22 Sep: Galloway Classes 1 – 6

… Armstrong Galloway Hills Rally, Sat 14 Sept. 2019 …

Class Roundup

Class 1 – 2WD Up To 1450cc

Barry Meeke and Sean Topping won the 1400cc class in their Nissan Micra from the MG ZR of regular Class 1 winners Scott Peacock and Robin Neil. It’s over 20 years since Barry first took his younger brother (the ‘boy’ Kris) navigating for him and just recently returned to the driving seat himself. Commenting on his class win, he said: “I started too late to be a rally star.” Not having run over any hedgehogs this time, Scott Peacock had little to say for himself but he was fair chuffed at his final stage time: “I beat Bert (Iain) Haining by a second in his BMW and I took 30 seconds off my time second run through Cairn Edward.” (He lied, he actually took 31 seconds off his earlier time – Ed). He then added: “I’ve got plans to put a 1600 engine into it for next year.”

Class 2 – 2WD Up to 1650cc 8v

First time across the water in the Galloway forests, Mervyn Wilson and Darragh Sheridan took the class win in their Escort Mk2 saying: “We broke a couple of wheels but that was down to a couple of rough bits after the BRC boys had been through!” Donald Peacock and Albert Connolly were second in the Peugeot having: “Slipped off into a hole in SS1. It was just a wee hole, so we got back out, then Albert dropped his papers all over the gearlever and handbrake,” said Donald. Bryan and Scott Gourlay were a distant third in the Peugeot, but a lucky third at that: “We were nearly off in MacKay’s ditch in Cairn Edward (where Johnnie cowped the Fiesta ST last year!) and then survived a broadside drift in another stage with only one wheel on the road and the other three in the ditch,” laughed Bryan, “and then over the intercom I heard ‘Well held’ from Scott.” Jim Stephenson didn’t finish when he put the Sunbeam off the road in Cairn Edward.

Class 3 – 2WD Up To 1650cc 16v

The Toyota Corolla of Raymond Doyle and Kevin Duggan peched up to the finish line at Threave with Raymond explaining: “It’s just a failing crank sensor, it’s making the engine sound rough, but we’re here.” And they took the class win from Jude MacDonald and Michael Cruickshank in the Fabia: “I was driving like Miss Daisy today. It was middle of the road all the way just to make sure I won the Junior championship – and a day spent with Tapio Laukkanen.” Fraser Smith’s finishing record is improving greatly these days as he and Steven Brown finished 3rd in class in the Honda: “We hit a rock, but no puncture and then caught  a car in the last stage.” The Cowan family were 4th and 5th in their respective MG ZRs with Niall Jnr and Callum Shanks (satisfyingly!) pipping Pop Cowan and ex-footballer and weight lifter Clare MacKenzie by nearly a minute. Niall was another driver to narrowly avoid ‘Mackay’s ditch’ in Cairn Edward, while ‘the girls’ finished 6th and 7th. Caroline Carslaw and Charley Sayer-Payne in the Fiesta finished well clear of the Peugeot 106 of and Nikki Addison and Rachel Matheson. Caroline admitted to “one wee broadside moment” while Nikki endured another arduous outing: “We’ve had a steering problem all day. It keeps tugging and pulling under acceleration and even on the straights. We had a good look at service but couldn’t find anything wrong so just carried on.” Chris Lawson failed to finish when the Corsa left the road in SS2.

Class 4 – 2WD Up To 2050cc 8v

That Rally Finland trip must have really done Douglas Watt some good. He and Ian Parker scored the class win again in their Ford Escort, but there was just ONE second between them and the Escort of Paddy Munro and Keir Beaton at the finish. “We were down 6 seconds or so to Paddy going into the last stage,” said Dougie, “but we borrowed Paddy’s b*lls and beat him by a second.” Paddy on the other hand had to keep an eye on his gearbox: “We broke the casing this morning on the first stage and got it patched at service. We’ve had to keep topping it up with oil all day.” John O’Kane parked his Escort in a Black Loch ditch while Brian Little’s Escort G3 was spotted parked up outside the public telephone box in new Galloway looking rather squashed after a roll in Cairn Edward.

Class 5 – Historic Cars

It was good to see Stuart Egglestone back behind the wheel (more detail in  the Blethers section) in his Historic spec Escort with Brian Hodgson alongside. This event was treated as a shakedown ahead of November’s RAC Rally to see if he would be physically fit enough to tackle such a long event and they promptly won the class from the Mitsubishi Galant of a smiling Tom Coughtrie and Ian Fraser. And why was Tom smiling? “This is the first completely trouble free rally we’ve ever had with this car,” said Tom, “we did lose a bit of time in SS4. It was very loose in there, and this is a big car, it was moving all over the place.” Yorkshire’s David Brown and Steve Bielby were 3rd in their Mk2 with David admitting: “I went to sleep in SS2, I was 25 seconds quicker second time through it in the afternoon even on knackered tyres!” A disappointed John Lowe was 4th in class with Dave Robson in the Escort: “I threw away 3rd in class, ” said John who finished 22 secs behind Brown, “I lost time and confidence in Black Loch, I just threw it away.” Andrew Robinson and Graham ‘Grum’ Wilcox were 5th in their Escort and finished the rally with a bit of wood jammed in the back wheel and tyre: “The stages were mint,” they said at the finish. Re-united in rally crewmanship (as opposed to verbally abusing all and sundry on their irregular commentary outings with the Becksport SRC TV team) Andy Kelly and Roy Campbell were 6th in the Mk1 complete with cracked windscreen: “We landed with a bump on a bridge and the windscreen cracked, then on the last stage the alternator bracket broke, the fan belt came off and the engine started to run a bit hot, but we’re here.” Final finishers were Ian and Dawn Milne in the Mk2 although the Mk1 of Paul Rawson failed to make it when the Mk1’s engine expired as he booked into service.

Class 6 – FWD Up To 2050cc 16v

Bobby Mitchell and Craig Wallace won the class in their Fiesta ST from the similar car of Johnnie Mackay and Emily Easton-Page. “That was fun,” said Bobby, “we got close to a few ditches, there’s a couple of rattles somewhere and we had puncture on SS4, but my new word is ‘tidy’.” A confidence building run resulted in second in class for Johnnie: “It started coming together in SS4, and I must have been trying harder in  the final stage as Em was screaming at me – and I wasn’t listening.” They sound just like an old married couple already, eh?

 Galloway - [Main Report]
 Galloway - [Stage Times]
 Galloway - [7-11] 

22 Sep: Galloway Classes 7 -11

…  Armstrong Galloway Hills Rally, Sat 14 Sept. 2019 …

Class Roundup

Class 7 – RWD Up To 2050cc 16v

“I had fun in the 2WDs today,” said class winner Mark McCulloch, “I was slow this morning but Black Loch was unreal, and I just went for it.” With Michael Hendry in the Mk2,they finished 12 seconds clear of Shane McGirr and Liam McIntyre in the Toyota Starlet. Shane actually had the measure of Mark and was leading but: “We got a puncture in SS3, and then another one in SS4,” said Shane. Bob Adamson and new navigator Jamie McTavish were 3rd in their Mk2 with Bob saying: “I’m really pleased – I’ve finished all the rounds I’ve started this year.” 4th in class were William Pollock and Helen Brown in the Mk1 having managed to get the bits to repair his gearbox after a breakage at Kames the other week: “It was close he said, they only turned up earlier this week.” David McLeod and  Eamon Boyle made an impact (of the embarrassing kind) with the Sunbeam, not just finishing 5th but: “We spun in front of the crowds in SS2,” said David, “then it stalled, and wouldn’t start!” Christopher Rankin and Alex Knight were 6th in the BMW Compact saying: “Brilliant. We had a whale of a time. We got pretty close to one ditch in the final stage where a lot of cars had been before we got there, but we got away with it.” Final finishers were Rhuaridh Campbell and Michael Moates in another Sunbeam who did a ‘David McLeod’ when they spun, stalled and wouldn’t start in front of the crowds. It must be a Sunbeam thing, eh? Duncan MacDonald cowped the Mk2 in SS3 and Alistair Brearley suffered a rare mechanical failure and his Mk2 got stuck at the end of SS4.

Class 8 – 2WD Over 2050cc

4th 2WD o/a Iain Wilson and Chris Williams scored the Class 8 win in their Escort Mk2 ahead of  the BMW E30 of Iain Haining and Mark Roberts. Iain reckoned Black Loch “was the stage of the day, brilliant” while Iain Haining reckoned it was good fun adding: “Apart from one stage on the Scottish Rally last year that’s my first time in the forest for 5 years.” Gordon Murray on his final, final rally outing before retirement ended his adventure prematurely with a mechanical problem in SS2 in the Escort while Jamie McIntyre ‘parked’ his Escort where he shouldn’t in the final stage.

Class 9 – 4WD (Non Class 10 or 11)

Michael Binnie, Ian Baumgart and Simon Hay were the class leaders here with Max and Callum Redpath finishing 4th in class in the Subaru after “a good day”. Paul Collins and Robert Wood scored 5th in their Subaru (which hasn’t seen a  tin of polish in years!) saying “Brilliant, every rally gets better.” Ross McFadzean and Shona Hale had a busy run into 6th in their Subaru with three punctures during the day and “one big moment” ahead of Mike Moates and Gary McDonald who had an odd fault in their Subaru: “The speedo cable broke at the gearbox,” said Mike, “and the engine lost power. It’s an electronic problem, nothing mechanical.” Jan Budge and Bruce Lindsay were 8th in their Subaru after a fraught day too: “On SS3, the electrics cut out and we had a puncture and a misfire in SS4 – but the Glen Urr Ice cream was good.” Aileen and John Forrest were 9th in their Lancer and Aileen was fair proud of herself: “We got ‘air’ over a crest in stage 5, it was a bit of a moment but I held it.” Final finishers were Hector MacInnes and Jenny O’Kane  first time out with the Subaru this year.  Not so lucky were Thomas Gray who put it off in the final stage while Matthew Calderwood cowped his Lancer in the first stage of the day at Dalbeattie.

Class 10 – Group A 4WD, S2000 & R4

Armstrong, Beattie and Morris led the Class 10 runners home with Morris clinching the KNC Groundworks Scottish Championship Challengers title. Alan Dickson and Martin Forrest were 4th ahead of John Rintoul and Ross Hynd and who were lucky to finish as both the alternator and the clutch in the Skoda Fabia were failing and it struggled to get up the hill into Threave Gardens.  Kevin Crawford and Andrew Stevenson were a wee bit dis-chuffed to finish 16th overall: “15th has been our number all year,” said Kevin, “but we’re 16th today.” Joe Hegarty put his Lancer off the road in SS3, Peter Stewart had gearbox failure in the Polo and Robert Harkness disappeared in SS3,  while both Paul McKenna and Bill Thomson retired for mechanical reasons.

Class 11 – WRC And R5

The final class went to Bogie, Petch and Young after John Wink retired the Hyundai with a broken strut mounting and Andrew Gallacher also had a strut problem with his Fiesta – both ‘problems’ caused by rocks in the long grass!

 Galloway - [Main Report]
 Galloway - [Stage Times]
 Galloway Classes - [1-6] 

21 Sep: Bogie wins in Galloway

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21 Sep: Galloway Stage Times

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19 Sep: Cheviot Stages Entry List

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17 Sep: Wales Rally GB National

… Wales Rally GB, Thurs 3rd – Sun 6th October … Wales Rally GB National, Fri 4th – Sat 5th October … Wales Rally GB has published its international and national event entry lists but the big surprise (or not!) is the lack of Scottish crews taking part. Last year […] Read more »