Flying Scotsman 2023, Syd Stelvio Day 2 | Slaley to Edinburgh
Seventy-Nine cars took to the start on a cool Northumberland morning earlier today, and whilst mist hung over the moorlands there was some evidence that the sun was attempting to break through, a welcome sight after the weather had unleashed itself upon the field the previous afternoon with a bonnie day in prospect, as they say in this part of the world.
The crews left in position order this morning, with Paul Dyas (GB) + Martyn Taylor (GB) heading onto the tarmac first, closely followed by those that would be looking to depose them. One of those who would certainly be eager to climb to top spot is Paul Crosby, but Cros and co-driver Ali Proctor felt all dizzy after the days first test, or their MG chariot did at least, with distributor problems causing them some issues early on.
Shane Houlihan (IE) + Richard Pain (IE), also in the hunt for the top spot, were having problems as well, but their tribulations could be attributed to the local wildlife, with some nuisance sheep appearing on the road in front of them just as they crested a rise. It was hairy stuff, but thankfully neither Shane’s reactions or the brakes of the 1937 BMW Fraser Nash 328 were woolly, and despite the car ending up fully sideways the flock fugitives, and most importantly the car and its occupants remained intact.
One person who was having no issues with his navigator was Rob van der Leeuw (NL) in the Riley Monza, largely because he didn’t have one after navigator Geert Kistemaker (NL) was forced to withdraw with a bad back. I cannot confirm whether in this case the bad back was caused by violent use of the route book or not, but either way Rob was doing an incredible job navigating and driving the spritely Monza.
After a further test and regularity, the day came to a close at the Dalmahoy in Edinburgh, hotel of choice for President Biden and the staging post for the final day’s activities. When the timekeepers had finished crunching the numbers Paul Crosby and Ali Proctor had remained in control at the top of the table, but now second was occupied by our nearly accidental butchers, Shane Houlihan + Richard Pain with Dyas and Taylor still in third, but with little in between them anything could happen on the final day.