MULLMURMURSMULLMURMURSMULLMURMURS – Chapter 9
– published on the island, during the event by Jaggy Bunnet
Provisional leaderboard after SS20 (of 20)
1 Harper/Campbell (Mitsubishi Lancer) 2 Hr 28 mins 13 secs
2 MacKinnon/Stayte (Subaru Impreza WRC) 2h 28m 39s
3 Duffy/Duffy (Ford Escort MkII) 2h 33m 43s
4 Cope/Cope (Ford Escort Cosworth) 2h 35m 51s
5 Swinscoe/Whittaker (Ford Escort MkII) 2h 39m 02s
6 Colman/Colman (Nissan Sunny) 2h 39m 04s
7 Bird/Pulleyn (Ford Sierra Cosworth) 2h 39m 29s
8 Durham/Mort (Opel Corsa Kit) 2h 40m 54s
9 Baird/Quirk (Mitsubishi Lancer) 2h 41m 57s
10 Miller/Bailey (Subaru Impreza) 2h 42m 43s
Fairy tales do happen, and one happened here on the 33rd Philips Tour of Mull Rally. Daniel Harper and Chris Campbell scored a sensational victory in their Group N Mitsubishi Lancer. After 150 miles of timed-to-the-second lunacy over the island’s treacherously tortuous roads, the winning margin was 26 seconds.
In second place after a tremendous fight were Neil MacKinnon and Mike Stayte with the Subaru Impreza WRC. Going into the final loop of three stages, 17 seconds separated the top two and most folk would have put money on MacKinnon to do the business. No-one can doubt he tried, but the lack of match practice in the complex WRC machine showed and although MacKinnon stepped up the pace, especially over the notorious Tuath/Calgary test, Harper rose to the challenge.
Chris Griffiths set the record on SS16 three years ago with 21m 01s. MacKinnon reckons he was trying in there and set a 20m 57s. When he saw Harper’s time of 20m 43s, MacKinnon knew that he was in for one hell of a fight over the closing stages.
Earlier Harper had said he was taking no risks. That all went out the window on the final three: “I took a lot of risks in Scridain and Gribun,” said Harper, “I had the biggest moment of my life in that last one, we kind of lost the place on a couple of Notes, and I thought we were gone!”
Callum Duffy survived the lack of clutch to finish third and John Cope ignored the cost and consequences and finished with virtually no oil pressure to secure fourth. Having earlier taken sixth from Billy Bird, John Swinscoe snatched fifth from Ian Colman who finished the last stage with a blown turbo in the Nissan. Mark Durham’s lads managed to rebuild the rear wheel hub with 10 minutes to spare at service and the 1600 Corsa finished 8th. John Baird got ninth and Dave Miller rounded off the top ten of a very thrilling contest.
And you know what, it’s dry here in Tobermory!
That’s yer lot meantime, look out for the big rally roundup final issue of Mullmurmurs later
Yer auld pal, Jaggy Bunnet, MacGochan’s, Tobermory, Sunday, 3:00 am.