Report: Anderson’s First

Lindisfarne Rally, Sunday 16th September ….
Round 8 (of 11) – Scottish Tarmack Rally Championship ….

Chris Anderson scored his first ever outright rally victory on the weekend’s Lindisfarne Rally, the eighth round of the Scottish Tarmack Championship, even if it was south of the border down Otterburn way. Driving his 2 litre Ford Fiesta with Chris Thirling on the Notes he held off another well known young pairing who are regular visitors up here, Peter Taylor and Jack Morton in the Renault Clio, to win by 4 seconds after 90 miles of stages.

Top Scottish crew were Bob Grant and Peter Carstairs in fourth place overall with Jim Sharp and David O’Brien in sixth place. It’s exactly two years since Bob had his bump on this event so a cautious start was called for as he felt his way back into the groove. “I was sh*t on the first two,” said Bob, “but I was getting back into the way of it over the next two. And just when I was getting the hang of it I had to back off in Stage 8 because of sheep in the road.” Even so, Bob managed to round off his day with a fastest time on the final stage.

Sheep! And there’s a bad word. Just ask George Mackey. Second time out in the Imprexa WRC, he crested a rise on the fourth stage to find one of the woolly jumpers smack in the middle of the road – only it didn’t jump! George retired instantly with a burst radiator.

Jim Sharp was second quickest over that opening stage two seconds behind Mackey but he wasn’t quick on the second! “I went off,” he chuckled, “I was just going too quick and got a wheel on the grass. For a few hundred yards it was grass, tarmac, grass and then tarmac again – I lost count. After that I behaved more sensibly.”

In eleventh place, Ross Fernie did what he had to do to retain his Championship lead. With Bob not registered and only Jim ahead of him, he didn’t need to push: “I backed right off over the final three stages,” said Ross, “I was driving for points in the Scottish Championship.” He was lucky though. “In the sixth stage, we went straight off at a corner across a ditch, and had to drive back across the ditch to regain the road.”

With three rounds to go Ross has consolidated his leading position but Jim Sharp has moved up to second place at the expense of Chris McCallum who retired the Escort in Stage 8. “We slid off into some mud,” said Chris, “no damage, but no grip, and no spectators. There was a farmer and his son there but they weren’t able to push us out, so we had to wait for the Closing Car – end of rally.”

Lying third in the Championship prior to this event was Stuart Walker but he failed to add to his tally when the Lancer punched a hole through its gearbox. That meant Kieran O’Kane is still in the Championship hunt with a 22nd place finish in the Opel Ascona. Kieran started OK, but co-driver Matt Reid took ill mid way through the event, although herefused to give up, and the duo plugged away picking up valuable points. And maybe that was a good idea, for Kieran was off the road in the second stage: “It was a triple caution too,” he said, “we went in too fast, spun off backwards and heading for the river. Fortunately it just stopped short and we were able to get out and away again.”

Ian and Kathryn Forgan finished fifteenth overall in the Ford Ka just ahead of Alex and Brian McClelland in the Chevette. Matthew Kesson and Ronnie Roughhead finished 23rd overall in the Nova despite doing one stage on 3 cylinders when a plug fouled and Alan Cowan and Daniel Johnstone were 24th in the Astra. Drew Barker and Shona Hale were 29th in the Astra and Iain Miller and Gary McDonald finished 31st in the wee Peugeot.

John Baird retired on the sixth test when the Lancer gave up the ghost and james Thompson’s Nova simply dies in Stage 9. No power and no go!

Round 9 of the 11 event series is next weekend on Sunday 23rd, and it’s in Englandshire too, the Pendragon Stages at Warcop.

Final Results:
1, Chris Anderson/Chris Thirling (Ford Fiesta) 1hr 20m 15s
2, Peter Taylor/Jack Morton (Renault Clio) 1 hr 20m 19s
3, Ashley Field/Emma Morrison (Darrian T90) 1hr 22m 18s
4, Bob Grant/Peter Carstairs (Subaru Impreza) 1hr 22m 21s
5, Barry Lindsay/Michael Lindsay (Peugeot 106) 1 hr 23m 27s
6, Jim Sharp/David O’Brien (Subaru Impreza) 1 hr 23m 32s
7, Paul Swift/Giles Dykes (Ford Escort MkII) 1 hr23m 46s
8, Andy Bird/Plug Pulleyn (Vauxhall Cehvette ) 1 hr 24m 15s
9, Kev Monaghan/Steve Dargan (Vauxhall Corsa) 1 hr 24m 50s
10, Mark Borthwick/Phil Boyle (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO6) 1 hr 25m 04s


Full Results: