“Mull showed real strength from Maccrone”

Motor Sport News - - Rally News -

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?

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