10 May: 5 Star Auld at Kames

… 5 Star Stages Rally, Kames, 7 May …

Kames was the ‘Monaco of the North’ last weekend. All it lacked was the sea and the millionaire’s yachts, the multi-coloured tower blocks and their extortionate penthouses, not to mention the odd billionaire or two. The weather was nice on arrival and just got better. Sunburnt baldy patches and peely wally legs sticking out from under baggy shorts were the order of the day for the 5 Star Vehicle Deliveries Stages Rally.

Ross Auld and Richard Stewart led from start to finish in their Mk2, but that doesn’t mean they had it easy. Derek Connell and Laura Marshall were never more than 4 seconds a stage behind them in their Subaru, and in fact equalled the leader’s times on 3 stages and beat them on the final one. Even so, the difference after 14 stages was still 19 seconds.

The two of them were going at it like twa dugs fighting over a burst ball, Ross had the Escort well wound up, three wheeling round the ‘Arena’ corner nearest the clubhouse while Derek was maybe trying just a wee bit too hard as the tyres tried to roll off the rims. In fact, Ross clouted a tyre barrier on the 4th stage. There was no real mechanical damage but the hammers were needed to straighten the n/s front corner and the car’s steering was knocked a wee bit squint. The boys adjusted the tracking but the steering wheel was left pointing in a slightly different direction to the direction of travel.

Only 10 seconds behind Connell were Willie Pollock and Helen Brown in the Mk1 and Willie was on the case right from the start taking time out of Connell over 5 of the day’s stages. Just not enough to get past him though.

Ross Pringle and Thomas Purvin were fourth in the family Corsa and but for an over ambitious braking manoeuvre on the fourth stage might just have eased Pollock off the podium. Lindsay Taylor and David Murie were fifth after a trouble free run in the Fiesta and Ron Walker with Dean Ross were fifth in the Ford Ka, but he too had a woopsie on the fifth test dropping over 10 seconds.

Donald Cameron had Alasdair Graham helping/hindering in the Honda Civic and still managed to finish 7th, but then it would be difficult to get lost at Kames. Or would it? Anyway, Gary McDermaid and Emma Picken were 8th in the Peugeot 106 with Mark ‘Speedy’ Runciman and Martin MacCabe 9th having blown the cobwebs out of the Nova.

Rounding off the top ten were Graham Bruce and Keith Fair who had an overshoot at the split on the second stage and then had to wait for Ross Auld blasting past on his first lap of SS3. Final finishers were Marc McCubbin and Joan Blackwood in Amy’s ‘retired’ Nissan Micra and desperate not to get beaten by Amy who was having her first run out in her brand new Skoda Citigo.

Michael Robertson and Murray Milne were going really well in the Peugeot 106, setting top six times, until a puncture on the 4th stage and the car cut out on the 10th stage. The boys managed to get it running for the next two stages but it wasn’t right, so it was trailered up and called it a day. Martyn Douglas and Brian Pringle managed to get four stages in before the turbo snapped a shaft in the Subaru, but it was a fingers-crossed job anyway. The turbo had been rumbling since it finished Ingliston but the thinking was it would manage Kames. It didn’t!

Cameron Craig and Ewan Lees finished early too. The Peugeot 106 just died on them coming out of a hairpin on SS6 and when Craig tried to re-start it, there was a bit of spit-back from the carb and a flash of flames under the bonnet. A quick puff from the fire extinguishers was needed and they completed the next two stages, but there was still some over-fuelling problem so they wisely decided to call it a day rather than celebrate November the Fifth too early!

Lawrence of Kemnay Junior 1000

There was little more than a lick of paint between the top three on the 5 Star Junior event with Ewan Tindall and Paul Hudson scoring victory by 7 seconds from Jude MacDonald and Michael Cruickshank. That equates to a difference of half a second per stage over 14 stages! And only 6 seconds off the second placed podium step were Johnnie Mackay and Gordon Reid. Closer still.

Displaying more maturity on every outing, Tindall ‘kept the heid’ and kept his foot in all day, doing just enough to take and hold the lead in his Citroen while MacKay admitted to having his Suzuki “more on the grass than on the tar” at one point. MacDonald had a little more to concern him, the Skoda’s brakes were seizing and sticking, sometimes the fronts and sometimes the rear. Nothing serious, but sapped the confidence, so that will need to be sorted out before Leuchars.

Lewis Winder and Mike Baird finished fourth but dropped a chunk of time in the first stage when their Toyota had an overshoot on the first stage. Alice Paterson and Ian Crosbie were fifth in the Peugeot still running on the standard front suspension after the competition struts started leaking at Ingliston. And which have not yet been repaired by the way, so one wonders what ‘Pop’ Paterson is up to in the garage these past few nights.

Andrew Blackwood and Gordon Winning finished sixth but only after replacing a broken driveshaft on the sixth stage while Amy McCubbin and Brian McClelland were 7th first time out in Amy’s new Skoda. However, she would have done better but for a wee indiscretion on the 5th test when a moment of confusion arose inside the car at the Split and she bumped the barrier before carrying on to the finish.

Lewis Haining and George Myatt were 8th while Peter Beaton and Dean Ross were the final finishers but both had to replace broken driveshafts during the day.

Seniors Top Six:
1 George Auld/Richard Stewart (Ford Escort) 19m 13s
2 Derek Connell/Laura Marshall (Subaru Impreza) 19m 32s
3 William Pollock/Helen Brown (Ford Escort Mk1) 19m 42s
4 Ross Pringle/Thomas Purvin (Vauxhall Corsa) 19m 46s
5 Lindsay Taylor/David Murie (Ford Fiesta ST150) 20m 58s
6 Ron Walker/Dean Ross (Ford KA) 21m 01s

Juniors Top Six:
1 Ewan Tindall/Paul Hudson (Citroen C1) 20m 57s
2 Johnnie MacKay/Gordon Reid (Suzuki Alto) 21m 04s
3 Jude MacDonald/Michael Cruickshank (Skoda Citigo) 21m 10s
4 Lewis Winder/Mike Baird (Toyota Aygo) 21m 48s
5 Alice Paterson/Ian Crosbie (Peugeot 107) 23m 30s
6 Andrew Blackwood/Gordon Winning (Citroen C1) 25m 21s

( Full results at: scotresults.co.uk )