NEWS: Master and Apprentice dominate Tunnock's Mull Rally
14th October 2012:

Local heroes Calum Duffy and John MacCrone finished 1-2 in the 43rd running of the Tunnock's Mull Rally. The Mull pair — both from the small village of Dervaig on the Inner Hebrides island —finished ahead of the Subaru of John Cope.

Duffy, piloting his Ford Escort MkII and co-driven by his brother Iain, clinched their seventh victory — and third in four years — in impressive style by setting the fastest time over the closing 22.5-mile stage, the Long One.

"It's been very, very difficult," admitted Duffy, who set fastest times in seven of the 17 stages, and who eventually finished 2mins 07secs ahead of MacCrone.

MacCrone meanwhile, who took 24s out of Duffy on the opening stage of the closing Leg 3, was obviously delighted with his best-ever finish.

"I'm delighted: to finish second is class: and to do it in the middle of Dervaig is just a dream," the 22-year-old, co-driven by Glasgow's Stuart Loudon and backed by Palletforce and Tunnock's, said. "I can't believe it, to be honest.

"What Calum has achieved over the last few years is amazing. To me, he's the best. He's the Master — we're the Apprentices."

Walshaw's John Cope took third in his Subaru Impreza, finishing 3mins 20secs behind MacCrone.

Cope took full advantage of the misfortune suffered by long-time second-placed Tony Bardy (Richmond) who rolled his Nissan Sunny GTi-R on the penultimate stage. It was cruel luck for Bardy who had been consistently quick, setting fastest times on eight of the 16 stages he started.

There was disappointment too for Tobermory's Lewis Gallagher. The Subaru Impreza driver started the final stage in fourth, but slipped back to eighth when he dropped 5mins 12secs on the final test. He slid off the road on Loch Tuath, but fortunately the Subaru was able to get back on the road undamaged

That allowed Tristan Pye (Bishop Auckland) — who did did both Gribun and Scridain with a broken driveshaft — to move up to fourth in his Subaru, more than two minutes ahead of Eddie O'Donnell jnr, whose Ford suffered a puncture on SS14.

Sixth went to Jonathan Monsey's Mitsubishi, 17s ahead of the BMW Mini of John Cressey (Long Preston). The top 10 was rounded off by Alistair Inglis (Montrose) — making his debut in the event, and who suffered with gasket problems on Friday night — in his Mitsubishi Evo 5, who edged ahead of 2002 winner Daniel Harper (Nelson) by just 4secs.

The final stage was halted after Car 57 — the Peugeot 106 of Euan Mackay (Brora) and Michelle Falconer (Inverness) — caught fire. Both crew members thankfully escaped uninjured after vacating the car. The Peugeot suffered less well and was badly damaged. Organisers had to send a fire tender into the stage to deal with the blaze as the car was in close proximity to property.

In the classes, MacCrone took Class B by a country mile, while the Ford of Ellon's Doug Weir sealed Class C by 61s from Graham Willcock's Opel Manta. And Stephen Tompson (Kirkcudbright) won Class A in his Vauxhall Nova, ahead of the Lotus Elise of Howard Moore (Banbury).

In the Historics, H5 was won by Andrew Smith's Ford Escort MkII, and H3 by Jim and Charlotte McDowall's Hillman Avenger.

Tunnock's Mull Rally — Result:
1. Calum Duffy Ford Escort MkII, (Dervaig) 2hr 25mins 34secs;
2. John MacCrone, Ford Fiesta, (Dervaig) +2 mins 07secs;
3. John Cope, Subaru Impreza, (Walshaw) +5.27s;
4. Tristan Pye, Subaru Impreza, (Bishop Auckland) +6.16s;
5. Eddie O'Donnell jnr, Ford Escort RS, (Tobermory) +8.26s;
6. Jonathan Mounsey, Mitsubishi Evo VI, (Settle) +9.36s;
7. John Cressey, BMW Mini S, (Long Preston) +9.53s;
8. Lewis Gallagher Subaru Impreza, (Tobermory) +10.17s;
9. Alistair Inglis Mitsubishi Evo V, (Montrose) +11.39;
10. Daniel Harper BMW Mini, (Nelson) +11.43.

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