Scottish Rally Class Round up …
Scott MacBeth was the top 1400 runner in his Nova despite the throttle cable snapping on the way in to service after the first two stages. Ingeniously, Scott and Calum MacLeod took the cable off the ‘Kill switch’ (don’t tell the Scroots!) and used that as a temporary fix. Rachel Clark the only other finisher in the balloon decorated wee Micra.
Iain Haining won the class for 1600 (8 valve) cars in his Nova but nearly didn’t make it to the first stage. The clutch cable broke on the road section on the way out of Dumfries heading towards Ae. Iain Wilson stopped and gave him his spare. Nice one Iain.
Callum Atkinson finished second in class with his Peugeot 205, but the fight for Peugeot Challenge honours was the closest of the event. Seven tenths of a second covered the top three, with Graeme Sherry second, three tenths behind Calum, and Charles Blair third, four tenths behind Graeme. Callum had a fairly trouble free day but Graeme was plagued with overheating issues from the second stage onwards and nearly booked out of service late trying to find and fix the water leak. Charles had trouble too with a fuel leak, but managed to fix it. The sender unit had been pushed out of the fuel tank, so Charles plugged it – with his balaclava.
Fifth in class and fourth Peugeot was Scott Peacock ahead of Blair Brown and Adrian Stewart who was stopped in the first stage when the relay controlling the fuel pump and injectors went on the blink. Thaarique Fazal was the final Peugeot finisher and both Graeme Schoneville and Jordan Black weren’t. Jordan outbraked himself into a ditch in Ae and Graeme was stopped by a stone which smashed the fuel pump in the second stage.
Alasdair S Graham was the top 1600 (16 valve) finisher in his Corsa, beating the Honda Civic of Graeme Smith by 1.1 seconds. Smith had earlier been bothered by a misfire, but at service found two plug leads loose and fixed them, only for the misfire to reappear in the final stage. Duncan Campbell was third but broke a shock absorber in Ae and then when the gearbox mounting bolts sheared, finished the rally with the ‘box held in by a ratchet strap. Peter Stewart was fourth in the Fiesta R2 ahead o the Sunbeam of Malcolm Robertson. “We broke a rear shock absorber on the first two stages, but got it fixed at service,” said Malcolm, “but just as we were about to leave service discovered that a front strut had broken too. We managed to get that fixed with seconds to spare, but the brakes weren’t good for the rest of the day after changing the strut.”
James Robertson was sixth in the Citroen C2R2 despite a recurrence of his throttle sensor problems: “It’s done it on every event this year,” he cursed in French – at least it sounded French to me.
Grant Inglis was seventh in his Honda despite “falling off the road twice this morning” and Roger Donnan was just pleased to get the Puma round in one piece. Iain Wilson failed to finish in the Nova as did Ross MacDonald in his Honda.
Stewart Davidson secured the class win in his MkII from the MkII of Duncan MacDonald which picked up a puncture on the long second stage which meant the crew had to stop and change it. Alan McMorran was third in class after a steady run in the Peugeot. It had to be steady, or he’d have spilled his tea! “We got roon,” he said at the finish, “and just went slow doon the railway line (the old railway line that is, in Clatteringshaws) although we did have a wee misfire.”
Stuart Glendinning was pleased with a finish let alone a class win in the Puma R2000: “The car’s ine one piece,” he said, “although we got a puncture in the second stage and when a bolt came out of the gear linkage we were stuck in 3rd gear for the second half of the stage.” Gary Beckwith was second in the MkII having survived an unplanned excursion into a ditch in SS2.
Robert Harkness was the sole starter and finisher in his RWD BMW 316i although he exited the second stage with a rear puncture and broken wheel: “The last stage was really good,” he said, “it was open and really suited us. Apart from the puncture the only other problem was a lost door mirror glass!”
John McLory survived the Scottish with his Subaru Impreza intact. Either he was a lot tidier this time or Subaru are making stronger front bumpers! John Morrison was second in the Lancer and Rory Young third having done the whole event with virtually no turbo boost and still puzzled as to why: “The turbo seems to be working and the pipes are tight, but no pressure.” Fraser Wilson failed to finish when the Lancer had an underbonnet fire in the last stage, and Ian Donaldson cowped his Lancer in Ae.
The top ten have all been covered in the main report so 11th in class was Andy Horne in the DAM. Apart from the gouge out the front bumper and the tattered rear end, the car was still remarkably intact, although it didn’t stop some wags from observing that the co-driver’s lack of directional skills were deliberate to encourage bodywork damage so that he could Andy more new body panels! (Big Jim makes them you see, so if you need any fibreglass or kevlar, Howie’s the man).
Dougal Brown finished 12th in his Lancer after a canny run and Alistair Inglis was 13th: “I was ‘feathering’ the straights. It could have been my head, but I felt the car was ‘wandering’ but at least I finished in front of Donnie!” Mark McCulloch was 14th ahead of Donnie MacDonald with Brian Ross 15th and delighted to have finished in front of Brian Watson.
Fraser MacNicol was pleased enough with 17th and full of praise for novice co-driver Lorn Hughes who usually services. His Lancer finished the rally with bent steering and two bent rear arms. Brian Watson was delighted with 18th and especially his 20th o/a: “I really wanted to finish inside the top 20, but I’ll take that.” He also had a puncture in the second stage. Ian Paterson was 19th and just pleased to get a troublefree run under his belt although he stopped to see if he could help Fraser Wilson in the last stage.
Richard Dickson in 20th class place thought the event was “magic” although the intercom wasn’t working on the first two stages – maybe that was why it was magic? Only kidding George.
Craig McMiken would have fared better had he not had to stop a change a punctured tyre in the last stage and was even luckier when the crew spotted that a rubber grommet on the fuel pump was starting to disintegrate at service. John Rintoul was having his first run out on gravel in the EVO8 but had lost to sort out: “We changed all the suspension and brakes at service and it was much better but my seat is too high. We didn’t use the anti-lag all ay in fact.” Stuart Paterson broke a driveshaft in Ae but finished and Geoff Goudie had a misfire during the first two, it was fixed at service and then came back over the last two!
Steve Bannister won the Scottish Historic Rally by a minute and a half from Peter Smith with Bannister remarking: “That last stage was fast. We were right on the limiter at 9400 rpm which is 120 mpg flat out. That’s fast for an old man like me!” Marcus Noble completed the MkII domination in third place while both Matthew Robinson and Andy Kelly retired with engine problems.
Alan Paramore and ‘his boss’ General Carew Wilks won the Land Rover class by almost 10 minutes from Marc Paynter and Stacey Hadlum, but what gave the winning crew most pleasure was catching some of the BRC cars in the last stage and passing one!