It was beautiful sunny day, but with an awful lot of snow lying about. The drivers briefing warned of 18 to 24 inches in the first stage, been ploughed but that changed all the lines.
The conditions were different in every stage - some places deep, some compacted and polished, some slush re-frozen, some soft stuff on top of ice.
That''ll be why they call it the Snowman, then?
Photo of Duncan and Lock playing in the snow copyright rally-photo.com
32 Gordon Smith / Pete Carstairs / Escort Cosworth
Good run in the ex-Francois Delecour Cossie, finished 13th.
36 John Rintoul / Jim Rintoul / Evo 6
Held up for over minute on the first stage, then set some good times helped by brilliant Yoko snow tyres and lucky seeding that let the earlier cars clear the roads a bit.
5th = on stage 2, 4th on stage 3.
We were about two miles from the end of the last stage.....''sort of'' in the steady drive to the finish mode but when we came out of the twisty messy bit at the top of the hill wee Jeck saw a clear road ahead and pulled another gear causing the car to slide gently off the slight camber into the left and with minimal steering and gentle power to try and pull us out we ran out of road....saw that old 3 x 2 steel post - and bench seat looming so he eased off to stop. We could only have been a cars width off the road but the edge dropped away suddely to a ravine and the loch below. Just time to pull in my arm from the door and luckily we lay on the tree stump or it was roly poly to the bottom.
As John held the OK board oot the windae, I climbed oot my new glass free windae and fell about 8 feet wi the triangle under my arm.
There was about another 5 cars heading for the spot but the lucky swines saved it or stopped in time.
Hey Ho. We were home at 11.00
68 Duncan Campbell / Lock Horsburgh / 205 GTI 1600
We were about half an hour late starting the first stage, the two wheel drive cars were struggling to get up the access road on polished snow.
Early in the first stage, we came upon the previous car with the front up on a snowbank and the rear on the stage. We stopped and towed them out, then skated off ourselves into deep frozen snow. The car sat on the sumpguard and the floor, the front wheels made holes in the snow then hung in mid-air. A group of spectators at the next corner just turned and walked away.
We lay in the snow and dug under the car with my clipboard and chipped ice with the wheel brace. We were off for half an hour before the next car appeared, and the third or fourth one towed us out.
Away we went again, but near the end we overshot a downhill hairpin right, with deep churned up snow, and fell off down a bank. I thought that was that, but this time a crowd of speccies leapt into action and dragged us back onto the road.
We got out of the first stage 36 minutes over the maximum, but decided to keep going for the hell of it.
Clean run through the next stage, then booked into service early because our bit of the rally was running very late and we didn''t fancy running into the darkness.
At the next arrival control, the driver of the car in front came and complained we had held him up in stage one - our door had swung open during the half an hour we''d been digging. Duncan didn''t like his attitude much, and caught and passed him a couple of miles into the stage. Unfortunately, a bit later we punctured, and held them up for a mile or more before we could find a bit wide enough to let them past.
Eventually we came to a hill that the car could not climb with one front tyre, and we had to stop and change the wheel.
Naturally the car slid and fell off the jack, then the jack sank into the ground an wouldn''t lift the car high enough, so we had to dig a hole under the hub for the new tyre so we could get it bolted on. Over the maximum in that stage too.
Back to service, with the front bumper gone and the headlights hanging by their wires. A few cable ties, a spla