… Dunoon Argyll Rally, Class Roundup …
Class 1, 2WD up to 1450cc
Neil Coalter was an easy winner in his Suzuki Ignis despite having to use a near standard engine after his Suzuki ‘Sport’ unit blew up on the previous round, but he still had his troubles. Despite being 30hp down on power he also had two punctures and a bent rear stub axle to contend with. Steven Crockett was second in his Peugeot and he too had a puncture on the stage. John and Bridget Rowan failed to finish in their Sunbeam – the boys were so busy beavering away under the car in thought it better/safer not to ask!
Class 2, 2WD 8v up to 1650cc
Robbie Beattie had 2 rear punctures to contend with on his way to class victory in the Peugeot, but it was also losing water and he had to replace a bottom balljoint. Max Redpath was second but was lucky to get away with a dented rim and no puncture in his Peugeot and Andy Chalmers was 3rd and lucky to do so, the crew were getting ‘high’ on exhaust fumes from a broken exhaust manifold. Donald Peacock was a lowly 4th by his standards but all was explained: “We burst a brake pipe and finished the rally with the pipe blanked off and braking on only 3 wheels.” James Campbell was the only non Peugeot finisher in this class finishing 5th in his Sunbeam, but was minus a tail light unit at the finish: “I was sideways over a bridge and smacked the rear corner,” he said. The Sunbeam of Donald MacNeill was spotted parked up in Glen Croe.
Class 3, 2WD 16v up to 1650cc
Keith Riddick had a relatively easy time winning the class in his MG ZR, a task made easier by Angus Lawrie’s disappearance in the slippery first stage. “Going down the hill I was getting carried away and cutting corners,” said Keith, “and got a puncture but that was all.” More serious was Angus Lawrie’s departure, the Corsa getting away from him on the slippery start to SS1 and sliding nose first over a banking. No damage but well and truly stuck: “It was the slowest accident I’ve ever had,” he said at the finish. Alex Pirie was second and top Citroen C2 and Gina Walker 3rd in another Citroen with Tom Howie 4th in his Sunbeam after repairing a trailing sumpgaurd when a bolt snapped and later on burst a rear brake pipe. Jim Robertson was 5th in his Citroen but had to keep the motor running all day when the starter motor failed and Andy Struthers was 6th in his Citroen having punctured a front tyre and knackered a wheel on the first stage. Graeme Sherry was 7th in his Citroen having bent a wishbone in SS4 and final finisher was Duncan MacLean in his Peugeot 106. Steven Smith was another non-finisher when he ripped the exhaust off the Escort in the first stage and bent the Watts Linkage bar “like a banana” but this was fixed courtesy of a stab mell. He then slid off in the final test. Thomas Gray was out in the Fiesta R2 but when the petrol tank whacked a rock it burst the fuel pump and he was out in SS1. Ross Hughes was another off-road retiral in his Citroen on the first stage Elvin Smith went into SS1 and didn’t come out!
Class 4, 2WD 8v up to 2020cc
John O’Kane reckoned he was lucky on SS1 when the Escort lost a plug lead and made him slower over the slippy stuff although when he hit the rocky section the wipers switched themselves on. He won the class from Douglas Watt, first time out in his Escort and had a rear puncture near the start of SS1. Final finishers was Fraser MacNicol who had to weld up the Panhard rod tower in his Escort after SS1.
Class 5, Historic
Tom Coughtrie (who will later feature in the Blethers section!) won the class from Ian Milne and Grant Inglis who lost a chunk of time in SS1 with a puncture and wheel damage.
Class 6, FWD 16v up to 2050cc
Luke McLaren had a trouble free class win in his Fiesta ST compared to Martin Crombie in his Peugeot 306. Martin had a n/s front puncture in the 4th test which broke the front strut and then crawled through the final stage for a finish. Michael Renton failed to finish in his Peugeot 306, but it wasn’t the double puncture in SS1 that did for him, there was a terrible smell of fuel in the car and they couldn’t find the leak so retired in case it went on fire. Plus the fumes were going for them!
Class 7, RWD 16v up to 2050cc
23 seconds separated class winner Duncan MacDonald from Mike Stuart, but Mike was lucky to finish: “I went off big style in the first stage and bent all the link bars and then spun in the 2nd.” Duncan had a bit of luck too: “I had to change two tyres at first service, they were right down to the cord, but lucky, no punctures.” Northern Ireland’s Paul McErlean was 3rd but bent a rear suspension link in the first stage adding: “It was so rough, I thought we were back home.” Alistair MacArthur was 4th in the Sunbeam: “I took a chunk out of the left rear tyre but it didn’t go down, I don’t know how. Some of those rocks were bigger than footballs.” Eddie O’Donnell was 5th in a hastily acquired BMW Compact and was surprised to get a rear puncture: “I didn’t think I was going fast enough,” he said. Ali Galbraith was 6th in his Escort ahead of the Kadett of John Brownie who reported a puncture in the 2nd stage. Notable non-finisher was Dougal Brown whose Escort plunged nose first off the road in the slippery section of the first stage. Minimal damage but needed a tractor to pull him out. A Similar fate befell the Escort of Iain Donaldson.
Class 8, RWD over 2050cc
As one of the few who could actually recall rallying in these stages in the past, Ken Wood was less than impressed by this year’s Forestry offering but he still won the class from the Escort of Lorn MacFadyen which broke the manifold in the first stage and later broke a rear brake calliper.
Class 9, Grp N 4WD
Two starters and one finisher. Fraser Wilson was the lone survivor having to replace a starter motor en route and John McClory was left stranded in Gen Croe: “I was well off on an uphill 90 left,” said John, “it was actually arrowed for a junction Right – but the Left came after it!”
Class 10, 4WD
The order here was Hay, Wink, Lockhart, Binnie and Wilson with Matthew Thomson rounding off the top six in his Subaru having broken a rear shock absorber in the first stage. Calum MacLeod had a fraught day with an overheating Lancer and no brakes but finished 7th while Colin Baxter was 8th in his Subaru. Michael Robertson was 9th and Mark Shaw rounded off the top ten. Ronnie Horne had a rare outing but lost time with the water injection pipe coming off and Paul Collins was final finisher claiming he could have walked faster through SS1 than he drove! John McIlwraith was stranded in the first stage when the car broke but the fault was obvious when he got out to look. The front left strut was poking out the side of the wheel arch and when Geoff Goudie struck trouble in SS2 he ran out of time getting back to service.
Class 11, Grp A 4WD
Armstrong took the class from McCulloch, Faulkner, Clark, Milne and Rintoul with Brian Watson sidelined in the first stage with a puncture and broken jack and Scott McCombie off the road both in SS1.
Class 12, WRC cars
Only two points scorers, Thorburn from Sinclair
Argyll Rally – [Main Report]
Argyll Rally – [Stage Times]
Argyll Rally – [News & Blethers]