Report: Merrick Classes

Ian Broll Merrick Stages Rally, Saturday 1st September ….
Round 7 (of 8) – Scottish Rally Championship ….

The Classes

Class 2

Ross MacDonald won the 1400 Class in his Vauxhall Corsa but his day was marred by being first on the scene of the accident which befell Tam Brown and Mike Curry. “Fortunately the boys were OK,” said Ross, “although they were stiff and sore.” Rachel Medich was a second in the wee Nissan and also won the ‘Woman of the Rally’ award.

Class 3

Blair and Alex McCulloch overcame all sorts of bother to win the 1600 class. The clutch was slipping almost from the rally start, then they had a puncture in SS2 and broke the exhaust. It was fixed at service but broke again in SS3 and by the rally finish the petrol tank was flattened and the clutch was slipping worser! Still, they clinched the Scottish Championship Class 3 title as well.

It was a close run thing though, only 10 seconds behind them at the Finish line was Mark McCulloch (no relation) in the Peugeot 205 with 17 year old (just, his birthday was the previous week) Elliott Edmondson from Cambridgeshire, which is abroad by the way. Willie Stuart was third in class in the Sunbeam from Tom Hynd whose Missus was a bit off colour throughout the day – but it’s definitely not morning sickness.

Roy MacLennan was only 11 seconds behind Hynd by the finish with Adrian Stewart sixth although whether that was a good result or he could have done better depends on your point of view – Tom Hynd was giving him a few driving tips at the Shakedown the previous day!

Jordan Black was seventh but only 7 seconds ahead of Hamish Campbell with Callum Atkinson ninth and Scott Peacock tenth having managed to avoid the Loch on the first stage when he got the approach to bend all wrong.

Iain Haining was one of the fastest 1600s through the first stage but came a cropper in the second when he got the two ‘A’s mixed up – ability and ambition (his words, not mine!). He punctured in SS2, but near the end of the stage he slid off on a Right 7 into a wet ditch.

Class 4

Considering this was his first rally, Timothy Cathcart’s class win in his Fiesta R2 was quite impressive, but not only that, he finished 16th overall and second 2WD car behind Keith Robathan, and that was despite a puncture and broken brake disc n the first stage. Graeme Smith had no mechanical malfunctions for a change and the Honda Civic driver was second in class by 26 seconds from the Civic of Grant Inglis.

Malcolm Robertson was fourth in the Sunbeam running a standard 1600 Vauxhall engine on throttle bodies in place of his ‘good’ engine which suffered a wayward valve head on the Scottish. When it broke off, it worked its way down a cylinder and into the sump!

Graeme Schoneville was fifth ahead of Duncan Campbell while John Boyd retired his Fiesta in the first stage with some form of mechanical illness.

Class 5

Duncan Cameron was the only finisher in his MkII and narrowly missed being second in class!

Class 6

David Killin won the Historic class in his Kadett from Tony Thompson in the Chevette while Andy Kelly’s run of luck (mostly bad) continued when the camshaft snapped in the MkI in the first stage of the day.

Class 7

Craig Rutherford too the class win in his Civic but by only 10 seconds from the Fiesta ST of Lachlan Cowan who had a puncture in the second stage. Sean Robson was third ahead of Kieran Renton.

Class 8

Class winner and top 2WD runner Keith Robathan just missed out on the top ten by two seconds in his MkII while the only other finisher was Roy Eide-Johansen in the MkI. David Wilson had tied with Keith on the first stage but sadly a great battle faltered on the second test when David’s MkII developed fuel pump problems and he retired in SS3. Adrian Hetherington and Viv Hamill retired their MkIIs following punctures in Glentrool.

Class 10

John McClory was top Group N runner finishing with the Subaru’s front bumper intact (a rare occurrence these days!) ahead of Dougal Brown who had two punctures and Fraser Wilson who had one.

Class 12

Bogie, Armstrong and Faulkner were the top three finishers in the big class while Stephen Baillie wasn’t. The Subaru punctured a tyre in Glentrool and then he caught an Escort with a puncture but had to hang back because of the chuckies which were getting flung up. Brian Watson was another to pick up a puncture although it was on the final stage. Lee Hastings was relieved to finish: “I hit a big rock on a corner. Couldn’t miss it because I was committed to the line, but I thought something had to break. It didn’t.” Douglas Gilbert didn’t finish, sliding off on the final stage and neither did Ross McFadzean first time out in his new Subaru.

First Ecosse Challenge car home was the Honda Civic Type R of Craig Rutherford who not only won his class but clinched the Scottish Junior Champion title with one round to go.

In the Honda Civic 1600 class Graeme Smith scored a class win from Grant Inglis while Mark McCulloch won the 205 Ecosse Challenge class after fending off Tom Hynd and Roy MacLennan.


Full Results: