… Dunoon presents Argyll Rally, Sat 22 June 2019 …
Class 7 – RWD Up To 2050cc 16v
First time out in his recently acquired ex-Mike Stuart Mk2, Mark McCulloch and Michael Hendry scored a narrow 3 second victory over Paul Mcerlean and Niall McKenna in a pretty hard fought contest. Mark was knackered by the finish as the car doesn’t yet have power steering fitted while Paul lost a few seconds on the final stage when the exhaust manifold broke. There was even closer fight for 2nd place as Duncan Macdonald and Neil Ross were only one second behind Mcerlean at the finish in their Escort. There was a bit of a gap back to 4th place with Robert Adamson and Jane Nicol first time out adapting to a new Mk2 in place of the Fabia but they did enough to stay clear of 5th place Rhuaridh Campbell and Shaina Archibald in the Sunbeam who executed the “perfect 360” at the first hairpin in the first stage with Rhuaridh saying: “It was very loose out there!” John Brownie and Gordon Ritchie were 6th in class after a puncture in SS1 dragged the Opel Kadett into a ditch. Then they had a problem with the intercom and when they tried to fix it, pulled the wire out completely!
Class 8 – 2WD Over 2050cc
A scintillating drive earned Iain Wilson and Chris Williams not just a class win in Argyll but 8th overall in their Escort Mk2, and that was despite a problem with the alternator which wasn’t charging properly. It wasn’t just Wilson who rose to the occasion over superb stages, Gordon Murray and David O’Brien scored their best result for some time less than half a minute behind the leaders. The Murray Mk2 behaved itself, perhaps thinking ahead to its retirement, because it’s driver will reach a certain age this year and he’s contemplating retirement too. In 3rd place and hiding behind a huge grin was a delighted Jamie Mcintyre with Damian Greenall in their Mk2. After an early departure on the Scottish, Jamie was after a finish and thoroughly enjoyed “sliding around” the Argyll stages.
Class 9 – 4WD (Non Class 10 Or 11)
It looks as though Michael Binnie and Claire Mole are in for some exciting times ahead as Thomas Gray and Harry Marchbank were pretty much on their case all day in Argyll finishing less than half a minute behind. Both crews had trouble with their Mitsubishis on the day so it was a pretty fair competition – roll on the Grampian Forest Rally, eh? Ian Baumgart and Sinclair Young finished an impressive 9th overall and 3rd in class in the Subaru ahead of Simon Hay and Calum Jaffray in the Lancer with Max and Callum Redpath 5th in their Subaru. Rounding off the top six were Mike and Michael Moates who lost time in SS6 with a puncture in the Subaru. Paul Collins and Robert Wood were 7th in their Subaru ahead of Aileen and John Forrest in the Lancer. Ron Hall didn’t make it to the finish when the turbo in his Subaru failed.
Class 10 – GrpA 4WD, S2000 & R4
The Lancers of Alan Dickson/Martin Forrest and Kevin Crawford/Andrew Stevenson were 1st and 2nd in class ahead of John Rintoul and Ross Hynd in the Skoda Fabia. Although he finished outside the top ten, Rintoul was chuffed with his finish even after winning the previous weekend’s Summer Stages at Crail. “We had two punctures today,” said John, “but the car was faultless.” Primarily to support their local event, Matthew Calderwood and Phil Sandham wheeled out the Mitsubishi mobile spider home which had lain virtually undisturbed in the shed, sorry garage, since retirement on the Galloway Hills a few years back so a finish was desirable and 4th in class a bonus. Non finishers included Keith Morris first time out in his newEvo9. “It needs properly set up,” said Keith, “I hadn’t driven it all before today and it’s very bouncey. I spun on the first stage but got two punctures on the same side in SS6 and bent a bottom arm.” he retired on the final stage. Alun Pearson retired his Evo9 in SS6 and Stuart Irvine continued his preference for ditches and undergrowth as opposed to gravel roads on the first stage but at least the bright orange car is easy to fins amongst the greenery. It was good to see John McClory back out but it didn’t last long. He had no intercom for the first two tests but the Lancer expired in SS5.
Class 11 – WRC And R5
Euan Thorburn and Paul Beaton added the class win to their overall victory ahead of Garry Pearson and Dale Bowen but it was a close run thing, with both drivers sharing the overall lead at various times during the day. Bruce McCombie and Michael Coutts were pleased enough with 3rd overall and 3rd in class but the Launch Control system in the Focus continues to give problems: “Or it could just be down to me,” said Bruce. In even more trouble were John Wink and Neil Shanks, the Hyundai misbehaving throughout the day due to some electrical malfunction.