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GRANITE 2008 REPORT

Don Murray and Andy Philip had yet another largely uneventful run in the Tim Finch prepared NessRallySport Subaru Impreza, on last weekends Granite City Rally based in Aberdeen. From yet another lowly start number we managed to finish 49th overall, and 12th in class as our confidence grew in the car. This makes it 3 consecutive finishes, which is a delight after spending all of 2007 plagued with mechanical woes. 
 
The weather was fantastic for this, the 3rd round of the Scottish Championship. Again, we hadn’t seen the car since the Borders, and the only significant change since it’s last outing was a slight change to the position of the driver’s seat. The Granite runs the smaller engined 2wd cars at the front, and as a result the condition of some of the stages, after the passage of around 100 cars before us, was truly appalling. All we can do is keep plodding away to try and get finishes that will move us up the seeding order, and give us the chance to run on slightly better surfaces. However, we just settled in to get on with the job at hand, and tried to not let that detract too much from our enjoyment of the day.
 
As with both previous rounds we gradually increased our pace as the day wore on. We are becoming much more used to each other in the car now, which is excellent, and we are also learning a lot more about the car. We managed to stall it on 3 occasions, whilst trying to exit tight hairpins, but soon got the hang of trying to carry a little bit more speed in, or use 1st gear to get us back out. In addition we lost some time during the day on the half dozen or so occasions where we were flagged to slow down as a result of accidents for fellow competitors, but that is the same for everyone.
 
The car ran faultlessly all day, again, and the challenge for the second half of the season will be to build in some more confidence on carrying speed into the easier corners, and hopefully improving our times on the back of that. In one sense would like to be able to write a rally report that was full of drama and adventure, Truth of the matter is that we have thoroughly enjoyed getting to spend time getting to know the car, and working with each other and you can only get that from time behind the wheel. An unadventurous finish is far more enjoyable than an adventurous retirement any day.
 
Thanks again to Tim, Adam and Warren for their prep and running of the car, and to Colin Telfur, who joined us for the day. Also thanks to Ness Properties and Macritchie Highland Distribution for their support of our efforts.
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