Team Mini Sport’s Jack Hartley & Gary Dawes: Mull Rally Review
Mull Rally 2019: The best rally I have ever done!
I have been going to mull rally for most of my life either spectating or going around the island in the back of a chase car. As a child, I never imagined that one day I’d be competing in the event myself. I put the entry in soon after they had opened to find we were a fair way down the reserve list however luckily we got a run.
This is the first time I have driven on mull and done the event. We did the recce of the stages on Thursday, only passing through each stage once or twice and I quickly realised just how good they were!
The first leg was in the dark on Friday night and I was struggling to find any grip on the first stage over the lochs. This lead to a slight off on a hairpin left which caught me out but luckily we got back on the road without losing much time, even if it did fill the front wheel with soil. This made the car vibrate and shake at speed and under braking on the next stage but then were back into service to get it sorted.
Then we were back out for the next three stages of the night which went really well, getting a better feel for the roads and conditions, which left us in a good position at the end of the first leg, 56th o/a.
We had a good run again on Saturday’s stages, leg 2 of the rally. I think the biggest problem we had all day was doing stage 7 without the intercom as it decided to stop working on the start line but I don’t think we lost much time. Luckily for Gary it was only a short stage as it meant he had to shout. We had now climbed up the results some more to 41st o/a.
Going into the last night of the rally I wanted to move up a few more places and get to the finish now we’d got this far, with only four stages to go. We had a few heavy landings on the crests over the weekend, one in particular where I must’ve caught the stalk on the column for main beam and turned the lights off, which wasn’t ideal approaching a corner on stage 15.
The car ran brilliantly throughout the rally, without any problems really. I came to mull with hopes of finishing in the top 50 cars, not knowing if this was possible or not. We finished 30th overall, 3rd class A and won best newcomer, which I didn’t expect and am more than happy with.
Team Mini Sport
Words by Jack Hartley, photos by James Officer