Jim Clark Reivers Rally – Class report ….
There was only one starter and one finisher in the tiddler class with young Alex Adams and Kenny McGuire getting the Nissan Micra around in 1hr 07m 05.0s. And they weren’t last. They beat one of the Land Rovers by 54 seconds. Result!
As long as he finished, you just knew that Kevin Dunn and James Braithwaite would be up there somewhere. Even with a new car, first driven the day before, the Vauxhall Nova won the class by over a minute. “I drove it for the first time yesterday,” said Kevin, “we made some changes over night to the suspension and brakes, and altered the ride height, but I’m still getting used to it. Two first in class this weekend – and no scratches!”
Michael Deans was second in class in his 1400 Colt ahead of the Nova of James Thomson who is getting used to seeing more rally finishes these days! Sian Beaty scored fourth in her Ford Ka with Steven Hay rounding off the finishers in fifth with his Corsa. George Miller retired the Peugeot with a burst radiator, Ian Stewart blew the head gasket in the Mini and John Paterson suffered ‘a Thorburn’ when an underbonnet fire destroyed the Nova’s electrics.
Iain Haining and Mairi Riddick continue to make good use of all that extra power from the crisp new engine installed in their Vauxhall Nova prior to the Border Counties – all of 120 quidsworth from a scrappie – winning Class 3 by nearly half a minute from Scott Russell’s Corsa. Malcolm Davey was third in the Escort MkI ahead of the Nova of Gavin Lloyd. Graeme Sherry was fifth and top Peugeot 205 ahead of Calum Atkinson who broke stub axle in Edrom. Adrian Stewart made “a schoolboy error” when he: “Bashed the o/s front wing and headlamp coming out of the watersplash at Langton against the banking!” Kevin Charles was eighth in the MkII and Ross McSkimming was delighted with a finish second time out in the Nova despite a wee misfire in the car.
The Tuer ‘Twins’, Carl and Rob, took their almost customary class win in the MG ZR Super1600 but by less than half a second from Alasdair Graham who for once had a decent run into second place with the Corsa. And who knows what might have happened had he not: “Took the jump too fast first time through Blackadder and the tailgate flew open and I knocked the kill switch off!”
Kieran Renton continues to improve in the Fiesta R2 just 16 seconds behind Graham at the finish although he did ha e a wee problem with the clutch after two stages: “We changed the breather pipe at first service, and that cured it”. Iain Wilson was fourth in the Nova ahead of Robbie Mitchell having his annual outing in the Corolla while Graeme Smith was pleased enough with sixth and top Honda Civic: “It keeps cutting out, and it might just be because of the heat, but I still thoroughly enjoyed the rally.”
John Rintoul appeared with his latest rally weapon, a Skoda Fabia R2 and: “Loved the wee thing. It loses out on the fast stuff obviously, but through the twisties I was actually making ground on some of the Lancers.”James Robertson was eighth in the Citroen and Tom Middlemiss was the final finisher in his Corsa, and Matthew Kesson wasn’t. He cowped the Fiesta R2 into a field in Edrom. Ross Pringle didn’t finish either, struggling with gear selection problems in the Corsa, and when the gear linkage finally broke altogether stranded him in Blackadder 2.
Stephen Thompson and Darren Thompson held off Stewart Davidson by just 9 seconds to clinch Class 5 although Stwart rattled the driver’s side on the first stage and then the co-driver’s side on the second stage and managed to collect a post – of the solid variety, not the royal mail – during the course of the day! Iain heard completed the line-up of Escorts while Craig Whitehead’s Peugeot broke a CV joint stranding him in Edrom.
Steve ‘the Entertainer’ Bannister and Louise Sutherland were easy winners of Class 6 in the Historic spec Ford Escort MkII well ahead of Jim McDowall in the Avenger. With the final loop of three stages to go, Steve was in the top ten, but since he was already flat out and running out of tyres he couldn’t go any faster. That allowed those with the confidence of the first loop behind them to go that wee bit quicker the second time. As for McDowall, he was up to his elbows in the Avenger’s engine bay at first service. “It was an easy fix. We had a misfire, I thought it was a spark plug, but it looked OK when we pulled it out. It was actually a push-rod head which had dropped.” Douglas Humphrey parked the Kadett in a field in Edrom and Colin Aitchison retired the Chevette with a dead alternator.
Second time out in his new Clio, Paul Ballantyne and Graham Bruce had an easy time winning the class from Ian Forgan, who had endured a most frustrating day: “I think we got one stage done where nothing went wrong,” said Ian, “The cooling fan failed in SS1, so we had to take it easy through SS2 to get to service, then the crankshaft sensor failed and we were flat out at 48 mph. We changed it at service, then it failed again and we had to fit a third sensor to get round the final loop.” Chris Abel had been going well in the Clio till he was forced to pull out after four stages: “We can’t find out exactly what is wrong,” said Chris, “The temperature sensor isn’t working and the car has been over-fuelling since the first stage. We decided to pull out before any serious damage was done to the engine.”
Gordon Halley and Jeff Horne had a rare old tussle with Peter Fleming, the duo finishing less than 8 seconds apart in their respective Escorts with Gregg Lithgow some way behind in the Sunbeam. Stuart Glendinning was fourth in the Puma but it didn’t look quite as pristine as it did at the rally start: “We locked up under braking – and hit a barn!” He was lucky though, it was only the front n/s bodywork and headlamp unit that suffered.
It was good to see the Adam family, Gary and Gordon, out in the MkII again and they were rewarded with a class win by 20 seconds over Barry Renwick. The two of them had a rare old fight, like two big shiny midges squabbling over a peely wally English tourist. Garry had gearshift problems early on but got them fixed, and Barry suffered complete brake failure in both Edrom stages, finishing each time with only the handbrake operational. As for third place, Robert Harkness took that with the BMW 316i. I must admit I had reservations about the ability and reliability of that car when Robert bought it last year, but by crackey, he’s turned it into a serious stage weapon. Mind you, luck was on his side in the morning: “It wouldn’t start when we left our digs after breakfast in the morning. We had to tow it to the rally start in Duns,” said Robert, “a fuse had blown in the petrol pump, but once we found that, it was OK.”
Stephen Hope made a rare appearance in the MkII finishing fourth behind Harkness, but it might well have been third, had it not been for a 1 min time penalty. Kieran O’Kane got fifth in the Ascona and maximised his value for money, using twice as much road as everyone else – apparently! Bill Lymburn rounded off the top six with Thomas Heard getting the Volvo round in one piece. It’s not the quickest metal in an entry list, but he had a ball, as usual.
John Morrison and Susan Shanks were the best of the Group Ns in their Evo9 holding off the Subaru of John McClory. The Lancer ran well all day but a failed intercom in the morning caused issues with the Notes while Mr McClory was up to his usual panel eating antics, although not quite so severe this time, merely rubbing the bankings rather than clouting them. Third in class and second time out in the Lancer as a driver was Stuart Loudon, but he admitted he was a wee tad lucky: “We had a huge 360 degree spin in Bothwell second time through. It was at the farmyard and we knew it was slippy, but luckily we spun right down the road between the hedges and didn’t hit a thing.” As for Fraser Broll, things looked iffy when the van packed up and went for the trailer – with no EVO in sight. But things could have been worse, he had parked it in a ditch – on the final stage. It’s the grey grun Fraser, not the green grun that you follow!
Dom Buckley and Doug Redpath scored a class win in the Subaru despite their lack of differentials for the day while Tony Thompson was second in his Impreza.
The top six overall were the same as the top six in the Class with Bogie taking the class award from Thorburn, but in seventh place was Donnie ‘I don’t like tarmac’ MacDonald, although methinks he protests too much: “It’s not tarmac I don’t like, because I really like this event, the road are good and the weather has been great,” which means only one thing, it’s Mull he doesn’t like. “Now don’t you go saying that, I really do like Mull, but I still prefer the forests.” For someone who finished seventh in such exalted company, he didn’t do too badly at all. Bob Grant finished tenth but admitted: “I’ve been in the fields. We demolished a hedge on the way in but someone thoughtfully left the gate open and we got back out OK.”
Mark McCulloch was going well till the watersplash at Langton: “It was overheating on the first and second stages, and that was despite new head gaskets and radiator after our test at Dundrennan, then it broke a driveshaft at Langton, so we pulled out before we caused any more damage.” Ian Paterson also encountered problems at Langton: “We braked to enter the water and I felt my feet get wet,” said Ian, “only it wasn’t water, it was petrol. The cap had come off and was spilling fuel inside the car.” And perhaps the unluckiest? Brian Watson blew a turbo half way through the first stage: “We hardly got the tyres warm!” Ian Donaldson didn’t get beyond the second stage: “There’s an oil leak underneath, it’s either a turbo pipe leaking, or something else. Even with the sumpguard off they couldn’t actually find the cause in the time available.
It seems almost inevitable that Alan Paramore should win the Land Rover class. Gari Hazelby got to within two and a half minutes of ‘the man’, but how’s this for a name? Curtis McKerlie was third. With a name like that he could be an Indianapolis 500 winner.