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Galloway Hills Rally - Sunday 5th December 2004

The Galloway hills Rally was based once again in Castle Douglas and consisted of 5 stages.

Stage 1 went well with no problems. The team were able to set a decent pace and had no problems or dramas.

Stage 2 was more of the same. It was a lot tighter and twistier than the first stage but again there were no problems to speak of.

A service halt was next with nothing for Sam & Brian to do other than a quick check over. Stage 3 was in Dalbeattie Forest which is home to some of the narrowest roads that get rallied over. The stage went fine with only one small overshoot costing about 10 seconds. At the end of the stage there was a clunking noise coming from the front suspension which would need to be checked.

Another service halt and this time Sam & Brian were kept a bit busier. The tyres had to be swapped from front to back and the noise from the suspension had to be investigated. Sam informed us that the proflex suspension had been damaged at the passenger side and that it had lost all of the oil. We decided to change it for the spare unit. This took around 20 minutes and was done without any problems. Unfortunately the settings for the front suspension were now all wrong which meant that the handling would be a bit more unpredictable.

Stage 4 was next which was a short one at only four and a half miles. About 3 miles from the end we suffered a front puncture which slowed progress quite a bit. Towards the end of the stage the tyre delaminated and the flailing bits of rubber damaged the other front suspension unit.

The car made it OK to the last stage with the suspension damage proving to be not too serious. This stage started well and the car was running well. Unfortunately about five miles from the end the car slid wide on a right hander and caught a tree stump in the long grass. This ripped a hole in the floor and puntured one of the rear tyres. The car was very difficult to drive after this and there was another trip into a ditch before the end. The car got to the finish but a lot of time had been lost on the last stage.

All in all it was a good day out with a decent 21st overall to show for it even with a couple of punctures.

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