By Allan Cathers
We had a fairly steady start on the first Ae stage and somehow were 10th fastest. We had a good run through the super special at Heathhall 6th fastest. After service the first stage was Twiglees marshalled by some familiar faces. We felt we had a good smooth run through Twiglees but our time was not as good as it should have been and we dropped to 12th. We didn’t really understand why. In Castle Oer we had a real go and Rory admitted he overdrove quite a bit of the stage resulting in a few slides. We remained 12th.
In Ae West we tried hard but again only managed to remain static at 12th o/a.
We had a delay before the last Stage which was the 13 miles Ae East and took the time to get into a positive frame of mind and have a real good go. We where right on the ragged edge all through the stage and it appeared as though we would have a really quick time.
About 4 miles from the end we arrived at a downhill Left 7 into Right 3 carrying far too much speed, about 20 mph too much. As Rory said later, if we had a handbrake that worked we would have got round, Instead we had to resort to hard Braking stopping just before the second tape. The car stalled and failed to engage reverse so lost about 15 seconds. We finished the Stage at the same earlier fast pace to find we where 8th Fastest which elevated us to 10th overall just 13 seconds behind Wayne Sisson in 9th and 15 seconds behind 8th.
Rory felt that he had driven as hard as he could all day and that the final result did not really reflect his effort. However against far superior machinery in his old Evo 5 he did a tremendous job. As you probably know, we finished 10th o/a and 5th in Group N.
(Photos © Barry Lindsay / Spadeadam Motor Club)