By Fiona Gourlay
I was looking forward to this event with it being in my home town. When we went to scrutineering it was a cool Saturday afternoon, the cut out switch didn’t work – that was a bad start. The readers who know the car will recognise it by the mirrored window in the back and rear, we were told new legislation from the MSA say’s you must be able to see in and out of the all windows – scrutineer said “take this coating of before you start”. However we were allowed to leave it for this event as we said the car would look bad but it must be off for next event. The cut out fixed and checked we then went to get tracking system fitted – two and a half hours later we got home for tea. When car was started next time the oil light and other things happened with electrics in the car. David reckoned it was tracking system we had fitters look at it in morning and there was still a few issues with it beeping on an off (some competitors had problems with there peltor intercoms) – not good at 100mph when you don’t know what was is happening. We disconnected it at the start of stage 4 and no one looked for us so guess it hadn’t worked from the start!
Got up at 6.30 on Sunday and the rain was stotting, David said this had started at 4.30 I didn’t hear it as I was asleep. We went over the start line at 9.40 at no 82 with 15 miles to travel into the hills for the start of stage.
Bothwell stage 1 – 6.5 miles – It was still raining of and on and lots of lying water on the road. Went well and was up to 30th despite being behind Ian Forgan in his Mk 2 escort for the last mile of the stage (he was stuck in 4th gear and didn’t want to stop to let us past in case he got stuck in stage we understood).Moon and stars stage 2 – 8.2 miles – David had rallied the second half of this stage once before but the rest was new to both of us. The first 5 miles were twisty and tight which suits the car the rest of it was flat out most of the time. Good fun we were now lying 42nd and it was raining fast. Stage had been very slippy and quite a few cars off.
Back to Duns for service and the same 2 stages again. Bothwell a bit slower this time but having had a few near off – wanted to finish. Moon and stars pace was faster again –despite near the end of the stage when we came out of a slight right, hooked the verge and aquaplaned across the road up the bank and round 360 twice and finished at the top off the bank. (don’t know how we didn’t roll) but the car started and we got to the end only 39 sec slower than last time – no damage to body of car. Time would tell the rest in service. As we traveled back to Duns we both said we were lucky to still be going.
Richard didn’t find any unseen problems in service so off we went on next 2 stages.
Blackadder – 10.84 miles – the longest of the day and it had stopped raining- it had been used on the Saturday in opposite direction so expected it to be slippy. David was taking things easy to make sure the car was running ok – we saw a car on it’s roof and a few in the hedge. Got to the end but not our best time off the day.
Fogo stage – 7.45 miles – I had been in the field and done a bit of aquaplaning on this stage in previous Clarks – David had not been on it before. All went well until 2 miles from the end when we hooked the verge coming into a right but David kept in going and we didn’t take the fence. Back to service to find we were now 48 and happy to be still going.
We had 50mins service time to get everything checked and food. Off to run these 2 stages again.
Blackadder and Fogo – we were about 30 sec quicker on each stage but the roads were much drier – perhaps we should have had slicks on but we got to the end happy having had a good days rallying finishing 49th overall out off 86 finishers. There were 137 starters.
I gained max point in STRC class and David was 3rd in drivers keeping us both in top 5 o/a .
Looking forward to Crail which will be the next round of the North of England and the STRC.