… Dunoon presents Argyll Rally, Sat 22 June 2019 …
Class 1 – 2WD Up To 1450cc
A violent eruption separated the ‘twins’ in Class 1 when the engine in the Niall Cowan Jnr/Thomas Bruce MG ZR self destructed when a con rod made a bid for freedom through the side of the block in SS. And that was after an ‘off’ in the first stage when they put the MG in a ditch just after a Right5 and damaged the steering. However that left the similar car of Scott Peacock and Robin Neal to take an unopposed victory although they were very lucky to survive a ‘near miss’ earlier in the morning before the rally start: “When we turned into the stadium this morning, we nearly ran over hedgehog crossing the road,” said Scott, although he denied being anywhere near a pub the night before.
Class 2 – 2WD Up To 1650cc 8v
Reckoning they were lucky to finish let alone win the class were James Campbell and Ricky Finlayson in their Talbot Sunbeam: “We lost the brakes 2 miles into the last stage,” said James, “but I also think a half shaft is about to let go – there’s an awful lot of popping and banging going on back there.” Donald Peacock and Chris Wareham were 2nd in class in the family ‘spare’ Peugeot 205 Gti.
Class 3 – 2WD Up To 1650cc 16v
There was a great fecht in Class 3 which was eventually won by the Skoda Fabia R2 of Jude MacDonald and Michael Cruickshank. Barry Lindsay and Caroline Lodge got off to a bad start when their Peugeot 206 Cup Car punctured a tyre in the first stage and that cost them a minute before the competition had really got underway. Thereafter they fought back to regain the class lead from MacDonald, but it wasn’t easy. They were hampered by a throttle problem and only just managed to take back 2 seconds on SS2, tied on SS3 and were a second slower in SS4 and 2 seconds slower in the next one. With throttle fixed and after cup of ‘builder’s tea’ at the service halt, Lindsay was 6 seconds quicker in SS6 and 14 seconds quicker in the penultimate test leaving a gap of 16 seconds going into the final test. It was too much, and despite an 8 second faster time by Lindsay, MacDonald remained just out of reach. Scoring 3rd in class were Caroline Carslaw and ‘new’ co-driver Matt Edwards with Matt accusing Caroline of ‘lefthanditus’ in the LHD Ford Fiesta R2: “She should follow the ruts and tracks,” said Matt, “not drive beside them!” Angus Lawrie failed to finish when the Citroen C2 ended up in a ditch just over a crest in SS3 and blamed himself: “Had I been on the throttle I would have got away with it. It would have pulled me round, but I was going for a finish so it sort of half spun an ended up facing the wrong way in a ditch. Stuck, but no damage.” Frasere Smith retired the Honda with an electrical problem and Nikki Addison was another non-finisher when something punctured the Peugeot’s battery on the floor behind Rachel’s seat. It started smoking so badly that the fumes forced them to stop.
Class 4 – 2WD Up To 2050cc 8v
At one [point there was a little disharmony within the Paddy Munro/Keir Beaton camp on their way to a class win as Keir recalled: “I was calling a Left 8 and paddy was still pulling gears. I was sitting there thinking ‘I don’t know how he’s going to do this’ as I looked out at and DOWN at the view.” Somehow the unconcerned Paddy sorted it out as the Ford Escort pairing claimed the victory. Douglas Watt and Ian Parker were 2nd in their Ford Escort as they tried to hide the front n/s corner damage: “It was only in a ditch for a wee minute,” said Spanish Dougie, “but I was more concerned about a big bumble bee in the car in the following road section. The Mk2 of Walter Henderson and Jim Kinloch was 3rd having survived a heavy landing in SS6 which shorted out a circuit board in the intercom. John and Meghan O’Kane were 4th and way off the pace in their Escort: “I was determined to get round,” explained John, “the 6spd sequential ‘box was playing up and I couldn’t get 1st, 2nd or 3rd gears – hairpins were a nightmare. I had to stop a few times just to try and get 1st gear.” And then their intercom failed!
Class 5 – Historic Cars
Tom Coughtrie and Ian Fraser took the class win the Mitsubishi Galant VR4 with Tom reckoning that was their first trouble free run in the car – apart from no intercom for the first 3 stages. Ernie Lee and Patricia Milligan was 2nd in the BMW after having a time corrected when they stopped at a red flag mid stage. Ian and Dawn Milne were 3rd in the Escort which had a few temperamental fits (the car, not Ian) during the day and refused to start and occasional stage rally visitors Arthur and Hugo MacMillan were 4th in their awfy smart Escort Mk1.
Class 6 – FWD Up To 2050cc 16v
She might have been the only class finishers but Linzi Henderson was still dead chuffed with her 1st in class in the Fiesta R2 as Tom Hynd pointed out: “That was Linzi’s first ever class win. She’s had two 2nds and two 3rds this year but that is her first 1st.” It wasn’t as if Linzi wasn’t trying as Tom recalled: “My *rs* was twitching a few times as I was telling her not to lift!” She was less than a minute and a half behind her faither in the Mk2 at the finish – the gap is coming down. There were three non finishers. Carl Tuer spun the Suzuki on the first stage but broke a driveshaft just after the start of SS3. Bobby Mitchell fared little better when a wheel came off and the Fiesta ST plunged off the road and Johnny Mackay was forced out with clutch failure in his Fiesta ST.