02 Jul: Argyll Rally Classes 7 – 12

… Dunoon Presents Argyll Rally 2018 … The Classes …

Class 7 – Rwd Cars To 2050cc With More Than 8 Valves
1, Paul McErlean/Niall McKenna (Ford Escort Mk2) 45:44
– Good run for Paul and Niall with 12th o/a and 2nd 2wd. The first 3 stages reminded them of local events back in N Ireland: “It was hard to stretch the legs, it was very technical, and twisty just like home. There was more bite and grip second time through though.”
2, Steven Wood/Mary Wood (Ford Fiesta Rwd) 48:01
– Broke a shock absorber on the Scottish last month so had new rear suspension fitted to the car so it felt much better this time out.
3, John Brownie/Gordon Ritchie (Opel Kadett C) 50:54
– Asked why he was walking round the car at the finish, John answered: “I got the tail well out on a long Right and biffed a banking – but there’s no marks on the car.” Result, eh?

Class 8 – 2wd Cars Over 2051cc
1, Greg McKnight/Harry Marchbank (Ford Escort Mk2) 43:48
– Another marvellous run from Greg which netted 11th o/a and top 2wd but there was a twinge of disappointment that he didn’t make it into the top ten in such hard and fast conditions: “Tricky stages, but they cleaned up and offered more grip second time through. There was lots of tight stuff and I was getting too much wheelspin coming out of them (he grinned at this recollection!) but that was one of the most enjoyable events for a while.”
2, Gordon Murray/David O’Brien (Ford Escort Mk2) 47:00
– Another lucky driver: “There was a bad Right Hander over a crest in SS7,” said Gordon, “I was off and in a ditch but got out. Going by the marks there had been lots more in there before me!” He also punctured a front tyre but admitted: “I was quicker second time through the stage with the puncture than I was on the first run this morning without a puncture!
3, Keith Robathan/Phil Sandham (BMW M3) 48:06
– Drive of the day perhaps? Twa auld gits in a BMW taxi finishing well inside the top 20 in 17th place o/a? “The sumpguard came loose, but that was all,” said Keith, “enjoyed it, but you have to watch it, the front end is heavier than an Escort.” Then he added: “I’ll put the Taxi sign back on the roof and get back to work.” He was joking – I think.

Class 9 – Group N 4wd Cars
1, Donald Carslaw/John Duke (Subaru Impreza) 49:42
– Late entry but worth the early start, getting a class win so that he can out-brag Caroline!
2, Donald MacNeill/Cara MacNeill (Subaru Impreza) 59:28
– No issues.
DNF, Fraser Wilson/Craig Wallace (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo9)
– Punctured a front n/s tyre and the flailing rubber ripped out the wiring.

Class 10 – Other 4wd Cars Not In Class 12 Or 13
1, Michael Binnie/Claire Mole (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo9) 42:12
– Another excellent showing by Michael finishing in the top six (just!), commenting after the slippery SS3 that he was nearly in the lake: “If you go off line and get a wheel on the grass, you’re just a goner.”
2, John McClory/David Hood (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo9) 43:38
– So laid back, hard to tell if he’s asleep or on medication, and yet he still finishes inside the top ten in 8th place. The man’s a star.
3, Ian Baumgart/Dave Robson (Subaru Impreza) 43:45
– A good clean run netted 10th o/a.
4, Kevin Crawford/Claire Martin (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo5) 48:39
– Decent run but lucky to get away with one incident when he was told ‘not to cut’ and guess what? Of course he did. Knocked the front wheels out of line but got back to service with the steering wheel pointing at quarter to 3!
5, Andy Chalmers/Martin MacCabe (Subaru Impreza) 51:20
6, John McIlwraith/Paul Barbet (Subaru Impreza) 52:23
– Burst a rear shock absorber but had no spares, so bumped and thumped onwards.
7, James Campbell/Claire Tilley (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo4) 57:17
8, Aileen Forrest/Gordon Wood (Mitsubishi Evo5) 1:08:12
– Third event, third finish, Result.
DNF, Brett McKenzie/Daniel Forsyth (Subaru Impreza)
– Rolled SS4, car bent but drove straight and got back to service and retired.
DNF, Donald Brooker/Rachel Booth (Subaru Impreza)
– Punctured a rear tyre in SS2 but retired in SS5.
DNS, Alistair Dalgliesh/David Dalgliesh (Subaru Impreza)
– Everything going well till Saturday morning. Had sailed through Scroot the night before but he went to fire the car up on Saturday morning and found the bores full of water. Head gasket.

Class 11 – Group A 4wd Cars
1, Bruce McCombie/Michael Coutts (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo9) 41:48
– Best of the Lancers today with a fighting third place finish, but showing his age: “The stages were quite demanding, corner after corner with hardly time to draw breath between them.” Suspected shortage of his mother’s baking in the service van to blame.
2, Scott McCombie/ (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo9) 43:25
– Given the slipperiness of the grassy parts of the road, his plan was to “stay in the tracks” and finished 7th o/a.
3, Alan Dickson/ (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo9) 43:41
– Had one heart stopping moment in SS3 at the top of a steep climb with nothing but sky beyond and the car stalled, twice. He reckoned: “I was off the throttle for so long and on the brakes that the ECU got confused and shut down the engine. I’m not brave enough for this yet.”
DNF, Jock Armstrong/Cameron Fair (Subaru Impreza)
– Crashed out SS1.
DNF, John Rintoul/Ross Hynd (Skoda Fabia)
– Car suffered a recurrence of the starter motor problems which afflicted it at the Speyside.
DNF, Keith Morris/Terry Mallin (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo6)
– Mechanical problems SS3.

Class 12 – WRC Cars And R5 Cars
1, Andrew Gallacher/Jane Nicol (Ford Focus WRC) 41:16
– 2nd victory of the season and well earned and praised the event and the stages although over the early slippery stages he commented: “You can’t cut corners or go off line.” Did have one wee panic though and that was on the last stage when the car misfired off the line, but cleared quite quickly.
2, Donnie MacDonald/Jamie Edwards (Ford Fiesta R5) 41:21
– Nice to see Donnie back on the boil although he did have a couple of moments. On SS3, the car cut out on the approach to a sharp crest and he had to pull over, switch off and re-set it then on the final stage he inexplicably stalled on the start line saying: “That’s the first time I’ve ever done that.” He was also full of praise for the rally and the stages.
3, Freddie Milne/Abi Louden (Subaru S14) 41:50
– Freddie was widely tipped as a possible threat today after his strong showing on last month’s Scottish but a change of car required a bit of re-acclimatisation. “It has the same drivetrain and handles the same but the brakes are different,” he said, “you have to be very sensitive with this car, whereas with the S12 you could just stand on them and they wouldn’t lock up. With this car, it was too easy to lock up.”
4, John Wink/John Forrest (Hyundai I20 R5) 41:50
– Another fast improving driver, John had a good run finishing dead level with Freddie but he did recall one fluttery moment in SS3: “There was an instruction to keep Right flat over crest, but what it didn’t say was there was a 400 foot drop on the outside of the corner and the car was just skimming along the edge.”
DNF, Mark McCulloch/Michael Hendry (Ford Fiesta R5)
– Another bad day at the office for Mark. The car developed steering problems on the second stage and he crashed out on the third.
DNF, Rory Young/Allan Cathers (Ford Fiesta R5)
– When leading the rally Rory suffered two front punctures so he switched to ‘road’ mode just to drive out of the stage, but the car understeered off the road and beached itself with Rory unable to control it because the power steering wasn’t working and the thing just wouldn’t steer out of it.

Argyll Rally – [Main report]
Argyll Rally – [Stage Times]
Argyll Rally – [Classes 1 – 6]