18 Jun: Edwards Wins at Crail

… Summer Stages Rally, Crail, Sat 13th June …

Bruce Edwards and Grum Willcock won the Summer Stages Rally at Crail by 40 seconds from Gary and Gordon Adam who had a similar margin over third placed Colin Gemmell and Chris Hunter which all sounds fairly decisive, but it didn’t start that way!

Edwards and John Rintoul tied on the first stage with the Hyundai driver snatching the lead on the second by 3 seconds, but when he spun on the third test the Darrian stole a 5 second advantage.

It all went wrong for Rintoul on the fourth test when an oil pipe into the diff fractured, and that was it, the Darrian was up and gone like a wee moose with its tail on fire. Tom Morris then took up the chase in second place but trouble with the transmission on the fifth test cost him 10 seconds to the leader on that stage alone.

After some ‘footering aboot’ at service Morris set fastest time on Stage 6, but dropped half a minute on the penultimate test. Game over. He retired rather than risk any serious damage to the Metro.

That left Gary Adam pretty secure in second place, but there had initially been the lip smacking prospect of a fierce fight between himself and the equally quick John Paterson, both in Mk2s. Adam started the day with a 2 second advantage on the first stage before Paterson responded with a 4 second faster time on the second, but as Paterson approached the startline on the third: “The car didn’t feel right. On the first corner I felt the tail give way and by the next corner I knew I had a puncture!” That cost him 5 minutes and pitched him right out of contention.

The biggest battle of the day was fought over third place with the Subarus of Gemmell, Ross Fernie and Nigel Feeney going at it like pin balls in a bagatelle, all of them showing the scars of contact with chicanes and bales by the finish. At the start of the final stage, Colin Gemmell had 5 seconds in hand over Ross Fernie while Nigel Feeney was a further 3 seconds adrift, with one 6 mile test to go.

Fernie blasted round the airfield five seconds quicker than Gemmell, but Feeney was on a mission and beat the other two by 2 seconds and that was despite an audition to join the Russ Swift display team. When the Subaru hit one of the lorry tyre markers it rode up on two wheels with Feeney certain he was going over till it crashed back down on all four . The result was a tie for third with Gemmell getting the verdict and Feeney just one second adrift.

Bob Grant rounded off the top six, but admitted to being a bit rusty, while Stuart Baillie just missed out having been hampered by slower cars in the earlier stages.

Ross Marshall might have done better than eighth in his Escort had it not been for a bad misfire on the first stage: “It oiled up sitting on the start line,” said Ross, “and it didn’t really clear till nearly the end of the first lap.” Similarly, Lee Hastings got off to a bad start with steam and smoke making the Subaru look like the Hogwarts Express on the start line of the first stage: “The fans stopped working and it got a bit hot just sitting there,” said Lee, “but I knew it would be OK once we got going and got some air through it.” He was right and it was a simple fix at service.

Barry Renwick rounded off the top ten in his Mk2 with a slow start to the day leaving him fighting for a top ten finish over the afternoon tests.

Iain Wilson’s increasing confidence in 4WD (after his Nova) earned him 11th place in the Subaru by just 7 seconds from Ian Paterson who had been baulked by slower cars in the first two stages before gear selection problems intervened later on.

Ross Carbry scored an easy victory in the 1400 class in his Corsa helped by the fact that Stephen Hay was in all sorts of trouble. The Corsa’s engine had been rebuilt prior to Ingliston but it was re-mapped by someone else. It drove out of the workshop OK, but then developed a serious loss of power so had to go back before Crail for another session of electronic black magic. It still didn’t work. It hiccuped and farted like an auld collie dug and he eventually finished fourth behind Archie MacCallum and Drew Barker. First time out in his new Peugeot 106, ex-Junior Michael Robertson set two encouragingly quick times over the first two stages before snapping a driveshaft.

John Marshall won the 1600 category in his Escort from the Fabia of Nick Rintoul with Euan MacKay third in his Peugeot 106. Gordon MacKay was fourth in class after changing the Peugeot’s fuel filter after stage1 and the fuel pump itself after stage 2 finishing just 5 seconds clear of the Corsa of Steven Paterson who had a bit of a scare at the end of the first stage of the day: “The bottom arm bolts sheared and the wheel pulled out with the driveshaft just as we were crossing the finish line. We got a time!” Murray Coulthard failed to finish when the Citroen ran out of brakes and it looked as though there was a problem with the master cylinder.

Ross Marshall won Class 3 for the 2 litre motors ahead of David Newall first time out for some years in a new Mk2 while for my money, the ‘star of the day’ was third in class, Ed Todd in the GTM. Looking like an empty smokey bacon crisp packet blowing round the airfield, the wee car behaved itself for once and Ed finished 15th overall despite using 3 year old tyres and second hand brake pads. Now that’s budget rallying. Chris McCallum was fourth in his Mk2 ahead of Bill Hamilton in the Kadett and Paul Ballantyne in the Clio. Stephen Thompson failed to score when the alternator failed and he changed it. The new one then tossed the oil pump belt off and since he had a new engine in the car didn’t want to risk it.

Finlay Retson scored a convincing win in the Junior Rally by nearly a minute in his Citroen C1 and was beaming at the finish: “The tyres went off second time round and I was using the whole road, the car was fantastic.” Peter Bennett lost nearly 30 seconds in his Citroen and any chance of victory on the first test: “I walked the track last night and then got confused at the Split this morning and nearly went the wrong way.” Harry Chalmers was third but the Micra was missing its front bumper at the finish: “I hit the chicane on the last stage and the car went up on two wheels, but it’s only cosmetic,” said the youngster. Ewan Tindall was fourth in his Citroen on only his second rally after his first outing at Knockhill: “This was a lot harder to learn, and a lot quicker,” he grinned. Brodie Balfour was fifth in th Aygo despite a spin on the last stage and Craig McIvor was sixth after losing 3 minutes in the first stage when the Micra lost all its water: “We were working on the car yesterday and filled it with water,” he explained, “but then this morning there was none in it. We think it was an airlock.” Dale Kelly was seventh after hitting a bale with the front n/s corner of the Micra but was still quite pleased: “We’re going home from a rally with the least amount of bodywork damage yet.” Camron Russell was the final finisher, surviving a spin on the second stage when the rear end of the Micra stepped out under braking for a chicane and very nearly swapped ends. 8 youngsters started and 8 finished, now that’s progress, eh?

1, Bruce Edwards/Grum Willcock (Darrian T9 GTR) 56m 13s
2, Gary Adam/Gordon Adam (Ford Mk2 Escort) +00.40
3, Colin Gemmell/Christopher Hunter (Subaru Impreza) +01.23
4, Ross Fernie/Craig Simkiss (Subaru Impreza Sti) +01.23
5, Nigel Feeney/Shona Hale (Subaru Impreza B13) +01.24
6, Bob Grant/Susan Grant (Subaru Impreza) +01.58
7, Stuart Baillie/Ian Crosbie (Subaru Impreza) +02.13
8, Ross Marshall/Dave Robson (Ford Escort Mk2) +02.18
9, Lee Hastings/Craig Rennie (Subaru Impreza) +02.52
10, Ross Marshall/Dave Robson (Ford Escort Mk2)) +03.02

11, Iain Wilson/Mark Roberts (Subaru Impreza) +03.45
12, Ian Paterson/Helen Brown (Subaru Impreza) +03.52
13, David Newall/Paul Maguire (Ford Escort Mk 2) +03.54
14, Russell Mann/Dan Forsyth (Subaru Impreza) +04.18
15, Edward Todd/Andy Brown (GTM Coupe) +04.28
16, Chris McCallum/Derel Connell (Ford Escort Mk2) +04.43
17, John Marshall/Scott Crawford (Ford Escort Mk2) +04.47
18, Stuart Paterson/Allan W Paterson (Subaru Impreza) +04.53
19, Nigel Atkinson/Callum Atkinson (Mitsubishi Evo 9) +04.59
20, Gordon Winning/Robin Laird (Ford Escort Mk2) +05.01
21, Billy Hamilton/Sara Hamilton (Opel Kadett) +05.28
22, Nick Rintoul/Sue Hynd (Skoda Fabia) +05.33
23, Paul Ballantyne/Graham Bruce (Renault Clio Sport) +05.38
24, Craig Gibson/Chris Lees (Ford Escort Mk1) +05.52
25, Euan MacKay/Rory James Fraser (Peugeot 106) +05.55
26, Ian Archer/Serena Archer (Ford Escort) +05.56
27, Jamie Smith/Carl Williamson (Mitsubishi Evo 9) +06.05
28, Robert Marshall/David Hunter (Ford Escort Mk2) +06.46
29, Ross Carbry/Charley Sayer-Payne (Vauxhall Corsa) +06.46
30, Gordon MacKay/Ross MacLean (Peugeot 106) +06.46

Class 1: Ross Carbry/Charley Sayer-Payne (Vauxhall Corsa) 62m 59s
Class 2: John Marshall/Scott Crawford (Ford Escort Mk2) 61m 00s
Class 3: Ross Marshall/Dave Robson (Ford Escort Mk2) 58m 31s
Class 4: Ross Marshall/Dave Robson (Ford Escort Mk2) 59m 15s
Class 5: Ross Fernie/Craig Simkiss (Subaru Impreza Sti) 57m 36s

Juniors: Finlay Retson/Andrew Falconer (Citroen C1) 38m 57s