News from Carlisle and ahead of the Scottish ….
David Bogie popped down to Carlisle at the weekend for a looksee at the DMACK Stages ahead of this weekend’s ‘home event’, the RSAC Scottish Rally, and when asked why he didn’t do this as a shakedown he explained: “I don’t get the engine back till Monday or Tuesday. It was sent away after the Jim Clark. The suspension has been away getting rebuilt and re-valved too, but I’ll give it a run out at the shakedown.” It soon became apparent why David was really here: “I’m off to look at Jason Pritchard’s Viking Motorsport built car.” And why was that of interest? He’s building a MkII of his own.
Another Ford Focus WRC driver at the DMACK was Peter Taylor who now has his Citroen DS3 up for sale: “I wasn’t really enjoying it,” said Peter, “I was having to take too much time off work for the BRC events and you end up spending a lot of money to get a lot of wheelspin!” The new car looked familiar though: “Yes, it’s the Focus I had before and I sold it, and have now bought it back.” Although he won the DMACK he has no firm plans as yet with regard to the rest of the season: “I’m just going to pick and choose events,” he said.
It was good to see Tom Coughtrie back in harness, and back with the Escort MkII he last rallied in 1989 (or thereabouts!): “The car’s only done about 50 miles in the past two years, it’s been in David Sutton’s museum. I was going to do the whole Historic Championship this year, but the Red Kite was cancelled then the engine failed on the Mid Wales. I bought a new 2 litre JONEL BDA but first time out on Hamsterley the distributor cap came off, and we couldn’t get at it underneath the manifold so we were out in the second stage.” There were no troubles this time with the David Boucher (Historic Motorsport) prepped car, and Tom finished in 33rd place overall. “I’m doing the Scottish next week,” added Tom, “so this was a good test for the new engine.”
Neil Shanks was out with Tim Pearcy in the MkII finishing 7th overall and 4th in class at the DMACK while Dave Robson was out with Richard Hill in the MkI finishing 8th overall and 1st in class. Neil was also telling me that the ARR Craib Scottish Championship is taking a stand at the Car Show in Glasgow’s SECC on the 21st of July. We’ll have more details of that soon, but put a note in your diary to pay them a visit, and bring some pals.
Also spotted being nosey around the MkIIs were Jim Carty and Alastair McSkimming, it’s about the only thing that gets the old-timers excited these days. Both of them still have their Metros, but for two guys who cut their teeth on MkIs, MkIIs and Sunbeams, the lure of the MkII is still big enough to get their right-foots tingling!
Looking like something out of the tramp and the princess fairytale, Ivor Clark was there with his granddaughter, but then Longtown is just a meander down the road from Gretna. And speaking of old-timers, Fred Lane was there too, helping out with Tom Coughtrie’s car.
A round up of this week’s received Press Releases:
It has been over ten years since a Japanese crew entered Scotland’s flagship motor rally, which has been running since 1932. Despite a very strong grass-roots following, rallying in Motoharu Kaseya and Kohei Izuno’s homeland has a relatively low public profile – Motoharu’s hometown of Shonan is better known as the Japanese capital of surfing, and Kohei lives in the shadow of the Olympic ski-jump in Nagano.
Both accomplished drivers in their own right, Kaseya and Izuno actually fought as rivals on last year’s World Championship round in New Zealand, the latter winning the battle for supremacy on the stages on that occasion. For the trip to Scotland, however, Kohei will pick up the pace notes as he looks to help the K’s World Rally Team – of which both he and Motoharu are members – score a good result on their first sojurn to Europe.
The K’s World Rally Team has competed successfully at a high level in Asia, Africa and Australasia, and for the trip to Scotland they have entrusted car preparation duties to Lancashire-based EuroRallye with their Honda Civic Type R.
“After a good result in New Zealand last year, I felt it was time for a new challenge, and the opportunity to compete in Scotland sounded very exciting”, explained Motoharu Kaseya. “It would probably be too much to think I can win the rally, but I am looking forward to trying a new environment and above all enjoying myself. My team have a good relationship with EuroRallye, so I know we will be in good hands.”
“I have read about the history of the Scottish Rally, and am very proud to have the opportunity to enter a rally that people like Colin McRae and Ari Vatanen have won in the past,” added co-driver Izuno. “This is my first time to come to Scotland, so once all the hard work of the rally is done I want to make sure I try haggis as well!”
“Both Motoharu and Kohei have done World Championship rallies, so they are mentally prepared for competing in a different country,” said K’s World Rally Team boss Kazuya Suzuki, himself a former champion navigator in Japan. “But I think the Scottish will be much more intense than anything they have faced before. It is going to be a very long day of rallying, and because the stages are so close together there is not much time for rest. The Scottish is certainly going to push them to the limit!”
After his 6th place finish on the Reivers Rally when the Lancer broke a wheel, Quintin Milne knows he needs the utmost pace to get maximum points from the Scottish. “I know that I have the speed of the top guys and am always fully committed but I need to tidy up my flamboyant driving style if I want to win, especially against the likes of Bogie and Thorburn in their World Rally Cars,” said Quintin, “ I am going to Wales on Monday of this week to spend time with David Higgins at his Rally School. David has won the British Championship, the Chinese Rally Championship and now competes in America so his advice will be invaluable.”
“The Scottish is always a good event. The stages are really quick but dust can be an issue if you start catching the car in front. It also has the short spectator stage at Heathall where the crowds can see the whole stage. I want to put on a show here for the fans but have to be careful that it doesn’t cost us time. I know that if I can put together all that David shows me on Monday I can really go for the win.”
Having won the opening round, the Brick & Steel Borders Rally Milne sits joint second in the fight for the Championship, only seven points behind leader, David Bogie. But he needs to get another top score to get back to the top.
( With support from Caledonian Logistics, AGR and AMS.)
After ‘bumping’ the car on the Jim Clark Rally, it’s been a busy few weeks in the Border Rally Sport garage but the www.StoveSales.co.uk Ford Fiesta is just about ready for Saturday’s RSAC Scottish Rally – the third round of the MSA British Rally Championship.
Garry and Tom Hynd probably won’t get a chance to test the car ahead of the rally but they are confident that they will get up to speed after a couple of stages. After the non-finish on Garry’s local event they now have to finish all the remaining events to have any chance of taking the inaugural Rally2 Championship which has a prize of a free entry for Rally GB, so the pressure is on.
Top seed in the R2 category is Steve Rokland who will be quick out of the blocks as he is also competing in the Norwegian Championship between British Events.
Garry said: “I think the last two thirds of the event the stages surfaces could be very cut up – so I am really hoping I can stay clear of punctures.”
NGK Spark Plug Challenge
Current series leaders Russ Thompson & Andy Murphy occupy the top spot on 56 points, while in second place on 48 points are Borders pairing Gareth White & Mike Dickson, with a brace of fourth place finishes earned via two controlled outings in their Citroën C2R2 Max. Using the same specification Citroën, they also share the lead of the RC5 class with reigning champions Richard Sykes & Simon Taylor, who hold third place overall, only two points adrift of the Scots.
A further four points behind in fourth place are rookies Aaron McClure & Tom Woodburn scoring a third place podium finish on their Kielder debut and a solid sixth on their first appearance on the asphalt of the Jim Clark Rally. All of which sees them head the field in the Fiesta SportChallenge one make series, ten points ahead of nearest rival Chris Wheeler.
Co-driver Josh Davison rejoins Ross Hunter, who won in fine style on home asphalt while another Scot in another Peugeot – this time a 206, Stephen Smith was denied a place on the podium on the Jim Clark by an initial results glitch.
It must be something in the water in Scotland, but Des Campbell and Alex Orr also pilot a Peugeot and have one good result from their one NGK BRCC event this year.