor quality of recent issues. Due to problems with modern technology, the poor sap who writes this drivel had to resurrect his trusty old manual portable typewriter, hence the typos and mistakes which are so uncharacteristic of this esteemed organ!

That's yer lot meantime,

Yer auld pal, Jaggy Bunnet
Craignure, Saturday, Midnight.

1999 – Murmur Chapter 7

MULLMURMURSMULLMURMURSMULLMURMURS – Chapter 7

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

Leaderboard after 17 of 22 Special Stages:

1

Chris Griffiths/Aled Davies

Subaru Impreza

1:52:08

2

Dougi Hall/Gareth Williams

Ford Escort

1:53:22

3

John Price/Caroline Broad

MG Metro 6R4

1:53:46

4

James MacGillivray/Brian Kennedy

Mitsubishi

1:54:49

5

Callum Guy/Fred Bell

Vauxhall Astra

1:56:10

6

Daniel Harper/Les Reger

Vauxhall Astra

1:57:15

7

William Bonniwell/Ali Campbell

Ford Escort

1:57:56

8

Rob Barry/Alan Whittaker

Mitsubishi

1:58:05

9

Martin Healer/Chalkie White

Escort Cos

2:00:02

10

Mark Hudson/Dave McKinlay

Ford Escort

2:00:23

This is not rallying – it’s war out there! John Cope is the latest casualty, the Escort Cosworth indulging in some acrobatics in the second stage this afternoon and giving John Price a fright as he encountered an upside down motor. Although Pricey has been taking time out of rally leader Chris Griffiths, the Subaru driver has a nice cushion and is doing the business only when he needs to. But the man on a mission is Dougi Hall still holding the runner-up spot although Price has got ahead of top local hope MacGillivray.

John Cressey started well this afternoon and had just got in front of Daniel Harper when his Astra died on him for an agonising 11 minutes – Cressey came up with some new Anglo Saxon descriptions of engine management chips! But cursing won’t cure it and it looks as though he’s out. Out too is Billy Bird, the rwd Astra broke its gearbox. Callum Guy still leads the 2 litre class but he’s finding the roads bumpier than he remembers, but then again the Astra is going a helluva lot quicker than his Avenger! Harper is 6th but Bonniwell is still going despite a problem with his camshafts.

Steve Smith and Martin healer have re-learned how to pray, they had BIG spins to-day but have survived to tell disbelieving service crews. Like fishermen, these spins get bigger in the re-telling. Mark Jasper is in the wars again, this time doing 3 stages with another broken driveshaft and then got a puncture.

Doug Weir leads the 1600 class in his Nova despite having to borrow parts from a fridge to fix his exhaust with George MacDonald not too far away but having trouble on his own with exhaust gaskets. Top 1300 is the irrepressible Dougie Ingram in the Mini, but Wynne Jenkins in the Micra hasn’t given up the chase yet despite not having been on the island for 5 years.

The Philips Tour of Mull Rally now heads into the final Leg but it ain’t over till the big girl gives it laldy as they say in hoi-polloi, high falutin’ opery circles.

That's yer lot for now, see you later,

Yer auld pal, Jaggy Bunnet
Tobermory Car Park, Saturday, 5:00 pm.

1999 – Murmur Chapter 6

MULLMURMURSMULLMURMURSMULLMURMURS – Chapter 6

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

Leaderboard after 11 of 22 Special Stages:

1

Chris Griffiths/Aled Davies

Subaru Impreza

1:16:48

2

Dougi Hall/Gareth Williams

Ford Escort

1:18:10

3

James MacGillivray/Brian Kennedy

Mitsubishi

1:18:46

4

John Price/Caroline Broad

MG Metro 6R4

1:18:53

5

Callum Guy/Fred Bell

Vauxhall Astra

1:19:48

6

John Cressey/Ian Grindrod

Vauxhall Astra

1:20:46

7

Daniel Harper/Les Reger

Vauxhall Astra

1:20:52

8

William Bonniwell/Ali Campbell

Ford Escort

1:21:16

9

Rob Barry/Alan Whittaker

Mitsubishi

1:21:30

10

Martin Healer/Chalkie White

Escort Cos

1:22:31

Callum Duffy’s accident last night was caused by a TCA breaking which launched the Escort into the Armco at Gribun. The front corner was written off but the suspension and brakes have been replaced overnight and a new door fitted so that he can come out for a ‘hooley’ on the Philips Trophy Rally, "It’s handling like a piece of s**t" he says. Lyndon Barton’s problem was electrical, it cut-out 5 times on Gribun last night and Howard Moore’s Honda clouted a rock and buckled a wheel.

Steve Davies’ Escort is smoking quite badly this morning … Andrew Ritchie was breaking alternator brackets in the Escort last night … Frosty Smart did two stages with flashers only last night when the main lights failed … Keith Turner broke a TCA … Paul Darlington getting used to column change on Saab after 2 seasons with Nissan Micra, has already tried to change gear with the wiper switch … Geoff Gallagher had a slight off last night but got away with it … Jim Brindle bent the steering on the Mini last night but fixed during the night shift at Dervaig Motors … Gareth Frank, off the road but didn’t hit anything, new car, new co-dvr and new Notes … Giles Brooksbank lost his Notes half way through Gribun last night – the reason? His co-dvr was sick over them … John Mason did the last 3 stages last night with no brakes, but fixed now … Martin Fox is losing oil from his shock absorbers … No problems for William Langford "just need to get the finger out!" … Geoff Wright, he can hear his co-dvr but she can’t hear him – it was the other way round last night … Gordon McIntyre did 2 stages with the throttle jammed open last night "thank god the brakes were working" … Alan Gunn skelped a barrier last night … Iain Campbell is 50 secs quicker on each stage than last year but 20 places further down the leaderboard this year … Ian Perrott has a slipping clutch and no spare … Alasdair Ingram fixed his clutch on the first loop last night but it went again on the 2nd … Gordon MacFadyen lost his lights last night and had to hang out the window with his Philips torch to see where he was going – wonderful people these rally sponsors, eh? … Magic McCombie in the Saab has no clutch, the fluid keeps overheating and boiling – it’s about the only thing that gets warm in that car!

That's yer lot meantime,

Yer auld pal, Jaggy Bunnet
Island Bakery, Tobermory, Saturday, 1:45 pm.

1999 – Murmur Chapter 5

MULLMURMURSMULLMURMURSMULLMURMURS – Chapter 5

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

Leaderboard after 7 of 22 Special Stages:

1

Chris Griffiths/Aled Davies

Subaru Impreza

51:28

2

Dougi Hall/Gareth Williams

Ford Escort

52:34

3

James MacGillivray/Brian Kennedy

Mitsubishi

52:47

4

John Price/Caroline Broad

MG Metro 6R4

53:10

5

Callum Guy/Fred Bell

Vauxhall Astra

53:31

6

John Cope/Tony Cope

Ford Escort Cosworth

53:37

7

Daniel Harper/Les Reger

Vauxhall Astra

54:07

8

John Cressey/Ian Grindrod

Vauxhall Astra

54:19

9

William Bonniwell/Ali Campbell

Ford Escort

54:38

10

Rob Barry/Alan Whittaker

Mitsubishi

55:10

Chris Griffiths has extended his lead in the Philips Tour of Mull Rally at the end of the first Leg of this year’s event. The rally started with a bang and just keeps going, but John Price has a smile on his face, he knows the daylight is coming.

MacGillivray has taped up half the dashboard lights because they are so bright, all that’s showing is the top half of the rev counter – even the red sector is covered! … Hall got a big fright in Aros but has maintained his pace to move up to 2nd place … Billy Bird’s lack of early pace was due to a new (dud) battery in the intercom … Steve Davies broke a rear suspension link bar on the last stage and it is trailing on the road, hope the Polis aren’t reading this … Alan Hewitson hit a culvert and knocked a wheel off the Nova … John Woodward lost 3 bolts out of his gearbox and nearly lost the gearbox but caught it in time.

The only guy who is not surprised by Callum Guy’s pace is the man himself, he’s been looking forward to this event all year and got the car set on the Jim Clark OK.

Callum Duffy and George Hill will start the Trophy Rally so their cars are OK but Eddie O’Donnell’s Escort is having to go for swimming lessons, when he went off at Gribun last night, he found the car can’t swim – it doesn’t even float**!!

That's yer lot for now, see you later,

Yer auld pal, Jaggy Bunnet
Salen Hotel, Saturday, 2:30 am.

1999 – Murmur Chapter 4

MULLMURMURSMULLMURMURSMULLMURMURS – Chapter 4

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

Leaderboard after 4 of 22 Special Stages:

1

Chris Griffiths/Aled Davies

Subaru Impreza

24:11

2

James MacGillivray/Brian Kennedy

Mitsubishi

24:45

3

Dougi Hall/Gareth Williams

Ford Escort

24:54

4

John Price/Caroline Broad

MG Metro 6R4

25:00

5

Callum Guy/Fred Bell

Vauxhall Astra

25:09

6

John Cope/Tony Cope

Ford Escort Cosworth

25:13

7

Daniel Harper/Les Reger

Vauxhall Astra

25:28

8

William Bonniwell/Ali Campbell

Ford Escort

25:41

9

John Cressey/Ian Grindrod

Vauxhall Astra

25:52

10

Rob Barry/Alan Whittaker

Mitsubishi

26:04

11

Steve Smith/Alistair Douglas

Subaru Impreza

26:06

12

Doug Weir/Duncan Brown

Nova 1600

26:09

It would appear that both Callum Duffy and Eddie O’Donnell are out of this year’s Philips Tour of Mull Rally. Both cars are off the road in Gribun and since they have not yet appeared at Craignure service, methinks they are now out of time … George Hill was reported off in Aros and this has been confirmed by the man himself. The accident looked much worse than it was with the light pod and lights scattered over the road, but everyone appears to be OK.

Elsewhere in the Entry List it has been an eventful night so far, Jock Threadgall broke a shock absorber in his Sierra on the Hill Road and George MacDonald’s Nova broke a spring, and he hasn’t got a spare.

Lyndon Barton was spotted parked up by the side of the road in the Metro and it looks like he’s going no further … Doug Weir lost the Nova’s exhaust on the Hill Road but has managed to borrow a tail pipe for a one litre car for his 1600 car … Rick Fry’s Sapphire encountered a broken down Nova at a tight hairpin and the two cars came together as he tried to squeeze past, but it’s the co-driver’s side which shows the scars – aint’t it always!? … Graham D’Arcy broke a ball joint in the Astra and the service crew were attacking the bits with huge hammers! … Alasdair Ingram has a clutch problem, he can get gears in the Mini at rest, but not on the move … Jimmy Fergusson slid off the road just beyond a crest when the main battery lead broke and he lost all his lights … Mark Jasper is in the wars, driveshaft broke and punctured a tyre, drove 4 miles on flat, changed it between stages and got penalties, but still going … Willie Bonniwell’s roll bar bushes have disintegrated in the Escort and now the doors don’t shut right following a hard landing be he’s still laughing … Steve Davies lost a dose of time with a broken steering coupling … Stuart McQueen broke a spark plug and did last two stages on 3 cylinders … Grant Fleming stuck in 3rd gear after SS2 and had to do next two stages in 3rd only … Andy Tearle’s Chevette blew its water out but re-filled from co-driver’s drinks bottle and seems to be OK – fingers crossed.

And finally, Chris Paton pulled a muscle in his back yesterday and is wearing one of his wife’s corsets for support. It seems to be working but wife Mary says there is just one thing (or two things) wrong, he doesn’t have the t*ts to fill it. Go on work it out for yourself.

That's yer lot meantime,

Yer auld pal, Jaggy Bunnet
Craignure, Friday/Saturday, 1:30 am.

1999 – Murmur Chapter 3

MULLMURMURSMULLMURMURSMULLMURMURS – Chapter 3

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

Provisional Top Times after 4 out of 22 Special Stages:

1

Chris Griffiths/Aled Davies

Subaru Impreza

24:11

2

James MacGillivray/Brian Kennedy

Mitsubishi

24:45

3

Dougi Hall/Gareth Williams

Ford Escort

24:54

4

John Price/Caroline Broad

MG Metro 6R4

25:00

5

Callum Guy/Fred Bell

Vauxhall Astra

25:09

6

John Cope/Tony Cope

Ford Escort Cosworth

25:13

7

Daniel Harper/Les Reger

Vauxhall Astra

25:28

8

William Bonniwell/Ali Campbell

Ford Escort

25:41

9

John Cressey/Ian Grindrod

Vauxhall Astra

25:52

10

Rob Barry/Alan Whittaker

Mitsubishi

26:04

11

Steve Smith/Alistair Douglas

Subaru Imreza

26:06

12

Doug Weir/Duncan Brown

Nova 1600

26:09

Treat these times as a guide only, these are merely times of the first cars running on the road … Early reports indicate that the Vodafone Millennium stage through Tobermory was a roaring, if trifle noisy, success. Apparently Chris Griffiths' anti-lag system echoing off the walls was spectacular while Pricey's V6 sounded minted.

So, leading the 30th Philips Tour of Mull Rally at this early stage is 3 times runner-up Chris Griffiths, but he's having his moments, "Every year I forget just how bumpy the roads are up here. I can't soften the car any more, so I'll just have to hang on".

Lying second is James "Jock the Bull" MacGillivray, first time out in a 4WD car, "I'm just getting the hang of it, this'll take some getting used to".

But the big news is that last year's winner, Callum Duffy appears to be out. Reports indicate that the Escort clipped the armco in Gribun damaging a wheel and the suspension … Eddie O'Donnell also appears to be out in the same stage, having gone off the road, but the crew are OK … George Hill has also joined the 'disappeared', the Mitsubishi left the road at the first junction in SS2 … Daniel Harper hit a pot hole at Dervaig which knocked the tracking out and the Astra is not handling too well at present … Mark Hudson broke the clutch cable at the start of SS4 which caused a bit of anxiety but he did the stage and reached service.

And finally, two years ago at the Ceilidh Place in Craignure the 'delicacy of the day' was 'Reindeer Droppings' (choc chip cookies) and last year it was 'Highland Cow Pats' (choc biccies with raisins), this year, Susan (Mine Host) has excelled herself with 'Sticky Peat Boggies' (corn flakes in treacle and chocolate). They are awfy tasty, but so sticky you won't be able 'to go' for a week – they don't half make yer cheeks stick together!

That's yer lot meantime, look out for more news later.
Yer auld pal, Jaggy Bunnet, Craignure, Friday, 11:30 pm.

1999 – Murmur Chapter 2

MULLMURMURSMULLMURMURSMULLMURMURS – Chapter 2

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

MOTORING INTO THE MULL-ENNIUM

Well, it's not long now. At 8:00 pm this evening, the Island of Mull sets another Great British precedent, the first ever 'city centre special' a rally stage through the town centre of Tobermory.

The 30th Tour of Mull Rally will be flagged off by Philips Electronics Chairman and Managing Director, David Jordan, a regular visitor to the event and now a rally enthusiast- Thanks for your help and support over the years, from all of us. Also from Philips, Nigel Rigler and Alan Breckell are here, whilst Jim Strathie of Argyll & Bute Roads Department is another most welcome guest. Give them all a cheer from me at the Rally Start to-night.

And now back to business. The Scrutineers under the direction of 'Roger the Bodger' have been busy all day and gave one crew a fright when they found their helmets were TWO years past their crash-by-date! Needless to say they were sent on their way to find new lids.

Another tale concerns the Noise Test Officials. When Callum Duffy drove up this morning, the Chief in Charge said, "Don't even bother getting out of the car. Go away and get it quietened!" Callum passed at his second visit.

George Hill got a wee fright too. The 4 times Mull winner sprung a leak at the Noise test. His brand new EVO6 was dropping oil but quickly fixed. He's only had one run in the new car, two weeks ago, when he finished 6th o/a. Why didn't he win? He went off on the first bend of the first stage. Still it could happen to anyone.

Stan Quirk has been taking an awfy ribbing following his escapade on a forest rally two weeks ago. When Jon Burn punctured in his Metro, their well rehearsed procedure was brought into play. Even as Jon pulled over, Stan had the belts undone and was climbing out of the car. Stan's hands were a blur as he slackened off the wheelnuts – till Jon said, "D'ye no think we'd get on quicker if ye changed the one with the puncture?" The adrenaline filled Stan had gone for the wrong one. Fortunately, his caring and sensitive service crew have provided Stan with a carefully drawn picture of a wheel with a puncture to aid future identification, PLUS written instructions.

There's some weird and wonderful machinery out there. If you get a chance, have a look at Peter Sharples' Anglia (131). It's got a hinged-forward bonnet which opens to reveal a Fiat 2.0 litre twin cam. It had a Sunbeam engine last year but blew up.

Phil Ward at (103) has a Nova, but not as we know it Jim. It is rear engined, rear wheel drive with a huge hole and scoop in the roof to direct air through the centrally mounted radiator.

But for a thing of great beauty look no further than Martin Fox's Rovaru (116). What started life as a Rover 200 now has a 2 litre Vauxhall Astra engine up the front end driving a Subaru back axle at the rear end through a BMW M3 gearbox. Mated up to Subaru front struts, this is a work of automotive art. If it was mine I'd put it on the mantelpiece, not a bloody rally.

It's typical isn't it? The O'Donnell twins have had all year to get ready for Mull. They even live here. They also know it gets dark at night and that you need lights to see where to go. So who forgot to order spotlights? Yup, you've guessed it. They had to borrow the light pod off Pace Note producer Bill Sturrock's Volvo (Swedish Morris Oxford to the uninitiated). The pod is now screwed to the bonnet of the Salen Silver Escort with cavity wall fixings – who says professionalism is dead?

When the organisers found they were a Scrutineer short, they asked regular visitor Jim McDowall to give them a hand. "But I'm driving in the rally," said Jim. "No problem, you won't scrutineer your own car". OK, fair enough. But how come it passed when it wouldn't fire up under its own steam? Tee hee hee.

Sparing no efforts in his efforts to be here is John Dalton. He has really splashed out this year and invested in a grand total of SIX tyres, two for his tow car and two for his trailer – which left two for the rally car!

Martin Brinton (142) is back with the Capri. He had an accident with the 2.8 litre V6 monster on his first visit, but last year finished 79th o/a. Now he reckons he's on a winning streak.

And now a word of explanation. Apparently the innocent term 'dyke bashing' used in the previous scandal sheet has caused some merriment amongst our foreign visitors. I should point out that dyke has a rather different meaning here in Scotland – it refers to a dry stane wall! See, you learn something new every day.

I've learned something too. Now I know why Jude Wylie is a co-driver – I've seen (experienced?) her driving. She almost run me off the road last night, and that was just on the private drive up to my digs!

And finally, a message for all COMPETITORS. There is an award for the most deserving service crew. If you think your lot deserves it, then tell an official or write out the citation and hand it in with your Time Card. The 'Gary Bratt Memorial Trophy' will be presented to the most deserving bunch of tyre kickers and nut strippers – and there's a cash award too !!

And finally, finally. Take care out there when travelling around. Get to your chosen spectating spot in plenty of time and don't park in daft places. Do as the Marshals and Officials tell you and take your litter home for proper disposal. Please don't leave it lying around the island.

That's yer lot meantime, more news later.
Yer auld pal, Jaggy Bunnet, Tobermory, Friday later afternoon. 

1999 – Murmur Chapter 1

MULLMURMURSMULLMURMURSMULLMURMURS – Chapter 1

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

Well hullawrerr chinas, and howzitgaun? Welcome youseyins, from usyins to the 30th Philips Tour of Mull Rally here on the wonderfuel Island of Mull. What an anniversary, 30 years of tarmac sniffing, ditch hopping, dyke bashing and panel beating and still they queue up for more. Once again this year's entry is oversubscribed, disappointing many would-be rallyists. Maybe now that Scotland has its own Parliament, we can get the rules changed!

Programmes are essential for viewing this unique event and these are on sale in the Aros Hall along with all sorts of other exclusive gear. The full colour progs represent excellent value with detailed maps ensuring that even a rally numpty cannae get lost!

And if you are a newcomer and wondering what this rubbish is that you are reading, then a word of clarification. 'MULLMURMURS' is an on-event newsletter which attempts to inform, educate and entertain. And if we are stuck for facts, we'll make it up anyway. But be aware of it and look out for it. It will be distributed around the island by Bill and Katy. So if a complete stranger looms up out of the darkness and thrusts a piece of paper in your hand, it's not necessarily a parking ticket. These FREE scandal rags will be distributed around the rally route at Tobermory, Salen, Craignure.

And speaking of tickets, watch out for the Polis. Yes, they are here for our safety, but they are also pulling up motorists who are using their on-car fog lamps. The Polis will issue a fine – me? I'd kick their lights in!

Last night was Forum night in the Aros Hall where that paragon of rallying virtue John Fife, aided by Callum Duffy, Chris Griffiths, Daniel Harper and Bill Sturrock attempted to enthrall and incite an audience of deadbeats, diehards and those just wishing a roof over their heads for an hour. Question time was as riveting as paint drying but we all had a laugh and a giggle and went on our way to the hostelries thereafter. Our thanks again to all those who took part.

It was really appreciated that the top seeds took time out of their schedules for this. But they were the lucky ones, we all learned something about Pace Notes last night so it wasn't all fun and insults, it was educational. (Now there's a first!).

Top seed Callum Duffy arrived at Scrutineering this morning with a new set of wheels, no not the Escort, the wheels. The black machine looks pretty smart on its new Minilites. Apart from that the Exocet is the same spec as it was last year.

Chris Griffiths runs at 2 in the Subaru. The car is using his Isle of Man/Irish lanes set up but he's slackened off the roll bars to try and cope better with the bumps. Three times runner-up, could this be his year?

The MG Metro 6R4 may not be the ideal choice for Mull's twisting tarmac but Pricey can't half go. More daylight should suit him this year as he claims not to like the dark, but whenever he says that I think back to 2 years ago when he clattered a bridge parapet at Dervaig, dropped to almost last, then drove like a dervish back to 5th overall. Incredibubble!

Now if James MacGillivray can get a 1600 Corsa into third place, then what can he do with a Mitsubishi? First time in four wheel drive he doesn't know what to expect – apart from the fact that it is bluidy quick. And he reckons it's a bit light over the bumps.

Billy Bird's back for more, despite taking the side out of his rear wheel drive Astra on the Jim Clark Rally in July and then got gubbed on Otterburn. Billy thought he'd tackle the Tynside just event for a bit of practice and it was only when he was on the startline that he realised it was being run in the reverse direction to any of his previous attempts and his Notes didn't work backwards!

Dougi Hall has re-wired the Escort since last year's underbonnet fireworks display and John Cressey has already enjoyed a rally-threatening trip this morning. He fell over a Polis No Parking cone at Scrutineering but fortunately his wallet broke his fall. Doesn't his new GrpA Astra look just the business.

John Cope is another who might be lucky to start. He got a bout of food poisoning just before arriving on the island and wasnae well but he had some toast yesterday and is getting a transfusion of avgas before to-night.

Steve Smith's got a new motor. His GrpA Subaru fried its ECU within sight of the rally start last year and got no further so things can only get better with this year's GrpN Subaru.

And now a word about to-night. The Vodafone Millennium stage will kick off the 30th Philips Tour of Mull Rally. Please everyone be aware that till all cars have passed by, Main Street, Back Brae, Argyll Terrace and West Street are closed to traffic both on wheels and on foot. Please do as the Marshals request and the Police instruct. The safety of the rally depends on you. And if you have cars parked in the vicinity or on the road, please move them somewhere safe.

The 2300 Car Club organisers and the local folks of Tobermory have to be applauded for this unique initiative but it can only work if we all pull together.

The Rally starts to-night at 8:00 pm from the car park in Tobermory alongside the Philips Exhibition unit, but if you're intending to spectate on the stages, remember to get there early. Pick your spot on the 'city centre special' and get there in plenty of time and if you are going out and about, get there before the Road Closure Orders come into effect, do as the Marshals tell you, and take care out there!

That's yer lot meantime, more guff to come.
Yer auld pal, Jaggy Bunnet, Tobermory, Friday mid-day.