2013 Blue Scottish Tarmack Rally Championship ….
Rd03 – DCC Stages Rally, Saturday 27th April ….
The Count of Monte Chris-Two ….
At the conclusion of Saturday’s DCC Stages Rally at Ingliston, Chris Anderson was delighted, and surprised: “I really didn’t expect this today when I saw the entry with Darrians and Escorts and dry weather,” he said, “The car was faultless, all I did was put tyres on it.”
And yes, the weather was dry. Not a hint of snow anywhere, but there was an edge to the wind just reminding folks not to discard their vests yet. So it was dry, and after the first morning runs, there was grip to be had, but not everywhere. The result was a 32 second victory for the 2WD Fiesta of Anderson and Chris Thirling over Saxo mounted Nick Runcie and Gary Muir who had 18 seconds on third placed Ross Fernie and John Young in the Subaru. An unusual top three perhaps? Well, maybe not given the conditions and the competition.
But that was all to come, fastest on the first stage was Bruce Edwards in the Devil’s skateboard, but the first of the day’s surprises was about to be revealed, Anderson was only one second slower than the Darrian driver. Fernie was quick out of the box too, just 4 seconds down on Anderson with Tom Morris in the mighty MkII right on their tails.
It all went wrong for Brucie on the second test, on a still shady part of the track: “”We came over the yump and started downshifting for the corner,” said Bruce, “but as it touched down it just slid on and hit a kerb. It’s bent the bottom wishbone and we don’t have a spare with us.” No such incident for Anderson though, he was the only driver under 8 minutes for the test, with Runcie only 4 seconds slower followed by the Ford Ka of Ian Forgan sharing the same time as Stuart Baillie in the Impreza, but Baillie was already in trouble: “We lost second gear in the first stage, but oddly enough we went quicker in the second stage,” said Stuart, but he was going no further. The gearbox broke in the third.
Anderson was quickest over Stages 3 and 4, but Runcie’s Citroen was nibbling away at the heels of the Ford, 6 seconds slower on SS3 and just 1 second behind on SS4. Morris was still smoking the Escort’s rears in third place while Ross Fernie was having to keep an eye on Forgan’s Ka which was romping round the track like a baby buggy on Red Bull.
With four stages gone, the order was Anderson on 27m 07s, Fernie 27m 30s, Morris 27m 32s and Runcie closing the gap with 27m 36s. Forgan was fifth on 27m 51s with Stuart Walker in the Lancer rounding off the top six with 28m 10s.
Over Stages 5 and 6, Anderson kept one second and two seconds ahead of the Runcie Rocket, but was that a crack in the fibreglass on the Citroen’s nose? “We just overshot a wee bit,” said Nick, “and hit a bale. Not hard, but it’s damaged the oil cooler and we’ve got a wee leak. It’s nothing serious but we’ll need to keep an eye on it.” If Runcie was unconcerned, there was a furrow or two appearing on the Morris brow. The diff was playing up. At the end of the sixth test, the yellow Escort was spotted being pushed into the trailer: “The diff is f*ck*d,” came the technical explanation from Tom, “we don’t know what’s wrong but we don’t want to do any more damage.”
Anderson put another 3 seconds between himself and Runcie on the seventh test, but Runcie got three back on the final run to leave the winning margin at 32 seconds. As for third place, the wee Ka just failed to catch Fernie’s shirt tail and had to settle for fourth behind the Subaru. Even so, Ross was a tad lucky: “There was a bit of a vibration half way round the last stage. I thought it was a puncture at first, but it didn’t seem to get any worse – so I just kept going.”
Stuart Walker was a lucky fifth too: “A top wishbone at the rear broke on the first stage and we bodged it for SS2, before getting it fixed properly for Stage 3,” said the Mitsubishi driver while Bill Hamilton was the top placed RWD car in sixth place after a day long dice with Chris McCallum in the MkII. Nine seconds separated those two at the finish, but only 3 seconds behind Chris was the MkII of Stephen Hope who had broken a rear rosejoint in the morning and then skelped a big bale on the fourth test, re-profiling the rear o/s wing!
Ninth overall was the EVO3 of Gerry Gaffney ahead of Paul Ballantyne first time out in his new Renault Clio rounding off the top ten. Allan Brodie would have finished inside the top ten but for a ‘jump start’ which rather surprised him: “I didn’t think my reactions were that quick at my age!”
scored the second rally win of his career at the DCC Ingliston stages today, having scored his maiden rally victory on the Lindisfarne last year.
Having won his first event on the Lindisfarne last year this was Chris Anderson’s second outright rally victory, will he get his third on next month’s Crail?
1, Chris Anderson/Chris Thirling (Ford Fiesta) 53m 20s
2, Nick Runcie/Gary Muir (Citoen Saxo) 53m 52s
3, Ross Fernie/John Young (Subaru Impreza) 54m 10s
4, Ian Forgan/Kathryn Forgan (Ford Ka) 54m 42s
5, Stuart Walker/Julie McGuire (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO8) 55m 25s
6, Bill Hamilton/Sara Hamilton (Opel Kadett) 56m 01s
7, Chris McCallum/Peter McCallum (Ford Escort MkII) 56m 10s
8, Stephen Hope/Louise Hope (Ford Escort MkII) 56m 13s
9, Gerry Gaffney/Jane Nicol (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO3) 56m 19s
10, Paul Ballantyne/Graham Bruce (Renault Clio) 57m 01s
( Full list of Results at: www.scotresults.co.uk )