post

MacCrone leads after leg 1

macrone

TUNNOCK’S MULL RALLY — LEG 1 REPORT, TIMES & QUOTES:
MacCrone leads as Duffy slithers out
Under a clear, moonlit sky, Dervaig maestro John MacCrone stablished a 1min 17sec lead which he takes into the second leg of the 44th running of the Tunnock’s Mull Rally. The MSport Ford Fiesta S2400 driver was fastest through four of the opening seven stages.
But the spectacle everyone had been waiting 12 months to see — MacCrone’s battle with last year’s winner, fellow Dervaig driver calm Duffy — disappeared on the first run through the 2.62-miler at Ardtun.
“From what I saw, it looks like Calum slid off backwards into a ditch,” MacCrone said at the end of SS3. “I’m totally gutted for him.”
With Duffy forced to retire with a broken alternator bracket — he will return for Leg 2 — MacCrone (24), second last year, found himself disorientated.
“It’s difficult now to know what to do: push, or back off to protect the lead,” he said. “I was on the brakes, off the brakes all the way through the stage.”
In the end, it appears he decided to push, clocking fastest times through the nights final three stages as the frost made conditions even trickier.
His nearest challenger is Carlisle 22-year-old Peter Taylor. Driving a 2001 Ford Focus WRC, he appeared to surprise even himself with his performance.
“To be honest, the stage was quicker than my head could keep up with,” he admitted at the end of the opening stage. “My feet and hands were quicker than my head as well. And I’ve no idea how fast we actually were. But the car’s going great.”
He starts the second leg 74s ahead of Eddie O’Donnell jnr’s Ford Escort RS, with the BMW Mini of Daniel Harpe fourth, a further 14s back. Tristan Pye completes the top five, 32s adrift of Harper, the last non-island driver to win the event in 2002.
The first stage claimed the Subaru Impreza of fourth-seed John Cope, who went off on SS1.
“We went off,” he explained, “hit a rock and destroyed the driver’s side front wheel and suspension.”
There was disappointment too for Donnie Macdonald. Ninth through the opening stage, he crashed out on SS2, blocking the stage with his Mitsubishi Evo IX, forcing the cancellation of SS1 & SS2 for the cars following.
In total, 12 cars retired during the opening seven stages.
Saturday though sees MacCrone face one of the biggest challenges of his career so far. The dilemma he faces is, does he maintain a fast pace to help keep concentration; or does he back off, protect what he has, and run the risk of losing concentration and making a mistake?
Time will tell.

TUNNOCK’S MULL RALLY 2013
SS1: 8.21miles at Glen Aros
Top 10
1. Calum Duffy thru SS1 in 7min 57secs:
2. John MacCrone (8:06).
3. Peter Taylor 8:11
4. Dan Harper: 8:25
5. Eddie O’Donnell jnr 8:27
=6. Tristan Pye: 8.28
=6. Steven Ronaldson
8. Tony Bardy 8:32
9. Donnie MacDonald 8:33
=10. John Cressey 8:38
=10. Alan Gardiner 8:38.

DRIVER QUOTES SS1:
Car 1, Calum Duffy (Dervaig) / Iain Duffy (Dervaig) Ford Escort MkII
That felt good, but there were a few big slides there: not sure if that was me, having not been in the car for a year, or the conditions. At one stage we were all over the place.

Car 2, John MacCrone (Dervaig) / Stuart Loudon (Uddingston) M-Sport Ford Fiesta S2400:
That was very good, it’s the first time I’ve driven the car in anger: I’ve only driven it six miles before this. We’ve just bedded ourselves into the event. There’s a lot more to come from the car: it’s a beast.

Car 3, Tony Bardy (Richmond) / Neil Colman (Stockton-on-Tees) Nissan Sunny GTi-R:
I was way too nervous: I don’t know where the courage from last year has gone. But it’s certainly blown the cobwebs away.

Car 6, Daniel Harper (Barley) / Chris Campbell (Barrowford) BMW Mini Cooper S
Yeh, pleased with that.

Car 7, Eddie O’Donnell jnr (Salen) / Matt Ratcliffe (Tobermory) Ford Escort RS:
I always enjoy the Lochs, but I guess Calum was going about 60mph faster than me.

Car 8, Tristan Pye (Bishop Auckland) / Andrew Falconer (Inverness) Subaru Impreza:
It’s always a culture shock getting back on to the roads on Mull. Problem is, I come here fired -up, but all the local guys know exactly where their going, and I don’t. I think one of the tyres has lost a bit of pressure.

Car 9, Jonathan Mounsey (Settle) / Richard Wardle (Pickering) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI;
Thrown in at the deep end, really. I haven’t driven in anger for ages.

Car 10 John Cressey (Long Preston) / Martin Cressey (Long Preston) BMW Mini Cooper S:
There were a couple of places I felt I was clinging on for grim death. Very greasy in some places, but s long as the rest of the guys felt the conditions were the same, that’s fine by me.

Car 15, Peter Taylor (Carlisle) / Andrew Roughead (Newcastle) Ford Focus WRC:
I thought something was wrong with the brakes, but I’ve had a look and they’re just gleaming hot. To be honest, the stage was quicker than my head could keep up with. My feet and hands were quicker than my head as well. And I’ve no idea how fast we actually were. But the car’s going great.

Car 20, Billy Bird (York) / Plug Pulleyn (York) Vauxhall Chevette:
Just bedding ourselves in with for the rest of the event.

Car 21, Alan Gardiner (Biggar) / Robin Nicholson (Largs) Ford Escort MkI:
Well, we’re here: we got through. We had a bit of a problem with the brakes: there’s a lot of smoke coming off the front right.

Car 23, Donnie MacDonald (Inverness) / Paul Beaton (Inverness) Mitsubishi Evo IX;
If I can equal my 12th place of last year, I’ll be well chuffed. Happy with the first stage.

Car 31, Ian Chadwick (Cork) / Johnnie Bould (Glasgow) Skoda Fabia:
I couldn’t hear a thing from my co-driver right through the stage. It’s the first time we’ve driven the Fabia and we didn’t realise it was going to be this loud inside. I basically did that stage without a co-driver.

Car 32, John Baird (Edinburgh) / Stan Quirk (Milton of Campsie) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX:
Loved the stage, all lit by moonlight: I enjoyed looking at the scenery. It was very romantic.

Car 36, Stewart Morrison (Oban) / Sam Bould (Brindle) Ford escort MkII:
Just getting our heads back round rallying: it’s the first time we’ve tackled the event for four years.

Car 43, Steven Ronaldson (Inverness) / Ann-Marie Fraser (Inverness) Metro 6R4:
We lost the back brakes.

Car 47, Robert Mathieson (Salen) / Alastair Marshall (Thornhill) Ford Fiesta:
Got a long brake pedal.

Car 50, Phil Gallagher (Leeds) / Mick Gallagher (Leeds) Ford Escort:
That was strange, and very tough. But we really enjoyed it.

TUNNOCK’S MULL RALLY 2013
SS2: 16.9miles at Glen Aros/Hill Road/Loch Tuath

SS2: 1. Duffy 14.41, 2. MacCrone +6s; 3. Taylor +37s; 4. O’Donnell +58; 5. Harper +1:20; 6. Pye +1:22.

O/all after SS2:
1 Duffy 22:38;
2 MacCrone +15s;
3 Taylor +51s;
4. O’Donnell +1:28;
5. Harper +1:48;
6. Pye +1:53;
7. Ogg Mackenzie +1:56;
8. Gallagher +2.08;
9. Bardy +2.10;
10. Gardiner +2.12.

DRIVER QUOTES SS2:
Car 1, Calum Duffy (Dervaig) / Iain Duffy (Dervaig) Ford Escort MkII:
We were really tidy through there: in SS1 we were a bit erratic. That was fast and tidy: quite please with that.

Car 2, John MacCrone (Dervaig) / Stuart Loudon (Uddingston) M-Sport Ford Fiesta S2400:
That was interesting. That’s two steady runs, and I’m pretty please with where we are, and how we’re getting used to the car. I feel a lot more comfortable with it. It’s fast!

Car 3, Tony Bardy (Richmond) / Neil Colman (Stockton-on-Tees) Nissan Sunny GTi-R:
Strangely, I’m feeling quite nervous, to be honest. I’m definitely not as fast as last year, but here’s a long way to go. We’re building our confidence after last year’s incident.

Car 6, Daniel Harper (Barley) / Chris Campbell (Barrowford) BMW Mini Cooper S:
Had a bit of an off. Went straight-on, managed to get restarted and lost about 10s.

Car 7, Eddie O’Donnell jnr (Salen) / Matt Ratcliffe (Tobermory) Ford Escort RS:
I saw a couple of big, thick black tyre marks: guess someone in front of me had a problem. Tell you what, he was lucky

Car 8, Tristan Pye (Bishop Auckland) / Andrew Falconer (Inverness) Subaru Impreza:
Had a problem with the anti-lag system and that’s contributed to the clutch over-heating. Cost us a bit of time: probably lost about a second-a-mile.

Car 9, Jonathan Mounsey (Settle) / Richard Wardle (Pickering) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI;
Pleased with that.

Car 10 John Cressey (Long Preston) / Martin Cressey (Long Preston) BMW Mini Cooper S:
Got a bit of an issue with torque-steering, but we’ll get that sorted at service.

Car 11, Lewis Gallagher (Tobermory) / Graham Brown (Tobermory) Subaru Impreza:
Still trying to get used to the gearbox: but there’s lots of grip out there.

Car 15, Peter Taylor (Carlisle) / Andrew Roughead (Newcastle) Ford Focus WRC:
Mega run: we went even harder than we did in SS1. Possibly lost a wee bit of concentration towards the end: it’s a long stage. But mega happy with that!

Car 12, Andrew Fenwick (Lincolnshire) / John Vance (Saddleworth) Hyundai Accent WRC:
Backed-off a bit there: trying to build my confidence. It’s fast.

Car 14, David Mann (Bungay) / Chris Hamill (Oban) Subaru Impreza WRX STI:
Really enjoying it.

Car 17, Doug Weir (Ellon) / Duncan Brown Carshalton) Ford Escort MkII:
I’ve just got to waken up: get used to the car, the conditions and the pace. But it’s a blast: really enjoying it.

Car 16, Iain Ogg Mackenzie (Dervaig) / Drew Sturrock (Brechin) Mitsubishi Evo:
Car going great, but we’e having problems with the lights, which isn’t good. Not great to be driving in semi-darkness. Bit of a nightmare, but we’ll get it sorted at service.

Car 19, Tim Stell (Huddersfield) / Mike Yates (Mirfield) Mitsubishi Evo VII:
Bit of understeer, and a lack of grip: not ideal.

Car 20, Billy Bird (York) / Plug Pulleyn (York) Vauxhall Chevette:
Bit hectic, but great. So far so good.

Car 21, Alan Gardiner (Biggar) / Robin Nicholson (Largs) Ford Escort MkI:
Quite hard work through that one. Good thing is, I think we’ve got to the bottom of the brake issues we had through SS1.

Car 31, Ian Chadwick (Cork) / Johnnie Bould (Glasgow) Skoda Fabia:
New car, but I’ll get used to it. It’s a great car.

Car 24, Chris (Curly) Haigh (Helperby) / Sally Peacock (Helperby) Ford Escort MkI:
That’s just mental: really great stuff. Fast isn’t the word. We’re having great fun.

Car 108, Fergus Barlow (Tobermory) / Alastair MacCrone (Dervaig) Citroen Saxo VTS:
We’re pretty gutted not to have done either SS1 or SS2. We’d done the nervous bit, we’d done the exciting bit, then just as we were about to go, we were told the first two stages had been cancelled.
It was really disappointing because this is the first rally i’ve ever started, and I was hoping to bed myself into the rally by doing the first two stages, because they’re close to where I live and I know the roads.
I’d really hoped to ease myself into both the car, and the rally.
Instead, my first stages are down at the south of the island on tight, twisty roads I don’t really know all that well.
I’v spoken to a few of the experienced guys and they’ve all told me, you can’t win the rally in the south, but you can definitely lose t.
My priority is simply to get through tonight, then we can pick the pace up tomorrow.

TUNNOCK’S MULL RALLY 2013
SS3: 2.62-miles Ardtun 1
1. MacCrone 2mins 42secs; 2. Taylor +4s; 3. Bardy +7; 4. Car 27, D. Miller +8; 5. Harper +9; 6. O’Donnell +10; 7. Pye +11; =8. Gallagher, Weir & Gardiner +12.

TUNNOCK’S MULL RALLY 2013
SS4: 2.62-miles Ardtun 2
1. MacCrone 2mins 40secs; 2. Taylor +1s; 3. Bardy +6; 4. Gardiner +9; 5. O’Donnell jnr +10; 6. Weir +11; =7. Harper, Pye, Mounsey, & Bird +13.

O/all: 1. MacCrone 28mins 15secs; 2. Taylor +41s; 3. O’Donnell +1:33; 4. Harper +1:55; 5. Pye +2:02; 6. Bardy 2:08; 7. Ogg Mackenzie +2:14; 8. Gardiner +2:18; 9. Gallagher +2:23; 10. Weir +2:47.

TUNNOCK’S MULL RALLY 2013
SS5: 4.63-miles Scridain 1
1. MacCrone 3mins 59secs; 2. Taylor +5; 3. Harper +9; 4. O’Donnell +13; 5. Pye +14; 6. Bardy +17; =7. Weir & Gardiner +21; =9. Mounsey, Cressey & Gallagher +23;

O/all: 1. MacCrone 32mins 14secs; 2. Taylor +46s; 3. O’Donnell +1:46; 4. Harper +2:04; 5. Pye +2:16; 6. Bardy 2:25; 7. Gardiner +2:39; 8. Ogg Mackenzie +2:43; 9. Gallagher +2:46; 10. D. Miller + 3:04.

TUNNOCK’S MULL RALLY 2013
SS6: 8.37-miles Gribun Rocks 1
1. MacCrone 6mins 59secs; 2. Taylor +12; 3. Harper +19; 4. O’Donnell +21; 5. Pye +25; 6. Bardy +28; 7. Gallagher +30; =8. Mounsey, Gardiner, Willcock & Cressey +41.

O/all: 1. MacCrone 39mins 13secs; 2. Taylor +58s; 3. O’Donnell +2:07; 4. Harper +2:23; 5. Pye +2:41; 6. Bardy 2:53; 7. Gallagher +3.16; 8. Gardiner +2:18; 9. Ogg Mackenzie +3:26; 10. D. Miller 3:46.

DRIVER QUOTES SS6:
Car 1, Calum Duffy (Dervaig) / Iain Duffy (Dervaig) Ford Escort MkII:
“I’m totally gutted for Calum. From what I saw, it looks like he slid off backwards into a ditch. It’s difficult now to know what to do: push, or back off to protect the lead. I was on the brakes, off the brakes all the way through the stage.”

Car 3, Tony Bardy (Richmond) / Neil Colman (Stockton-on-Tees) Nissan Sunny GTi-R:
“That’s the worst stage I’ve had: it was desperate.”

Car 6, Daniel Harper (Barley) / Chris Campbell (Barrowford) BMW Mini Cooper S
“Everything seems good.”

Car 7, Eddie O’Donnell jnr (Salen) / Matt Ratcliffe (Tobermory) Ford Escort RS:
“Everything’s going fine, apart from the starter issues. Once we get her going, she’s perfect. And we’re certainly having a go.”

Car 8, Tristan Pye (Bishop Auckland) / Andrew Falconer (Inverness) Subaru Impreza:
“I’ll be better in the daylight.”

Car 9, Jonathan Mounsey (Settle) / Richard Wardle (Pickering) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI;
“We’ve stiffened up the suspension, and the car’s much better.”

Car 11, Lewis Gallagher (Tobermory) / Graham Brown (Tobermory) Subaru Impreza:
Very sloppy, and I think we lost a lot of time. Happy though.”

Car 15, Peter Taylor (Carlisle) / Andrew Roughead (Newcastle) Ford Focus WRC:
“We lost the intercom in that stage, but we’ve perfected the notes, so we can concentrate on the driving now.”

Car 14, David Mann (Bungay) / Chris Hamill (Oban) Subaru Impreza WRX STI:
“Struggled a bit in there. Getting the lines right for the jumps is crucial: if you don’t get the take-off right, you don’t get the landing right.”

Car 17, Doug Weir (Ellon) / Duncan Brown Carshalton) Ford Escort MkII:
“Loved that stage. Jumping those crests was unbelievable. We were off the road a couple of times, but it keeps everything exciting.”

Car 16, Iain Ogg Mackenzie (Dervaig) / Drew Sturrock (Brechin) Mitsubishi Evo:
“People keep going off, so I’m just concentrating on keeping the car on the road and hopefully make up places.”

Car 20, Billy Bird (York) / Plug Pulleyn (York) Vauxhall Chevette:
“Everything going to plan.”

Car 31, Ian Chadwick (Cork) / Johnnie Bould (Glasgow) Skoda Fabia:
“Car going perfectly.”

TUNNOCK’S MULL RALLY 2013
SS7: 10.85-miles Penmore
1. MacCrone 10mins 43secs; 2. Taylor +19; 3. Harper +22; 4. O’Donnell +24; 5. Ogg Macknzie +34; 6. Pye & Bardy +36; =8. Gallagher & Mounsey +30; =10. Gardiner +44.

O/all: 1. MacCrone 49mins 56secs; 2. Taylor +1min 17secs; 3. O’Donnell +2.31; 4. Harper +2:45; 5. Pye +3.17; 6. Bardy 3.29; 7. Gallagher +3.57; 8. Ogg Mackenzie +4.00; 9. Gardiner +4:04; 10. Cressey 4:47.

DRIVER QUOTES SS7:
Car 2, John MacCrone (Dervaig) / Stuart Loudon (Uddingston) M-Sport Ford Fiesta S2400:
“Glad to be here: there was a lot of ice in that stage. Certainly saw a number of puddles that were frozen. It was really sloppy: definitely starting to freeze. The car is really skittery: it’s great, but skittery. We’ve done the first thing: get experience of the car, and get through the first leg. i know we can make the car better for tomorrow.”

Car 3, Tony Bardy (Richmond) / Neil Colman (Stockton-on-Tees) Nissan Sunny GTi-R:
“It’s getting slippy, but maybe it’s actually helped us. It hasn’t really been ideal for building my confidence.”

Car 6, Daniel Harper (Barley) / Chris Campbell (Barrowford) BMW Mini Cooper S;
“Very sloppy, and I think it’ll catch a few people out. I’ve enjoyed the night: it’s gone well.”

Car 7, Eddie O’Donnell jnr (Salen) / Matt Ratcliffe (Tobermory) Ford Escort RS:
“The exhaust worked its way lose on the previous stage and the boys tied it up. But it worked loose again through the last mile r so of that stage, and got very loud.”

Car 8, Tristan Pye (Bishop Auckland) / Andrew Falconer (Inverness) Subaru Impreza:
“We’ve sorted the slipping clutch. And we’re still here, so I’m happy.”

Car 9, Jonathan Mounsey (Settle) / Richard Wardle (Pickering) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI;
“We’re definitely getting the best out of the car, and I’m loving the slippery conditions.”

Car 10 John Cressey (Long Preston) / Martin Cressey (Long Preston) BMW Mini Cooper S:
“We’ve sorted the torque steer: we changed it. We’ll see what happens tomorrow when I can see where we’re going.”

Car 11, Lewis Gallagher (Tobermory) / Graham Brown (Tobermory) Subaru Impreza:
“It’s getting better and better. Getting used to new gearbox: haven’t missed a gear yet.”

Car 15, Peter Taylor (Carlisle) / Andrew Roughead (Newcastle) Ford Focus WRC:
“I think the brakes are smoking. Up until the last couple of miles, everything was fine, but then it got very slippy. Lots of ice. I hope we’ve held on to second, and we’re looking forward to daylight.”

Car 14, David Mann (Bungay) / Chris Hamill (Oban) Subaru Impreza WRX STI:
“It’s been good. Conditions not bad, but seeing the frost on the grass was a bit off-putting.”

Car 17, Doug Weir (Ellon) / Duncan Brown Carshalton) Ford Escort MkII:
“We hit something. Flat left over a jump went wide and hit a rock. We damaged the front right of the car: think we have a puncture (he did).”

Car 19, Tim Stell (Huddersfield) / Mike Yates (Mirfield) Mitsubishi Evo VII:
“Happy to have got to the end of the night.”

Car 20, Billy Bird (York) / Plug Pulleyn (York) Vauxhall Chevette:
“Bit greasy in there.”

Car 21, Alan Gardiner (Biggar) / Robin Nicholson (Largs) Ford Escort MkI:
“Glad I’ve got to the end. Hard rallying, but good fun for 2WD cars. It was slippery and damp under the trees.”

Car 24, Chris (Curly) Haigh (Helperby) / Sally Peacock (Helperby) Ford Escort MkI:
“Loving it: fantastic. Really getting going now. But that’s as fast as I can go.”

Car 31, Ian Chadwick (Cork) / Johnnie Bould (Glasgow) Skoda Fabia:
“The car’s freezing cold: just can’t get it hot enough. As a result it’s not working as well as it should.”

PHOTO COPYRIGHT OF LINDSAYPHOTOSPORT

post

Official Event Preview

2013 Tunnock’s Mull Rally Preview

Scotland’s — and many people say, Britain’s, even the world’s — most intense, fastest and demanding Tarmac event, the Tunnock’s Mull Rally, roars into action for the 44th time this week.

As the late autumn darkness closes in on the island on Friday, October 11, the near 120 crews head out into the first of 19 stages and 157 miles of high speed, all-out action over three days and nights.

Much of the attention will focus on the battle between the two drivers who finished first and second last year, Dervaig duo Calum Duffy and John MacCrone.

Plus, fellow Mull driver and 2005 winner, James McGillivray, returns to action determined to last longer than the 100-metres his Ford Escort MkII did last year before being halted by a mystery electric gremlin.

From south of the Border, John Cope from Walshaw, third last year, returns in his Impreza, while Richmond’s Tony Bardy has repaired his battered Nissan Sunny GTi-R after ending last year’s event upside down.

Duffy, last year’s winner, has had his Ford Escort MkII refitted in Ireland ahead of the high-speed event. But significantly, he admitted this year’s Tunnock’s Mull Rally will be his first action since victory 12 months ago. Increased work commitments have limited his time for rallying.

“I’ve no trepidation about going into the rally without having rallied since last October,” Duffy, co-driven again by brother Iain, stated matter-of-factly.

“I’ve done it before and everything’s been fine, though it might take a couple of stages just to shake the rust off.

“It’s also a long rally, which works in our favour, because if we drop time on Friday night, we can usually pick it up on Saturday.

“I’ve also nothing to prove: we’ll just go out there, do the best we can, put the times up on the board, and if someone comes along and beats them, then fair dues to them.”

MacCrone meanwhile, who has been contesting the British Rally Championship in his Culina Citroen, returns to the island in his M-Sport-prepared Ford Fiesta S2400, co-driven by Glasgow’s Stuart Loudon.

Only the car’s second outing, the engine — a 2.4-litre, rather than the 2.0, and producing 325bhp — is sitting in the bodyshelll that Miko Hirvonen took to victory in Monte Carlo.

In it’s new configuration, the car has been designed for competitors using the S2000 in national championships.

“It’s always great to come back and do, what I think, is the best rally in the world,” John said. “We came close last year, but we’ll really need to up our pace if we’re to beat Calum. But it’s definitely going to be fun.”

Rounding off last year’s top three, John Cope returns having just rebuilt the gearbox of his Subaru Impreza.

It’s more than 10 years since someone from off the island won the Tunnock’s Mull Rally, and this year all drivers will have to adapt to a number of changes.

“Most of the changes this year have been introduced to offer the thousands of spectators more opportunities to view the cars in action,” Iain Campbell, Clerk of the Course, explained.

“Friday night has the first two stages centred around the junction in Dervaig, and the opening Leg even finishes in the village at the end of the seventh special stage.

“The biggest change comes on Saturday afternoon when after completing the two southern stages of Scridain and Gribun Rocks, the northern loop of three stages are run twice. This gives the spectators the opportunity to see the cars for a second time in the daylight.

“The closing loop mirrors that from 2012, with the action starting with the blast up Glen Aros, through Dervaig village and over Mishnish Lochs.

“That’s followed by the final stage, ‘The Long One,’ 22-and-a-bit miles that finishes outside the Churchyard in Dervaig. Only then will we know the winner of the 2013 Tunnock’s Mull Rally.”

Tunnock’s Mull Rally — Top 10 seeds:

1. Calum Duffy (Dervaig) / Iain Duffy (Dervaig) Ford Escort MkII;

2. John MacCrone (Dervaig) / Stuart Loudon (Uddingston) M-Sport Ford Fiesta S2400;

3. Tony Bardy (Richmond) / Neil Colman (Stockton-on-Tees) Nissan Sunny GTi-R;

4. John Cope (Bury) / Robert Fagg (Kirkmichael) Subaru Impreza;

5. James Macgillivray (Salen) / Ian Fraser (Salen) Ford Escort MkII;

6. Daniel Harper (Barley) / Chris Campbell (Barrowford) BMW Mini Cooper S;

7. Eddie O’Donnell jnr (Salen) / Matt Ratcliffe (Tobermory) Ford Escort RS;

8. Tristan Pye (Bishop Auckland) / Andrew Falconer (Inverness) Subaru Impreza;

9. Jonathan Mounsey (Settle) / Richard Wardle (Pickering) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI;

10 John Cressey (Long Preston) / Martin Cressey (Long Preston) BMW Mini Cooper S.

post

Loudon wants to go one better

Loudon
Just a week after springing an enormous comeback on the World Rally Championship round in France, Stuart Loudon will be back beside his 2012 driver, John MacCrone as they look to go one better than last year’s result on the Tunnock’s Mull Rally.
In 2012 John and Stuart finished a remarkable second overall in a 1600cc, two-wheel drive, low class Ford Fiesta R2 against far more powerful machinery, much of which had twice the driven wheels. This year, they are back in a Ford Fiesta but this one is a completely different beast: four-wheel drive, 2400cc naturally aspirated engine and a phenomenal history behind it.
The Fiesta S2400 has been developed by M-Sport, the team that runs the World Rally Championship campaign for Ford. This is only the car’s second outing, the engine — a 2.4-litre, rather than the 1.6, and producing 325bhp — is sitting in the bodyshelll that Miko Hirvonen took to victory in Monte Carlo.
In it’s new configuration, the car has been designed for competitors using the S2000 in national championships.
“I can tell you very little about the car,” says Stuart, “Malcolm and Matthew Wilson have both been out giving the car a shakedown and both say that it is incredibly quick. John says that sound is brilliant.”
“The car has only ever been out once before on the Malcolm Wilson Rally with this engine in it. The bodyshell is the one that Mikko Hirvonen used to win the 2010 Monte Carlo Rally, so plenty of history and no pressure on us!”
With Stuart only returning from Rallye de France Alsace late on Monday he has to be at the Tunnock’s factory in Uddingston for 5am Tuesday until he finishes on Thursday afternoon. This doesn’t leave much time for John and him to recce the stages before the action starts on Friday night.
“John has been out and checked the stages already and is posting me his notes this week. I’ll tidy them up and check them over before arriving on the island. Many folk think that as John lives on Mull he doesn’t need someone reading notes on the stages. I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t use notes. No matter how well you may think you know a road, there is a definite advantage in having someone calling out the lines, the cautions and bringing a driver on.”
“It will be strange switching my brain from WRC mode to UK National rally mode. I need to remember the different timing system, that we can use emergency service should we have a problem and that, most of all, this is an amateur event, albeit run to a high standard, but it is primarily for fun. Having said that, we are going there 110% committed to win it. The competition will be tough but we are there to be first home come Sunday morning”