11 Aug: Solway Classes roundup

… usedcarparts.co.uk Solway Coast Rally … Class Roundup …

Class 1
Brother and sister pairing, Keith Riddick and Mairi Riddick scored the 1400 class win in their MG ZR and were never really challenged on their way to victory. Although Steven Hay was only 3 seconds behind Riddick on the opening stage, a CV joint in his Corsa’s driveshaft failed although he managed to limp back to service. That cost him well over a minute and he set about taking time back, just narrowly losing out to Stuart McBride by one second after they were lying dead level on times with one stage to go. It was Stuart’s first run out for two years and he was getting used to a new diff (the old one was set up for gravel) and then after the fifth stage he had to change the plugs when his Nova started to misfire. Innes Mochrie survived a wee excursion in his Metro to take fourth place: “I hit a pole,” he explained, “but somebody had already hit it before me and it was lying down at an angle, so the car just rode up it on the sumpguard – no damage!” Chris Woodcock was fifth in his Proton by 6 seconds from the Saxo of Pete Gorst which was lucky to survive a two-wheeling balancing act after striking a banking on the fifth test. Patrick Messer was seventh in class in his Peugeot and reckoned he was lucky to survive: “We were struggling for brakes at times during the day, which became ‘quite interesting’ on the first occasion at the end of a long straight into a 90R!” Simon Hunter was eighth after two plug leads just blew off the Peugeot in the second stage causing him to stop, put them back on, and then they promptly blew off again 2 miles later. After which no more trouble. Willie Paul was ninth in his Nova, Gary Parker tenth and Joel Simpson was the final finisher. Three non-finishers included Stewart Dodds who had a fraught time with his Nova when a core plug popped out. He didn’t have a spare but after rummaging about on the ground he found the lost plug, splayed it out a bit with a hammer then tapped it back in stuffed with Loctite and got back out on the Ranges in the afternoon. Niall Cowan started his day with a ‘gentle tap’ on a chicane bale which caused little damage, but later went out when the MG’s gearbox broke. Drew Barker was in all sorts of bother when an engine mounting broke on his Corsa. He didn’t realise at first but noticed the gearshift was getting stickier and stiffer and thought it was the gear linkage. The mounting finally snapped in the fourth stage, then it broke the exhaust manifold but a broken CV joint in the last stage was the last straw!

Class 2
Gareth White and Harry Marchbank were top 1600 crew in their Peugeot 208 ahead of Michael Harbour‘s Honda Civic while an exuberant drive in the yellow Avenger earned Alan Clark third in class. True to form, Gareth managed to ding the bodywork against a bale or two but no lasting damage while Michael Harbour changed spark plugs at the half way halt to cure a misfire. David Benson was fourth in his Honda Civic after fixing a disintegrating airbox with gaffer tape and even fixed his horn ahead of Scrutineering with gaffer tape! Michael McKenna was fifth in his Astra but it looked quite messy under the bonnet after the first stage – but it was only the oil breather pipe coming off. Beefy Fraser was sixth in the Avenger and Joe Pringle seventh in his Corsa after sorting the gearlinkage during the lunch halt. Donald Bowness was eighth in his Nova after a hard sideways landing over a jump snapped a gearbox mounting. Greg Turner was ninth in his Peugeot 206, Colin Stockil tenth in a 205 and Alan McMorran was the final finisher in the Avenger. George Fell had to retire the Puma when the balljoint pulled right out of the front o/s strut top and Jim Robertson‘s Citroen was sidelined with a gearbox problem and Colvin Howie bent his Avenger’s rear axle.

Class 3
Stephen Thompson and David Crosbie were the 2 litre class winners in their Mk2 finishing a superb 6th overall just 22 seconds behind Gary Adam, that’s only half a second per stage mile slower! David Newall was second in his Mk2 and Robert Adamson third in his awfy smart Historic Mk2. Kenny Moore was fourth in the red-top Avenger by just 13 seconds from the Mk2 of Hamish Grant with Robert Marshall sixth in class after dunting a bale with the nose of his Mk2. Richard Stewart was seventh in the VW Polo but dropped time in the morning with a broken rear o/s strut top. Luke McLaren, Bob Irvine, Stuart Walker and Gordon Watson rounded off the class finishers, Walker losing out on a good finish when he got a maximum on the penultimate test and Hamish Kinoch retired his Escort with a dysfunctional fuel pump.

Class 4
The top five overall were the top five finishers in Class 4, followed by Retchless, Grierson, McDowall and Watson. Stuart Paterson was tenth in class after a wee problem on SS4. When he turned into the last corner of the stage the front o/s bottom arm balljoint broke but he managed to reach service. Derek Blyth was eleventh and Graham Bruce twelfth after fixing an oil leak over the first two stages and had brake problems over the next two.

To read the main rally report: [Main Report]

To catch up with the news and gossip: [News & Blethers]