20 Jun: Summer Stages Classes

… Summer Stages Rally, Saturday 14 June 2014 …

… Class Roundup …

Class 1

Darren Thompson won the 1400 class in his Nova, although he was lucky. The fan stopped working on Stage 6 and as long as he was moving it was OK but waiting at stage starts was fraught. He also learned another valuable lesson. Don’t take the radiator cap off when the car is overheating. Ecosse Junior graduate Linzi Henderson was second in her MG ZR, but she was even luckier than Darren. With two stages to go, the fuel pump was getting seriously noisy and then stopped altogether on the final stage and she only just made it over the line. That allowed Iain Miller in the wee Peugeot to close the gap to 14 seconds by the finish and Shona Hale was fourth in class in the Corsa. Steven Hay retired on the first stage when the Corsa broke its gearbox leaving him with only once choice of gear – reverse. Murray Coulthard’s Cors was like one of those Halloe’en sparklers, fizzed like fury for a few minutes then just died with a whimper. He managed three stages this time before the clutch failed. Scott MacBeth was another non-finisher when a front hub broke in SS2 and Bob Irvine’s Peugeot died on him in SS6.

Class 2

Fergus Barlow was a clear winner of the 1600 class despite a misfire in SS6, but a change of plugs soon had the Saxo firing on all four cylinders again. In a fairy tale second place, was Joe Pringle contesting his first ever stage rally driving his son Ross’ Corsa. This was payback for all the hours and effort Joe has put in helping Ross with the car. What’s the betting the boy is in for a verbal roasting this week? Tell you what though, a sackful of tickling sticks couldn’t have put a bigger smile on the ol’stager’s face. Thomas Gray was third after curing the Peugeot’s morning overheating problem – he took the thermostat out! Nick Rintoul was fourth in the Skoda Fabia and Thaarique Fazal was fifth ahead of the final class finisher, Michelle Rugg in her Fiesta, first time out in 4 years and first time in the dry. Allan Brodie failed to finish when he took a WD at a merge and Gordon MacKay stopped the Peugeot 106 out on the airfield on SS6. Carin Logan failed to finish when the Saxo broke a cam belt and Greg Inglis was forced to pull up his Saxo when it developed an oil leak, and that was after earlier fixing a front shock absorber which had lost the bottom mounting nut.

Class 3

Ross Marshall was an easy winner of the up to 2 litre class but remarkably, in second place was Edward Todd. Not because he didn’t deserve to be, but because the wee moosetrap on wheels GTM actually finished the rally without any bits falling off or the engine giving him a hard time. And it wasn’t as if he was sparing the wee beastie, he was giving it yee-haa big time. A wonderful result. Stephen Thompson was third in his Escort having survived ‘straight lining’ a chicane on the fifth test and hitting a large tyre which knocked the tracking out. This was easily fixed in true rallyman fashion – with a 4 pound hammer! Paul Ballantyne just missed out on third by 6 seconds in the Clio and Ian Forgan was content enough to finish 5th in class after his earlier problems. Chris McCallum was back in the groove, sixth in his Escort ahead of Jim Rintoul in the XR2. Roy Millar was 8th in the Astra, but only after changing a broken gearbox after the first two stages. Steven Paterson was 9th in the wide track Corsa after a spin on SS1 and a misfire in SS3. He changed the plugs and leads which helped but was delighted with a finish after five rallies on the trot with driveshaft failure. Graeme Sherry was 10th in the Clio and was using this event as a shakedown ahead of Ulster and IOM although he did have some gear changing issues to solve – and I don’t mean clothes! Andrew Scott was 11th in his Escort from the MkI of Craig Gibson which survived an outbraking attempt with another competitor which resulted in Gibson arriving at the apex backwards. Ross McSkimming was 13th in the Fiesta, but without a handbrake he was practicing his ‘racing lines’ through all the corners. Jake Anderson was the final class finisher in his Fiesta with nothing more than a few flank scuffs to give the game away. Gordon Halley failed to finish when the diff broke on the Escort and it was explained thus: “It went bang, started clunking and is no longer limited slip.” Gordon McElrath swas stopped mid stage 2 when the fuel pump failed in the Chevette, but this was fixed in time honoured fashion back at service with a hammer.

Class 5

Stuart Paterson missed out on the top ten places overall and had to content himself with 14th overall and 10th in class saying: “I just can’t make it go any quicker, that’s as fast as it will go.” Graham Bruce was 12th in class having replaced his ‘bodged’ driveshaft from the Fort Augustus Rally Sprint with a new one. Or in his words, a “second hand new one”. Fergus Gray was next up in the BMW but was struggling to keep up with its appetite for rear tyres while Kieran O’Kane’s Ascona was even worse. Never one to let a tidy racing line get in the way of a good ‘ol’boy broadside’ the Ascona was lighting up its rears faster than a laboratory full of Beagles. Darren Robertson finished 15th having invented a new run-off area in the Lancer and explored a few others, and Martin Page with first time co-driver, his daughter Emily, was 16th in the MINI. And on his first rally, Erle Strachan finished 31st overall and 17th in class in his Evo6.

( Full Results at: wwwscotresults.co.uk )