11 Apr: Edwards wins at Ingliston

DCC Stages Rally, Saturday 5th April …
… Rd02, BLUE Scottish Tarmack Championship …

You know what? I think Bruce Edwards has a new sponsor. Lord Lucan. At Ingliston last Sunday, he just lit up the Darrian – and disappeared. With Ashleigh Morris co-driving the Millington engined Darrian for the first time, Brucie was uncatchable and he led from start to finish.

Things were much closer behind him with 4 seconds separating Stuart Baillie and Scott Bathgate from Alistair and Gillian Inglis, while there was a tie for fourth place between Ross Fernie/Chris Thirling and Gary and Gordon Adam.

Needless to say, it was hoorishly slippy as the first cars nosed out on to the Ingliston tarmac and as Bob Irvine (at t’other end of the entry list) kindly pointed out, it was just as slippy for the later runners. That was down to the months of heavy rain over the winter and mild temperatures ensuring a nice slick of moss for the first couple of runs. The promised rain failed to appear, apart from a few spots during the morning, so it provided a good, but shortened (!), day out for most folks.

Despite the slippiness the nimble Darrian set the fastest times over the first two stages with Edwards 6 seconds faster than Stuart Baillie on the first and 3 seconds quicker on the second. In actual fact, Baillie’s pace was quite a surprise to some onlookers at the start of the first stage. When he dumped the clutch, the Subaru blew out a huge cloud of blue smoke which it trailed behind it for the first 500 yards. Sitting behind him on the line Ross Fernie couldn’t see a thing through the clouds of blue reek which hung in the still morning air. It was either just an over-fill of oil or the STP had blown all the rust, dust and cobwebs out the cylinder heads, but the Subaru seemed in good fettle despite it

Alistair Inglis was third quickest on both runs navigated for the first time by daughter Gillian who was feeling distinctly unwell after her second hurl round the tight confines of Ingliston, but gamely hung on and finished the rally having acclimatised quickly and shown the boys how it’s done. They were lucky though, the Lancer was trailing its sumpguard at the end of the first stage: “I didn’t think the yump was that vicious,” said Alistair, “it wasn’t that bad when we cycled round it this morning!” The word ‘numpty’ springs to mind, eh?

Seeded number 1, Nick Runcie looked a bit downcast at the end of the first stage as the Saxo appeared with a crinkled corner: “I just slid off. It’s that slippery out there. I took out a stake and hit a bale, but it’s only cosmetic.” He had another wee off on the second test: “I think the power steering took a knock the first time,” he said.

Robin Hamilton was another to strike a bale, damaging the front wing and air dam, and had to ruin the look of the blue and yellow Metro with silver duct tape, but boy, what a noise.

It was Edwards again on the third stage by 6 seconds from Fernie, but he was only fifth quickest on the fourth test behind Inglis and Fernie, tied on fastest time, by a second from Adam with Baillie 3 seconds behind him. Edwards was only a second slower than Baillie but still leading at the half way point after four stages: “It was my own fault,” said Bruce, “Ashleigh called a Left and Right. I turned Left OK, but forgot to turn Right! I made an arse of it. No damage, but we came to a halt with the tape across the windscreen.”

Baillie had earlier spun on stage 3 and dropped 12 seconds to Edwards, but that had allowed Inglis to close the gap and the two of them were tied on identical times after four stages. Fernie was getting quicker too. He struggled on the first two stages with his new sequential gearbox: “It’s so sensitive, the minute you touch the lever, it changes gear,” said Ross, “you can’t rest your hand on it the way you would with a normal gearlever. One touch and it’s instant – maybe I’ll get paddles for the next one!”

After the lunch break it was back to the track and Edwards was fastest again over stages 5 and 6, but conditions were improving. Gary Adam’s MkII was only 3 seconds down on the Darrian on SS5 although he was 11 down at the end of SS6 as Bruce picked up the pace again. The battle for second place was still ablaze with Inglis taking a second out of Baillie on SS5, but then dropped 5 seconds on the sixth: “I spun – I should have listened to Gillian,” said Alistair.

And then the lights went out. Literally. Stuart Walker inadvertently cause an early close of play when the Lancer slid off on the grass avoiding another car and clattered into an electrical junction box. The car was OK but when a Marshall went to inspect the box he noticed wee blue sparks arcing about inside. This prompted CofC Graham Provest to declare a premature halt to the day’s proceedings as there was no way they could get the box neutralised before dark. It was just too risky to carry on. It’s one thing having a bump in a car bit there’s an awfy lot of metal about which will conduct electricity!

So the results stood as they were with Edwards declared the victor of this second round of the BLUE Scottish Tarmack Championship by 45 seconds from Stuart Baillie who had 4 seconds in hand over Alistair Inglis. Ross fernie got the nod for fourth place after tying with Gary Adam, because he was quicker on the first stage f the day. So there’s a lesson for Gary – more Weetabix.

Ian Forgan rounded off the top six in the 2 litre Ka after a fairly uneventful day with Darren Doherty getting into the top ten after a slowish start. This is not the Impreza driver’s preferred type of event but it had to be done as he is contesting the North of England Championship. Hamish Kinloch was 8th in the Honda engined MkII ahead of Robin Hamilton with Barry Lindsay rounding off the top ten in his 1600 class winning Peugeot 106.

Final Results after 6 (of 6) stages:
1, Bruce Edwards/Ashleigh Morris (Darrian T9) 44m 59s
2, Stuart Baillie/Scott Bathgate (Subaru Impreza) 45m 44s
3, Alistair Inglis/Gillian Inglis (Mitsubishi Lancer) 45m 48s
4, Ross Fernie/Chris Thirling (Subaru Impreza) 45m 57s
5, Gary Adam/Gordon Adam (Ford Escort MkII) 46m 31s
6, Ian Forgan/Kathryn Forgan (Ford Ka) 46m 34s
7, Darren Doherty/Stewart Merry (Subaru Impreza) 46m 47s
8, Hamish Kinloch/James Haugh (Ford Escort MkII)46m 50s
9, Robin Hamilton/Robin Nicolson (MG Metro 6R4) 46m 55s
10, Barry Lindsay/Michael Lindsay (Peugeot 106 GTI) 47m 01s

Class 1: Murray Coulthard/Harry Marchbank (Vauxhall Nova) 49m 11s
Class 2: Barry Lindsay/Michael Lindsay (Peugeot 106 GTI) 47m 01s
Class 3: Ian Forgan/Kathryn Forgan (Ford Ka) 46m 34s
Class 4: Bruce Edwards/Ashleigh Morris (Darrian T9) 44m 59s
Class 5: Stuart Baillie/Scott Bathgate (Subaru Impreza) 45m 44s

( Full results from: www.scotresults.co.uk )