11 Sep: Galloway Hills Preview/Entry

… Galloway Hills Preview and Entry List …

The best and brightest, not to mention the fearless and fastest, will gather this weekend in the south west of Scotland for the Armstrong Galloway Hills Rally on Saturday (14th September).

In a truly ‘international’ line-up crews from all four home nations will gather in Dumfries and Galloway for the final round of the Scottish and British Rally Championships.

There’s an unusual format to this weekend’s rally with two events in one whereby competitors in the KNC Groundworks Scottish Championship will contest 5 forest stages (44 mls) while the British Championship contingent will contest 9 forest stages (75 mls).

The ‘Brits’ will get underway from Dalbeattie first at 08.00 Hrs while the rest will start at 09.30 Hrs.

In another departure from the norm, Rally HQ has moved from Castle Douglas to a brand new facility just outside Dalbeattie where the forestry machinery firm of Jas P Wilson has opened a brand new depot which will be full of rally cars this weekend instead of timber handlers and wood chippers.

Reigning British Rally Champion Matt Edwards heads the 75-mile event entry list in his Ford Fiesta R5 with fellow Welshman Tom Cave running at number 2 in his Hyundai i20 R5 and these two will determine who becomes outright 2019 British Champion. Jonathan Greer (Fiesta R5) and James Wilson (i20 R5) from Northern Ireland run at 3 and 4 with Scotsman (although he now lives in Englandshire!) Alex Laffey at 5 in his Fiesta R5 with England’s Ian Bainbridge completing the top six in his Skoda Fabia R5.

Local interest will centre on the battle for supremacy in the Scottish Championship field which will be led away by three top drivers, and all from the south west, David Bogie, Jock Armstrong and Rory Young. Borderer Euan Thorburn has already clinched the 2019 Scottish title (along with his 2019 BTRDA title) but he won’t be taking part – thanks to a man in a van with a cam!

Although not contesting this year’s Scottish series, Bogie is taking the opportunity to try something different having entered a MINI WRC. Armstrong will be at the wheel of his normal steed, the orange Subaru while local Christmas tree farmer Young will use his Fiesta R5.

Completing the top six line-up is Hamsterley’s Stephen Petch in a Fiesta WRC sandwiched between more Scotsmen, number 5 seed John Wink (if he’s sobered up from last weekend’s Ken Wood birthday party) and one Andrew Gallacher Esq appearing for the first time this year, but not in the Ford Focus which he used to clinch the Scottish title last year, instead a Ford Fiesta R5+.

Being so close to Northern Ireland, there’s no surprise that there is strong representation from across the water including the likes of Joe Hegarty in his Mitsubishi Evo10, the spectacular Shane McGirr in his Toyota Starlet and regular Scottish visitor Paul Mcerlean in his Ford Escort Mk2.

Mind you, Mcerlean will have his work cut out when mixing it with the two local hotshot Mk2 rivals, James Wilson and Mark McCulloch. If you’re spectating, stand well back!

The Scottish Rally Championship crews are expect back at the Finish Ramp in Threave Gardens at Castle Douglas from 16:00 Hrs ahead of the British Championship crews around 18:15 Hrs.

Car Parks for spectators have been set up at Dalbeattie Forest 08:00 Hrs (off the A710 south of Dalbeattie village), Cairn Edward from 10:30 hrs (off the A762 near the northern end of Loch Ken), Black Loch at 14:00 Hrs (off the A712 at the eastern edge of Goat Park) and Raiders Road from 14:30 Hrs which uses the same car park as Cairn Edward access.
There is a fully detailed Spectator Pack with times, maps and entry list available for download at, so get that on your smartphone and you’re good to go:

Entry List:

  • 1, David Bogie/John Rowan (Dumfries/Portglenone) Mini JCW WRC, 12
  • 2, Jock Armstrong/Cameron Fair (Castle Douglas/Stewarton) Subaru Impreza,10
  • 3, Rory Young/Allan Cathers (Dumfries/Brampton) Ford Fiesta R5, 11
  • 4, Stephen Petch/Michael Wilkinson (Hamsterley/Tow Law) Ford Fiesta WRC, 11
  • 5, John Wink/Neil Shanks (Huntly/Elgin) Hyundai i20 R5,11
  • 6, Andrew Gallacher/Jane Nicol (Kilmarnock/Edinburgh) Ford Fiesta R5+, 11
  • 7, Michael Binnie/Claire Mole (Cornhill-on-Tweed/Duns) Mitsubishi Evo9, 9
  • 8, Scott Beattie/Paula Swinscoe (Alford/Withnell) Mitsubishi Evo7, 10
  • 9, Thomas Gray/Harry Marchbank (Tore/Thornhill) Mitsubishi Evo9, 9
  • 10, Joe Hegarty/David Turkington (Draperstown/Cookstown) Mitsubishi Evo10,10
  • 11, Alan Dickson/Martin Forrest (Glasgow/Bridge of Don ) Mitsubishi Evo9, 10
  • 12, Keith Morris/Terry Mallin (Aberdeen/Motherwell) Mitsubishi Evo9, 10
  • 14, Ian Baumgart/Sinclair Young (Hawick/Lairg) Subaru Impreza, 9
  • 15, Shane McGirr/Liam McIntyre (Fivemiletown/Donegal) Toyota Starlet, 7
  • 16, Iain Wilson/Chris Williams (Dalbeattie/Millom) Ford Escort Mk2, 8
  • 17, Mark McCulloch/Michael Hendry (Dumfries/Archiestown) Ford Escort Mk2,7
  • 18, Duncan MacDonald/Neil Ross (Portree/Portree) Ford Escort Mk2, 7
  • 19, Paul Mcerlean/Niall Mckenna (Bellaghy/Draperstown) Ford Escort Mk2, 7
  • 20, Gordon Murray/David O’Brien (Perth/Duns) Ford Escort Mk2, 8
  • 21, Stuart Egglestone/Brian Hodgson (Penrith/Penrith) Ford Escort Mk2, 5
  • 22, John Rintoul/Ross Hynd (Lower Largo/Inverbervie) Skoda Fabia,10
  • 23, Peter Stewart/TBA (Dumfries/??) VW Polo S2000, 10
  • 24, Kevin Crawford/Andrew Stevenson (Alford/Elgin) Mitsubishi Evo9, 10
  • 25, Simon Hay/Mark Fisher (Aberdeen/Workington) Mitsubishi Evo6, 9
  • 26, Robert Harkness/Michael Curry (Beith/Thornhill) Mitsubishi Evo7, 10
  • 27, Paddy Munro/Keir Beaton (Kyle/Inverness) Ford Escort Mk2,4
  • 28, Robert Adamson/Jamie Mactavish (Moscow/Pitlessie) Ford Escort Mk2, 7
  • 29, Raymond Doyle/Jarlath Kelly (Pomeroy/Pomeroy) Toyota Corolla, 3
  • 30, Bobby Mitchell/Craig Wallace (Dunbar/Kirriemuir) Ford Fiesta ST, 6
  • 31, John Lowe/Dave Robson (York/Jedburgh) Ford Escort, 5
  • 32, Andrew Robinson/Graham Wilcox (York/TBA) Ford Escort, 5
  • 33, David Brown/Steve Bielby (Pickering/Kirbymisperton) Ford Escort Mk2, 5
  • 34, Dave Forrest/Charlie Carter (Bradford/Bradford) Ford Escort Mk2,5
  • 35, Tom Coughtrie/Ian Fraser (Ayr/Aros) Mitsubishi Galant VR4, 5
  • 36, Jude MacDonald/Michael Cruickshank (Inverness/Crieff) Skoda Fabia R2, 3
  • 37Matthew Calderwood/Phil Sandham (Rosneath/??) Mitsubishi Evo7,9
  • 38, Max Redpath/Callum Redpath (Duns/Duns) Subaru Impreza, 9
  • 39, Jan Budge/Bruce Lindsay (Thatcham/Thirsk) Subaru Impreza, 9
  • 40, Paul Mckenna/Ethan Colgan (Draperstown/Draperstown) Mitsubishi Evo6, 9
  • 41, Mervyn Wilson/Darragh Sheridan (Enniskillen/Enniskillen) Ford Escort, 2
  • 42, Douglas Watt/Ian Parker (Inverary/Lochgilphead) Ford Escort Mk2, 4
  • 43, Jamie McIntyre/Damian Greenall (Sorn/Ayr) FordEscort Mk2, 8
  • 44, Iain Haining/Mark Roberts (Dumfries/Torthorwald) BMW E30, 8
  • 45, Ross McFadzean/Shona Hale (St Quivox/Dunfermline) Subaru Impreza, 9
  • 46, Brian Little/Adam Semple (Omagh/Limavady) Ford Escort G3,4
  • 47, John O’Kane/Meghan O’Kane (Kyle/Kyle) Ford Escort Mk2, 4
  • 48, Mike Moates/Gary McDonald (Ellon/Aberdeen) Subaru Impreza, 9
  • 49, Paul Collins/Robert Wood (Rosneath/Dumbarton) Subaru Impreza, 9
  • 50, Billy Thomson/Ian Windress (Glenlochar/Northallerton) Ford Fiesta,10
  • 51, Robert Rook/TBA (Market Weighton/??) Ford Escort MkI,2
  • 52, Alistair Brearley/Paul Barbet (Galashiels/Chester) Ford Escort RS, 7
  • 53, Scott Peacock/Robin Neil (Castle Douglas/Haugh of Urr) MG ZR,1
  • 54, William Pollock/Helen Brown (Cumnock/Auldgirth) Ford Escort MkI,7
  • 55, Niall Cowan Jnr/Callum Shanks (Dumfries/Castle Douglas) MG ZR,3
  • 56, Chris Lawson/Richard Wardle (Ampleforth/Pickering) Vauxhall Corsa, 3
  • 57, Andy Kelly/Roy Campbell (Greenock/Fenwick) Ford Escort Mk1, 5
  • 58, Jim Stephenson/Sam Spencer (Market Weighton/Malton) Talbot Sunbeam Ti, 5
  • 59, Christopher Rankin/Alex Knight (Banbury/Towcester) BMW 318 Compact, 7
  • 60, Hector MacInnes/Jenny O’Kane (Isle of Skye/Kyle of Lochalsh) Subaru Impreza WRX STi, 9
  • 61. Niall Cowan Snr/Clare MacKenzie (Dumfries/Inverness) MG ZR,3
  • 62, Donald Peacock/Albert Connelly (Castle Douglas) Peugeot 205 GTi, 2
  • 63, Rhuaridh Campbell/Michael Moates (Glenshiel/Bridge of Don) Chrysler Sunbeam, 7
  • 64, David McLeod/Eamonn Boyle (Mauchline/Kilmarnock) Chrysler Sunbeam, 7
  • 65, Caroline Carslaw/Charley Sayer-Payne (Dunlop/Glasgow) Ford Fiesta R2, 3
  • 66, Fraser Smith/Steven Brown (Houston/Fort William) Honda Civic, 3
  • 67, Johnnie Mackay/Emily Easton-Page (Newburgh/Finzean) Ford Fiesta ST, 6
  • 68, Darren McDonald/Susan Shanks (Mosstodloch/Elgin) Subaru Impreza GC8, 9
  • 69, Paul Rawson/Paul Wild (Bradford/Keighley) Ford Escort MkI, 5
  • 70, Ian Milne/Dawn Milne (Brechin/Brechin) Ford Escort Mk2, 5
  • 71, Nikki Addison/Rachel Matheson (Inverness/Inverness) Peugeot 106 GTI, 3
  • 72, Bryan Gourlay/Scott Gourlay (Colvend/Dalbeattie) Peugeot 205 GTI, 2
  • 73, Aileen Forrest/John Forrest (Inverurie/Inverurie) Mitsubishi Evo5, 9
  • 74, Barry Meeke/TBA (Dungannon) Nissan Micra, 1
  • 75, Austin Snow/John Henderson (Omagh/Portadown) Mitsubishi Evo9, 9
  • 101, Matt Edwards/Patrick Walsh (Colwyn Bay/Aberystwyth) Ford Fiesta R5, BRC1
  • 102, Tom Cave/Dale Bowen (Aberdovey/Hirwaun) Hyundai i20 R5, BRC1
  • 103, Jonathan Greer/Dai Roberts (Belfast/Llanelli) Ford Fiesta R5, BRC1
  • 104, James Wilson/Arthur Kierans (Armagh/Monaghan) Hyundai i20 R5, BRC1
  • 105, Alex Laffey/Stuart Loudon (Lower Peover/Glasgow) Ford Fiesta R5, BRC1
  • 106, Ian Bainbridge/Giles Dykes (Barnard Castle) Skoda Fabia R5, NRC
  • 107, Alan Carmichael/Claire Williams (Ballymoney/Ammanford) Hyundai i20 R5, BRC1
  • 108, Enda McCormack/Colin Fitzgerald (New York/Cork) Hyundai i20 R5, BRC1
  • 109, William Creighton/Liam Regan (Moira/Belfast) Peugeot 208, JBRC
  • 110, James Williams/Tom Woodburn (Newcastle Emlyn/Morecambe) Ford Fiesta R2T, JBRC
  • 111, Marty Gallagher/Dean O’Sullivan (Letterkenny/Raphoe) Ford Fiesta R2T, JBRC
  • 112, Jordan Hone/Paul Hone (Claudy/Claudy) Opel Adam R2, JBRC
  • 113, Fraser Mulholland/Geoff Patterson (Hillsborough/Hillsborough) Mitsubishi Evo9, NRC
  • 114, Richard Dickson/Roger Alcorn (New Abbey/Castle Douglas) Subaru Impreza, NRC
  • 115, Angus Lawrie/Paul Gribben (Castle Douglas/Annan) Citroen C2 R2 Max, NRC
  • 116, Keith Riddick/Mairi Riddick (Haugh of Urr/Dumfries) MG ZR, NRC
  • 117, Ruairi Bell/Darren Garrod (London/Pwllheli) Ford Fiesta R2T, JBRC
  • 118, Finlay Retson/Richard Crozier (Inverness/Stonehaven) Ford Fiesta R2T, JBRC
  • 119, Duncan Campbell/Shannon Turnbull (Mauchline/Cleland) Subaru Impreza, NRC
  • 120, Grant Inglis/Robert Gray (Glasgow/Glasgow) Ford Escort Mk2, NRC
  • 121, Linzi Henderson/Tom Hynd (Carnwath/Inverbervie) Ford Fiesta R2T, NRC
  • 122, Ernie Lee/Patricia Milligan (Ellon/Ellon) BMW 325i, NRC

05 Sep: Gemmell wins at Kames

… Albar Trophy Rally/Junior Rally, 01 Sept …

Colin Gemmell and Derek Keir won an action packed ‘Albar Trophy Rally supported by Lochlie Construction’ at Kames although if you weren’t there you might think a 2 minute winning margin was pretty decisive. Of course it was, but it’s how such a victory was achieved that was enticing. No doubt the low entry put some bystanders off, but that was their loss. It was a most enjoyable day out.

On the first stage of 16 Gemmell tied with Ross Auld and Amy McCubbin, the two Mk2s sharing identical times. On the next one, Gemmell was a second quicker and a second quicker again on SS3, then on Stage 4 they tied – again.

At that point Gemmell was 2 seconds in the lead but at the end of the fifth stage, it was Auld who was in the lead, albeit by 7 seconds. That was down to a lurid full-360 degree spin coming out of the ‘Chicken Run’ where the blue Escort just got one back leg on to the wet grass and whipped itself round faster than a dose of the hot curry trots: “I thought if I kept the boot in, it would pull itself round – it didn’t,” said Colin. Fortunately it was wide open territory and there was nothing to hit.

Whether it was sheer joy or red mist, Auld chucked it away in the next stage. The lead Escort was blasting round the Kames circuit at an unabated rate of knots, and missed the braking point for the Split. With blue smoke billowing from the four locked up wheels, the Escort slid well past the left turn, and since reversing on a stage is not an option, he missed the second loop and got a stage maximum time. A great shame, because there was little between the two.

That pitched Andrew Blackwood and Richard Stewart into second place in the Fiesta ST which retained its position for the rest of the afternoon as it three-wheeled its way round the bends. There was joy too in third place as the Opel Kadett of Billy Hamilton and Donald Durrand behaved itself after a series of mechanical malfunctions over recent events, although there were a couple of spins and one stall which widened the gap to young Blackwood.

There was more brain fade, sorry, brake fade behind the top three when Hugh Murdoch on his first lap of Stage 6 almost caught Duncan Ferguson on his second loop. It was like Guy Fawkes’ night as the blue smoke told it’s own story. With his windscreen full of white Mk2 bootlid, Murdoch missed the Split and he too was docked a maximum stage penalty – and you’d think at his age he’d ken better!

That meant Graham Bruce took fourth place overall but might well have been higher had it not been for a spin on to the wet grass in the third stage. With the wheels spinning and the car going nowhere, David Aitken had to get out of the co-driver’s seat and push the Mk2 back on to the road. They lost well over 2 minutes with that escapade.

Duncan Ferguson failed to capitalise on that incident, and others, when he had his own moment of brain fade, the white Mk2 almost missing its braking point for the chicane, locked up and smacked the tyre markers. The only damage was to the front valance but over 3 minutes were lost firing up the stalled engine.

In between Auld and Ferguson, Murdo Bruton not only finished his first ever rally, but got a result. He was sixth in his self-built and awfy smart Citroen C2 which attracted a lot of complements from the old hands around the service area.

Murdoch finished 8th and Willie Pollock didn’t. With everything else that was going on (or off!) ahead of him Willie was in line for a decent result with the Mk1 but felt the gearbox tighten on SS6 only to become a ‘box full of neutrals in SS7.  There were no bangs or grinding, just nothing, so Willie is hoping that it’s just bearings that need replaced.

And if you thought the Seniors were misbehaving, they had nothing on the Juniors, where the competition was even more fraught. On his first visit to Kames, Kyle McBride and Jane Nicol were the early leaders in the Junior 1000 Challenge but they rolled out of contention on Stage 13. Exiting a fast right the Toyota got a rear wheel on the grass, the tail slid out, caught the tyre wall and tipped the Aygo into a roll. Mostly panel damage but that was them out of the rally.

Six seconds behind McBride’s Toyota at the lunch halt, Ollie Hunter and Richard Crozier converted that to a six second lead after the next two stages in their Peugeot and extended their lead all the way to finish. With McBride’s demise, Cameron Davidson and Ian McRae finished runners-up half a minute behind the leaders in their VW Up!, with Cameron adding: “The last two times I was here I put it off – but I had my sensible head on today and I’m still in the championship points.”

There was a tie at the finish for third place with Owen Paterson and Callum MacPherson clinching a podium finish on the 14 year old’s first ever rally. Their Peugeot was a second quicker on the opening stage of the day than the Toyota Yaris of Jack Hall/Robin Nicolson relegating them to fourth, but the battle here might just have been decided on the 4th test when Jack locked up under braking and slid into the Split, rather than driving into it.

Justin Gunning was fifth just 20 seconds ahead of Letisha Conn, but Letisha had a costly mistake on the 6th test when the Citroen locked up on the approach to a square left and slid on, straight up a grassy banking. No damage, just valuable seconds ticking away.

Tom Johnstone was top Nissan Micra runner in 7th place ahead of the similar cars of Aaron  Webster and Erica Winning who had a big spin in the fifth test, but got back off the grass and on with the game.

Marcus McElwee was initially in the hunt until driveshaft failure in his Toyota on the third stage and he missed the fourth while the team repaired the car but got back out on Stage 5 to finish 10th.

But what a great day out with good competition. The threatened rain didn’t really come to much with three, short passing showers and the newly refurbished and enlarged cafe proved to be an inviting and tantalising emporium of sugary treats and fatty meats. The ideal excuse to get out of the rain!


1 Colin Gemmell/Derek Keir (Ford Escort Mk2) 21m 38secs

2 Andrew Blackwood/Richard Stewart (Ford Fiesta ST) +02m 00s

3 Billy Hamilton/Donald Durrand (Opel Kadett) +03m 13s

4 Graham Bruce/David Aitken Jnr (Ford Escort Mk2) +04m 02s

5 George Ross Auld/Amy McCubbin (Ford Escort Mk2) +04m 48s

6 Murdo Bruton/Niall Cowan Jnr (Citroen C2) +05m 32s

Class Winners

Bruton/Cowan Jnr



Junior 1000 Results

1 Oliver Hunter/Richard Crozier (Peugeot 107) 24m 34secs

2 Cameron Davidson/Ian McRae (Volkswagen Up!) +00m 31s

3 Owen Paterson/Callum MacPherson (Peugeot 107) +01m 14s

4 Jack Hall/Robin Nicolson (Toyota Yaris) +01m 14s

5 Justin Gunning/Stuart McBride (Škoda Citigo) +01m 31s

6 Letisha Conn/Ian Crosbie (Peugeot 107) +01m 51s

04 Sep: BRC 2020 Plans

… 2020 British Rally Championship calendar announced … As the action-packed 2019 series heads to an exciting final round showdown, the Motorsport UK British Rally Championship (BRC) confirmed its 2020 calendar on 4th September. Next year, Britain’s premier rallying series will feature six rounds in six territories, with events across the UK […] Read more »

02 Sep: Scots tame Pendragon

… Pendragon Stages Rally, 25th August 2019 … The 9th round of the Cobble Shop Scottish Tarmack Championship was a scorcher and with temperatures hitting 30 degrees the crews were all up against it, not only with tyre issues but remaining hydrated and cool in the cars. The event had […] Read more »

28 Aug: Save Scottish Rallying

… Save Scottish Rallying – Stirling, 18th Aug 2019 … It was like a scene out of Braveheart. The rallying of the clans. They had come from the Highlands, the Lowlands and the Islands, and they had gathered in a great hall within sight of the 12th century Stirling Castle […] Read more »

23 Aug: Grampian Gossip

… Grampian Gossip … The Grampian Forest Rally had a surprise visitor the other week but no-one more surprised than international rally driver and WRC test driver Ryan Champion himself. “I was on holiday in Ballater just along the road when my wife Jemma, said, there’s a rally on here […] Read more »