Kingdom Stages 2009: Members Stories
2 John Rintoul / Jim Rintoul / Evo 8.5 First!
The Kingdom Stages Rally is our local club event, but it''s no walk in the park.
With a reputation for fast, smooth, easy to remember stages there''s usually plenty tales to tell of rolled cars, stuffed bales and general carnage. This year was no exception, but the new Organising committee added a few spicy bits to encourage the smaller cars to switch Kingdom Radio off between chicanes and keep them out of fifth gear.
Stage one was a baptism of fire..... a good job I cycled the course before the start. There was more twisty tight tyre avenues (12''-0" wide) than an accident in a Michelin factory.....and wet to boot. Greasy and unpredictable was an understatement and we had a 360 spin down at the end of the seaside straight then cuffed a few lorry tyres while we found the limits of the longer Evo 8.5. After that spin and catching a couple of cars on the narrow sections we were shocked to record second fastest time behind Tom Morris with Bob Grant right behind us !!! The two wheel drive brigade had a helluva time without grip but their time was coming……
Stage 2 was a repeat of stage 1, but we stuffed the car up the dirt banking just after the start.... obviously still slippy, and reverse is a pure bugger with our flat shift gear select, so we fell back third, just two seconds behind Bob. I''ll be the first to admit we thought the stage layout was a change for the worse, but like a ''good peaty malt whisky'' we grew to like it. There was certainly loads of driving - the wee man was huffin and puffin like he''d been Jivin'' wi wee Ola Jordan off Strictly Come prancing.
Stage 3 and we set about the slaloms wi a set of old slicks, and at a hundred miles and hour we nearly went for a visit to Fife Ness via two fields and the ''gowf coorse''……. Everything was grippier, but ''oor driver'', in the absence of a service crew, checked pressures and hadn''t reset the ''tell tale'' on the gauge so were playing with one rear tyre at 15psi. We were still third but Bob had closed up to within a second behind Tommy in the Metro and we were stalking them only seven seconds behind.
Stage 4 was a repeat of 3 and the slaloms were now an enjoyable feature, but the stray lorry tyre entering the narrow section before the merge caught out Keith Robathan in his Mk2 causing him to stuff into the tyre wall injuring his wrist. We had to squeeze through between him and the tattie boxes and right over the offending tyre at 40mph which loosened another bit o bumper. Tom Morris didn''t like his slicks and was falling back. Bob Grant was now leading from us by 7 seconds, while Tommy was another 7 behind.
Stage 5 and 6 was a reverse of 3 and 4. Bob seemed uncatchable, but we were going to fight for second…… The slaloms were magic - flowing and fast - flat in fourth with a bit of left foot brake and I could see we were gaining slightly on Bob after the second lap…maybe a couple of seconds…. but suddenly we could see him at the other end of the finish straight….he''d broken his gearshift on the last loop and was struggling wi a stump (Gordon McElrath knows all about that) and he missed a gear and hit a lorry tyre with the left rear, bending the suspension in the process. We gained 22 seconds on Bob on that stage and took another 7 out of Tommy. We were now leading overall, from Tommy then Bob, with wee Bruce ''the ferret'' Edwards gaining with the dry roads, but was too far back with one stage to go.
We set off for the final stage in max attack mode. Tidy, late braking and nae showin off to the camera''s and got fastest stage again. Bob''s knee in the nuts got Tommy fired up to keep ahead, and it finished as we were…
1. Mitsi, 2. Metro, 3. Scooby.
Commiserations to Bob Grant and Pete Carstairs. The result should have beena helluva lot closer, but you know what they say about that fat lady singer……
The stages were better than fine.%
Worldwide Rally News