“Mull showed real strength from Maccrone”
Rarely, if ever, has a website about a Hebridean island been visited so often from the Portaventura theme park in Salou.
That’s what happens if WRC Promoter makes the grave error of running Rally of Spain on the same weekend as Mull (note to the good Mr Ciesla… don’t let this happen again). Saturday night typing went on longer than expected on the Costa Daurada, but sleep wasn’t an option as the Tobermory-based event drew to a close with Callum Duffy charging hard to make up the gap to John Maccrone.
I’m a huge fan of Duffy’s, always have been – ever since he told me he wanted it to rain because that gave him and his Mk2 more chance of beating a pukka Group A Impreza. Which he did.
But this year I’ll confess I was a bigger fan of Maccrone. John’s one of our sport’s absolute good guys and 12 months ago he went through every driver’s nightmare when Andy Mort was killed in their crash on the island. I thought it showed a real strength of character to go back and go back pushing for the win.
Typically for Maccrone, there were no histrionics, emotions were outwardly kept in check. He let his driving do the talking – a job made easier by having his mate Stu Loudon alongside again.
A start-to-finish win was the dream that followed the nightmare. Good for you boys.
And good for Sebastien Ogier. Another year, another win.
I will admit, however, I really wanted Dani Sordo to find something from somewhere to stay ahead in Spain. I’ve been quick to castigate Dani in the past and quick to question whether he’s still deserving of another full season. Last week showed he’s still got the pace and the ability to be at the front of the field – what he needs to do now is export that pace beyond his national boundaries more often.
After the times he set in Ogier’s “’orrible” stages on Friday afternoon, Sordo can no longer hide behind the excuse of not liking changeable conditions and inconsistent grip. He needs to bottle that Caseres and Bot-winning pace and deliver it in Myherin next week.
Go on Dani, dare you. Get yourself a good recce, tighten the belts and send it.
Don’t get there and let all your good work in Salou sink into the ignominy of another middle-tolower-order top 10 finish. They’re terribly dull and not really of any use to anybody.
Talking of Wales, not long now. Have you got your tickets? If not, why not? I know I’m easily excited when it comes to Britain’s round of the World Rally Championship, but I don’t care: it’s one of the best rallies in the world (with a bit of work and fine-tuning, it might, one day, even be as good as Mull…) and this year’s extra special. Muddy rally cars back in Chester on Friday night; a full day’s entertainment including more Group B cars than started this very event 30 years ago at Cholmondeley on Saturday and the choicest of Welsh woods. What’s not to love?