22 Jul: Mach1 – Blethers

 … Tales from the Mach …

As hinted at elsewhere, the Mach1 Stages Class roundup report wasn’t quite as comprehensive as the Editor would have liked, but that was due to circumstances outwith his control. It wasn’t just the spread out nature of the four ‘servicing’ bubbles and Junior 1000 section in the Machrihanish service area, the editorial transport was out of action. As was his wont the Editor had set off to cycle around the stages on the Friday evening to see what dangers and challenges lay ahead. He didn’t make it. At the farthest point from the service area, the rear tyre punctured. The puncture repair kit was back in the van. A 1.6 mile walk is a breeze, but not when pushing a lump of recalcitrant ironmongery. Hopes of a saviour were dashed when the Set Up crew swept past in their van with a cheery wave, but they had other priorities. Then the sound of another engine was heard so the Editor pulled up one leg of his shorts to expose the flesh and stuck a thumb in the air. This time the Safety Officer swept past with no wave at all. The next plan was to lie down in the road ahead of the next car. There was none. So the walk commenced. However, solace was found back at service when the Set Up crew was prevailed upon to give the peched-oot Editor and bike a lift to the van at the other side of the service area where repairs were effected. Fair dead chuffed with himself, the Editor swung a leg over the bike in a most athletic manoeuvre and set off. But not far. Another puncture. Turns out the tube had mair holes than an Arbuthnott sock courtesy of the long push back with a flat tyre on the rim and the tube getting continually nipped. So no editorial carriage the following day. Editorial perambulations were therefore carried out on Shanks’ pony over the next two days!

Congratulations are due to the boy Kyle Adam. He got engaged to Katy ahead of the Mach1 – Lockdown does have some serious consequences, eh? Apparently she was a finalist on the TV’s Masterchef programme which generated a certain response from the ever financially gregarious faither, one Gary Adam Esq: “That’ll be the wedding catering sorted then!” I’ll need to have a quiet word with the girl before I offer my best wishes.

John Rintoul missed most of Saturday’s stages when the Fiesta’s PDU failed. This is the sensor which controls the power delivery to the four wheel drive system. Whilst chatting with Derek McGarrity, Derek mentioned that his son had a spare and John can have it so he can have a run out on the Sunday stages. Naturally John said yes, thinking it was in the van, but Derek said no, it was back home in Northern Ireland. So guess what, later that afternoon Derek flew John over to NI in his helicopter to collect the part and fly back, a 22 minute round trip. Now there’s a way to beat Brexit, load up the chopper with sausages.

Despite what you might have read elsewhere (The Sheriff’s Facebook page!) the reason for Barry Groundwater’s off in Argyll was due to a puncture picked up going round a chicane and on the exit just dragged the car off the road into a ditch. No real damage but stuck.

Kieran O’Kane had a brand new engine in the Ascona for Mach1 but had trouble with overheating causing the car to go into ‘limp mode’ over the first two stages which prompted an investigation. The temperature gauge was bolted to the engine  block right beside an exhaust header. Magic heat reflective tape was wound round both items – problem solved.

Willie Nelson was having his first proper run out in his newly acquired 1600cc Escort but had a misfire over the first couple of stages. The cause was traced to plug lead No4. Hamish found it – when he got a shock!

Despite hitting a bale on the first stage with his Escort Lorn McFadyen was going well until the later stages when the car was forced to retire when the crankshaft seal started leaking oil on to the clutch. Up until that point the best performing part of the team was 15 year first-timer co-driver Layla.

Kenny Watt had a grand day out despite having to miss out two stages after some trouble with the Mini. It was his first time at Machrihanish and also a first for 18 year old Ella Tyson from Cumbria who made the long trip to co-drive. She’s dead keen to do more and has a Facebook page if you want to contact her. Not only is she good at the job, she’s as light as a feather – and Kenny isn’t, so the wee Mini still had to work hard!

Apparently there was a general call issued during the rally for smelling salts, or some other effective life reviver, all suggestions gratefully accepted. The recipient in need of such drastic action was Ronnie Thom, and what occasioned this necessity? Sandy Arbuthnott approached him to buy two brand new tyres! It paid off, Sandy and Ian finished 24th in the Subaru powered Focus.

And finally …

And now a revelation. There appears to be three Ian Forgans, and that’s not counting his faither, as Ian the First explained ahead of the Argyll Rally: “There is the brave Ian Forgan who alters the Notes when watching the DVD, then there is the less brave Ian Forgan who alters the alterations during the recce and then there is the third Ian Forgan who is a real pussy and wimps out during the rally!”