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The Macritchie Highland Distribution backed NessRallySport Team of Don Murray and Andy Philip finished their 2009 campaign on the Kingdom Stages Rally at Crail Airfield on Saturday. A day of very mixed fortunes saw the crew lie an excellent 31st out of 100 starters after the first stage in extremely slippery conditions, but a puncture on the start line of the second stage saw them limp out of the stage early incurring a penalty of nearly 6 minutes, which effectively ruined any chance of a decent result. 

Don said;- 

“We set off with the objective of keeping it neat and tidy on the first stage and our time was a fine reward for a sensible approach. An official pointed out that we had a flat front tyre 5 seconds before we were due to leave the start line. With no spare, and to avoid damaging the car we took the decision to abandon the stage and take the penalty. Very disappointing, as our times for all of the other stages show that had it not been for that problem we would have been comfortably in the top 30 at the end of the day.” 

However, that wasn’t their only drama. The car arrived back at service after stage 4 with some serious overheating problems and a cracked radiator was diagnosed. Fortunately fellow Lewis Car Club crew of Donald and Iain N Campbell were also competing and very kindly gave a loan of their spare radiator, which enabled Don and Andy to complete the event, albeit in a disappointing 66th overall, due to their additional penalty.

The car is now back at its base in Carlisle and will next appear on the Snowman Rally in February of next year. The winter overhaul includes plans for some additional work on the engine, which should result in more usable power for next season. The team would like thank the sponsors, Ness Properties, Signed Graphics, Rallyimages and Macritchie Highland Distribution for their financial support, and to Tim Finch Rallyesport of Carlisle for their car preparation skills. In addition to that a special thanks to the Stornoway Gazette for reporting our exploits all year. Moran Taing.


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