Tough Going for Ecosse 205 Challengers
The forests of Perthsire proved a bruising experience for all the Ecosse 205 Challenge competitors plus our Southern visitor. It was a tough one. Punctures were the order of the day plus some serious car damaging scenery if you did not stay on the black stuff - only just scoring higher than if you did stay on the road!!
At the end of the day, it was a delighted Andrew Hunter/Stephen Graham ,(1st Junior and Autumn Cup and 2 stage fastests) Jane Nicol/Carin Logan (2nd Junior and Autumn Cup) and Barry Stewart/Leslie Bailey(1st Regular and 2 stage fastests) who survived the course - battered and bruised. In fact the 2 highest placed cars (Andrew and Jane) were escorted from the Finish ramp back to the Ice Rink for post event scrutineering by an immaculate Police BMW X5. Nothing strange there you might think. However, neither of them had much in the way of exhaust from the manifolds back. The Tayside Police certainly did temselves proud in their sympathetic handling of the whole rally.
James Vickers/Andrew Pembewrton were the first to go when an engine bracket broke and the rubber mount rested on the exhaust until it caught fire. Exit crew quickly and both fire extinguishers were used to put the blaze out. The car was not badly damaged but the crew were out. Their first retiral. Richard Welsh (team manager and Bacon Buttie cook extraordinaire) had to cease cooking in service and dispose of his freshly made buns - £3 a time was a wee bit steep, Richard!!! Next it was the turn of new lad Peter Start with Roy McLennan beside him. One nice shiny new black thing punctured on SS1 and after stopping to fix it, they had problems with gear selection and the engine finally would not start. Early bath. But at least they still had a car with most of the bits pointing the right way. Pacesetter Robbie Dale was next to leave the fray after SS2 when the clutch mechanism disintegrated (after a couple of exciting runs through SS1 and SS2). And we lost our Southern visitor in the last stage. Stefan Davis went off into a ditch about 2.5 miles from the end of SS5. Ditches can be ok but the big rock (well bit of mountainside) that he encountered on the way into the ditch did serious damage to the car. Stefan reckons a reshell as they can see daylight through the bulkhead.
The 3 finishers also suffered various maladies during the day. Andrew Hunter ran out of wheels - he "b------d" 5 he reckons; had no exhaust at the end and was rescued by Barry Stewart's service crew who helped stick a self tapper in the sump to stop the oil pouring out after SS5. Barry himself had plenty to contend with. Mostly in the brake department. He drove at least 2 stages with no brakes at all and there was little confidence in whether they would work or not on the other 3. Punctures also hit him as he was another to end the day with no spares (he even borrowed one from Jane and punctured that as well) Jane had gear selection problems after SS1 and lost her exhaust and most of the sumpguard in SS5. She had to borrow a spanner at the stage end to undo the remaining bolt and put the remains of the guard in the back.(Who syas girls cannot get spanners out and do a bit of screwing ?? Am I allowed to say that??? However, the wee car was obviously enjoying the punishment as it then refused to stop when the ignition was turned off.
I say to you all - you are heroes. You all stuck to it in true rally fashion.
The UK RC 4 will not be as tough.
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