SS3: Wright takes the lead, Allen’s gearstick breaks

SS3: There was a short delay before the start of stage three and as crews lined up for the start, the rain edged ever closer. It’s now pounding the circuit with renewed force and standing water is going to become an even bigger issue for crews.

However, the rain didn’t stop Stephen Wright and Gary McKenna from setting the pace and they’ve surged into the rally lead by 4.3 seconds from Derek and Mark McGeehan in their Mini WRC.

“I was a bit hesitant during the stage,” Wright said. “I found it hard to know where we were going but it worked out OK.”

Wright probably had the best of the weather conditions as the rain became even heavier for the following crews. The McGeehans had a clean run but Derek McGarrity caught another car on the track.

“We caught Philip Allen but he got out of the way pretty quickly,” third-placed McGarrity said.

There was drama from the start line for Allen as the gearstick broke in his hand after he left the start line. He lost a lot of time on the stage.

Alan Carmichael was also in trouble as he had a big spin at the first corner. Then his engine quit later in the stage but luckily it fired up again but his mechanics have a bit of diagnosis work to do.

Gareth Sayers got caught behind Jason Mitchell during the stage but Sayers is now up to fourth overall. Wesley Patterson was spotted off the track at the bottom of the circuit and stuck on the grass in his Escort.

It’s now raining heavily with strong winds too. The final three stages are going to be very challenging for crews.

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