I had a bit of a bash to try and get back within 10000 point of asarkila. Level 8 cost me many games but I did get a really great set of luck on one game which gave me equal top score. The thing that really sucks however is that I got a great run and could have done it one tick faster, but I missed a turn near the start (ran one too high, into the top of the level). So, in summary, it is possible to do at least one tick faster.... and the game I played could have achieved this because on playback there were no yams in the way (given the correct route choice).
I also managed to repeat my performance on level 48.... now optimal? My old high score used exactly the same method up to the grenade, but then I'd previously lost two ticks on "exiting". Oh well, a could of gimme levels sorted for the time being.