MullMurmurs – Chapter 1
From the Tunnock’s Mull Rally, 2010
Wellhullawrerrchinasnhowzyerbigendsrattlininyersump? Welcome one and all for the 41st time to the home of rallying’s biggest challenge and hugest adventures. There’s a new team in charge so ca’ canny, gie them a break, and an especially warm welcome to the sponsors, the tantalisers of taste buds across the globe – Saint Tunnock’s of Biscuitry. Never has so much been done for so many by such a wondrous bakery in such a quaint Lanarskhire township.
The fun started last night in the Aros Hall with that cheeky big article John Fife hosting an eclectic mix of guests including Calum Duffy, Hugh Hunter, Paul MacKinnon, Daniel Harper, John and Paula Swinscoe, and Bill ‘Lucky’ Sturrock. Naturally there was a quiz beforehand, and in time honoured fashion folks in the audience had to duck as the big chap started chucking prizes at them from the stage. Political Correctness? There was none of that last night. Racism? Aye, there was plenty of that too! Our grateful thanks to Volkswagen, Peugeot, Hankook, Mitsubishi and Palletforce for the prizes.
And so to Friday morning and Scrutineering. Calum the Comet’s Escort was first through the Tobermory Distillery arch. The car has a new engine and as Calum told the packed assembly in the Aros Hall last night, it’s geared for 147 mph. When asked how many times he would reach that, he had to stop and think about it, so it’s obviously a few times! To put that in perspective there is a Porsche driving instructor over here marshalling and who does a bit of circuit racing. Richard Bott says that’s the same speed he reaches on Hangar Straight at Silverstone in his Porsche – and that’s so wide, Callum would get lost just crossing the road! Apparently it gives Richard the heebie-jeebies just thinking about Calum.
John Cope was sporting a wide grin, or should that be a grimace?, saying the Subaru is less like a car and more like a caged Rottweiler. James MacGillivray returned from Lurgan Park earlier this year with a “wee scuff” on the Escort’s front end so that had to be sorted for Mull and Wild Willie Bonniwell has a new engine and gearbox in the GrpA Subaru. Paul MacKinnon’ car is looking good after its shakedown on the Jim Clark. He got two punctures on the same side and damaged the wheels so pulled out as it would have ruined the car driving 12 miles back to service: “But we achieved what we wanted so we were happy with that,” said Paul.
Dougi Hall was out cycling the 27 miler yesterday to raise funds for the Bear Cubs. Last year he did it in just over 65 minutes and his target this year was under an hour. He nearly made it, 62 mins 46s. Gaun yersel Dougi. Wayne Sisson has replaced the head gasket on the Lancer which blew on the McRae Rally so fingers crossed, and Steve Cressey had to repair the front damage caused last year on this event to his Subaru when a deer gave it a skelp running across the road.
Tony Bardy had a new engine in the Nissan for the North West Stages which is more powerful and more responsive so he’s looking for a good run this weekend. John Rintoul has converted his forest spec Lancer to full tarmac for this so he’s taking it seriously and doesn’t Alan Gardiner’s MkI look minted. It made its debut on the Jim Clark and he got the suspension sorted out there.
John Cressey has done not a lot since last year, 2 stages on the Manx before the MINI’s exhaust manifold broke, but team mate Daniel Harper’s German sausage tin looks the business, but Daniel was telling me the wee car weighs 1250 kgs, so it’s not that wee.
There will nae sing-song in the stages tonight, Reay MacKay has left the Metro 6R4 at home and brought the WRC Subaru instead. He said the Metro had an oil pressure fault but it turned out it was only a faulty switch. Even so, he wisnae going to risk it.
It was good to see Stuart Egglestone here again and he’s brought the Astra with which he won the ’98 British Junior Championship, so there’s a collector’s item for you – the car, not the man. Mike Storrar has really splashed out. When his 1.6 Toyota self destructed last year he had to find a ‘new’ old 1.6 for his Anglia this year.
John Paterson has a new co-driver this year, his sister Lee stepping into the Nova for the first time. The car was fine last night but it was missing slightly this morning so that will need to be checked out. And guess what, 40 crews through Scrutineering and still no sign of the O’Donnells, some things never change, eh?
And a warm welcome once again to Dutch marshal, Lex Coevert who is back again for his 6th Mull, truly an international event, eh? Last night I had to laugh. Stan Quirk was standing in the MacDonald Arms on his own having a wee drinkie, while his service crew were at the other end of the room. Apparently they were refusing to join him – because he was wearing his favourite pink shirt! At least he had something to wear. Fiona on the Results Team is just back from an event in Ireland and had to wash all her knickers before coming to Mull. Guess what? She’s over here now, but her knickers are stilling hanging up on the washing line back home!
And finally, if you’re going out spectating over the weekend, get to your chosen vantage point early, park safely and take care when moving around. It’ll be dark out there and if you wander too far from the road the beasties might get you.
That’s yer lot for now,
Yer auld pal, Jaggy Bunnet, Tobermory Distillery, Friday, Noon.