… DCC Stages Rally, Ingliston, Sat. April 5 …
If anyone could actually feel sorry for a car then up near the top of the list would be that poor wee tortured Nova of Murray Coulthard. Yes, he won the class at Ingliston, but the wee red motor was running out of puff everywhere. He was lucky though, as he pulled up to the start line of the first stage, the clutch cable pulled out of its clip on the clutch housing. The car was pushed off the line and only just made it back within its 15 minutes of lateness with the cable vice gripped and clamped till he got through the first stage and back to service. He actually finished the rally with the gearbox ratchet-strapped in place after a mounting broke! Just about as relieved was John Paterson in second place. “It was my first time out with the new 6 speed ‘box,” said John, “it was great, there were some really fast bits today – we were running out of tyres! Ingliston never used to be like that,” he added. Third was James Thomson having persuaded Len Freshwater out of retirement to co-drive with Drew Barker getting a decent result, fourth in class. Steven Hay salvaged fifth in class and would have been higher had he not broken a driveshaft in the third stage and was regularly in the top time s apart from that. Bob Irvine was sixth in the Peugeot 205 after having liberally applied some tank tape to the front corner courtesy of one of the large chicane bales. Mark ‘Speedy’ Runciman was 7th ahead of Ross Carbry and Iain Miller.
Barry Lindsay finished in tenth place overall and won the class but he was just 10 seconds clear of a closing Nick Runcie by close of play. Had it not been for Nick’s earlier indiscretion when he slid off on the first stage then that would have been a fight to see. Neil Thompson was third in his Corsa Kit car only 18 seconds behind Runcie with Allan Brodie fourth in class in the MkII but he was slowed catching cars in SS2 and 3 and then had a nut slacken off the anti-roll bar on the fifth test. Phil Bruce was fifth in his Peugeot 206 with Ross Pringle sixth in his Corsa. Nick Rintoul had a good run into seventh in the Skoda, six seconds clear of Geoffrey Harkness in the Corsa. Niall Thomson finished ninth in his Saxo after a spin n the first stage – caused by inadvertently ‘adjusting’ the brake balance while he was fitting the wheels earlier that morning! Greg Inglis finished 10th in his Saxo just 14 seconds behind Thomson. Lindsay Taylor was 11th in the Peugeot 205 with Brian ‘Beefy’ Fraser 12th in the Avenger. David Benson failed to finish after contesting the first three stages as the Honda was misfiring badly. He reckoned it was down to a mapping problem so stuck it back on the trailer so he didn’t do any damage to the engine. Guy Halley did one stage before the MkII broke down on the second and Kevin Clarke’s Nova left him stranded when the gear lever broke. Michael Farmer missed out two stages when a cone got trapped underneath the Focus. “I thought it would just work it’s way out,” said Michael, “it did, but it took the fan belt with it.” Peter Fleming’s departure was rather abrupt and rather noisy, when the gearbox broke with a bang in the MkII and Max Redpath retired his Peugeot when it was losing oil.
Ian Forgan won Class 3 from Hamish Kinloch and Stephen Thomson with Alan Wallace fourth in his Lancer despite head butting a bale on the first stage. No serious damage though, and he finished the rally with the bonnet ratchet strapped down. Nick Thorne was fifth in the Honda ahead of Chris McCallum in the MkII but the car wasn’t handling right and he reckoned he had knocked the tracking out somewhere. Mind you, his piece of string was hardly the ideal piece of intricate measuring technology to check it out! Paul Ballantyne was 7th in the Clio, Craig Gibson 8th in his MkI and Tom Middlemiss achieved his target with ninth place in the Nova: “I just wanted to get it home in one piece,” he said. Rounding off the top ten was Steven Paterson in his Corsa. Edward Todd was one of the first retirements of the day when the engine in the back of the GTM stopped quite suddenly and unexpectedly. The large hole in the block might have had something to do with that he surmised when the car was towed back into service. Graeme Rintoul didn’t last much longer when the Fiesta’s engine seized on the sixth test, he reckoned due to oil surge. Bill Hamilton’s Kadett broke its propshaft and Gregg Lithgow was another facing a major engine rebuild when the Sunbeam let go on the first stage of the day.
In the big class, it was Edwards from Adam with Barry Renwick in third place. This was Barry’s first time out in the MkII with its new Millington ‘Phase 2’ engine, and Barry found it “a bit of an animal” at times in the tight confines of Ingliston. But he was smiling when he said it, wait till he gets it to Otterburn. Tom Morris was fourth in class in his MkII and he too was finding the car a bit of a handful in the slippery conditions without the right tyres. Stevie Hope got fifth in class (and a finish, yippee) in his MkII ahead of Fergus Gray who was finding rallying life a bit of a strain. In fact he had a “sore face” and went on to explain: “I’ve been giggling all the way round all the stages. My face is sore from smiling,” he said. He was of course referring to the fact that he was not driving his usual FWD Peugeot 206 but in fact was out in 3 litre straight six BMW130i: “It steers from the rear, not the front,” he giggled again.
Baillie, Inglis, Fernie, Doherty and Hamilton finished in the top 5 places in Class 5 with Colin Gemmell’s Subaru rounding off the top half dozen. “I had a wee off on the third stage, but I got back on OK,” he said, and Lee Hastings finished seventh in class in his Subaru but the car appeared to be down on power although he couldn’t put his finger on what was wrong. Stuart Paterson was eighth in his Subaru and Stuart Walker didn’t finish when the Lancer struck the electrical junction box and damaged the radiator.
( Editor’s Note: I didn’t manage to get around everyone because proceedings were curtailed abruptly, although I gathered what information I could. )