usedcarparts.co.uk Solway Coast Rally, Aug 10 …
The good news is that both competitors who were hospitalised during Saturday’s Solway Coast Rally were discharged on Sunday. Matt Reid who was co-driving for Kieran O’Kane was airlifted from the event when he took ill in the service area. Also suffering chest pain was Ross McCallum’s co-driver Graeme Meins who was taken to Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary.
It was also good to see David and John back at service having changed out of their ovies and back in civvies, wandering about and having a chat with folks.
Running Course Car duty on Saturday’s Solway Coast Rally was John MacCrone in the Culina Palletforce Citroen DS3. Martin Wilkinson of CA1 Sport said: “Thanks to Solway Car Club, we’ve been up here before testing on the ranges, so when Sanny (Dobie) asked if we could run Course Car we were delighted to help, plus it gives John (MacCrone) a bit more ‘seat time’ in the car.”
With less than two weeks before the team’s next outing on the Ulster Rally, John MacCrone added: “It wasn’t just seat time, it provided another chance to make Notes and then use them on an event. The roads are not that different from Ulster, but they are generally smoother here and there are some concrete stretches, but it was good just to get in the car and try different things.”
There is a school of thought that any car club can run a rally, and that opinion does have some merit, but the true measure of any organising team is how well they cope when things go wrong. Solway Car Club found themselves tested last weekend. When others might have panic-ed, given up and gone to the beach, the SCC team and their friends from other car clubs kept the show on the road.
There were a couple of delays in the first runs due to accidents, but that was run of the mill stuff, compared to what was about to hit them. David Hardie’s accident on Stage 5 caused a bigger delay with later runners convoying through the stage to reach service where two more competitors started to fell unwell. That meant both doctors have to be called in off the stages to attend, supported by our very own competing medic Steven Brown. Undaunted the organisers used that lengthy delay to change around the stages for the afternoon run instead of the planned stage changeover after 6 stages. Good thinking.
Then the air ambulance had to be called in with the medics handing over one of the casualties which delayed things further, but as the paraffin budgie lifted off, the sound of rally car engines filled the air once again.
There were a few more hiccups as drivers continued to fling their cars at the scenery but the delays had cost the organisers dear. By half past five there were still two stages to be run and the decision was taken to stop at that point to allow the farmers to go about their business from 6 pm.
Nobody likes losing stages but the organisers, fans and followers fully understood the position and were entirely supportive. With an organisation like that, maybe we should get Wee Eck and his cronies out of Holyrood and install Solway Car Club. Power to the people.
Much of the success of this year’s used carparts.co.uk Solway Coast Rally was down to the venue itself, and not just the roads. The MOD had opened up the Barracks for those wishing to stay overnight for a tenner a head, and had also opened up the Canteen for breakfasts and lunches, and also the Bar and games room for the Saturday night get together. A typical lunch was beef or chicken curry with rice for £2.50 and the Saturday night barbecue was a fiver a head for s steak and all the veg you could eat. For a two day event this proved ideal and it would appear that business was so brisk that it was well worthwhile opening up the facilities. I’m going to book a week at the Dundrennan Butlins next year!
Ahead of the Solway, Ian Paterson explained what happened on the Speyside when he retired the Subaru: “An intercooler hose burst, I think it was an ‘age’ issue. Maybe it should have been changed a couple of events ago,” he said, “as we got back to the van I was thinking, ‘The Subaru has 8 hoses, and I’ve got 7 in the van, I bet I know which one I haven’t got!’ I was right.” Anyway, he got a new hose and apparently it’s 3mm thicker than the old one which prompted him to think maybe there was an issue with the original Subaru part anyway.
Ian’s brother Stuart Paterson was in panic mode for a few minutes ahead of the Solway Coast. Scotmaps had sent the wrong Notes so Kirsty Riddick went home, got Bill to email the right ones and she printed them off and returned to Dundrennan with them for Stuart. All part of the service, eh.
Ross Carbry appeared with a new car at the Solway Coast, a bright yellow Vauxhall Corsa to replace his well bent bright yellow Corsa! They bought the ex-Neil Weaver shell six weeks ago, and it was just a shell with a cage. It was originally Neil’s 2006 BTRDA 1400cc title wining car and the Carbrys have installed a ported and polished 1400 8v engine with cams. The debut wasn’t without incident as Ross managed to put it off on the first stage, fortunately in front of a large dose of spectators who shoved him back on to the road. A finish was not to be though, as the diff failed on the fifth test.
Richard Stewart was looking quite pleased with himself at the prizegiving after the Solway Coast, even though he only finished seventh: “That’s the first time one of the sponsor’s cars running Course Car Duty has finished the Solway Coast. Mickey broke it the first two years, then Peter and last year even David Bogie knocked a wheel off it!” He was of course referring to Peter who redeemed himself this year in the Fiesta R2 by getting round without putting a mark on the car.
The Hendersons were out in force at the Solway and Walter was looking pretty smug all day. Odd that, since Linzi had missed the first two stages: “We had to empty the fuel tank and the fuel lines,” said Walter, “and then we had to flush them out and fill it up again, so we missed the first two stages.” So what happened, dirty fuel? Not Exactly. Mrs H had been dispatched in the morning to get fuel in the car, then drove it back and put it on the trailer. On arrival at Solway the car was driven through Scrutineering and then on the way up to the rally start, it spluttered to a halt. You’re all way ahead of me here, aren’t you? Anyway, Walter thought he detected a funny smell, at which point he called over the Missus: “Did you put V-Max in this?” he asked. “Yes,” she insisted. Yup, you’re all correct, she had put V-Max diesel in the Peugeot 107, not V-Max petrol! So why was Walter looking so smug? Life will be a lot easier on him for the next few days, maybe even weeks! Brownie points. Or maybe not, Linzi cowped it big time on the Sunday!
Two very disappointed crew members at Solway were Scott Peacock and Keith Riddick. “We can’t play ‘Horse’ today,” explained Keith, “there are no horses on the ranges, just sheep, so we’re going to play ‘Tank’, there’s plenty of tanks around here!” They didn’t finish. The Peugeot was crashed on the third test, and it looks as though it will need a new ‘shell. At least it’ll stop them playing bluidy games for a while.
And finally …
Having finished his rally in the first stage with the Corsa’s rear wheels pointing in two different directions, and at different angles from the front wheels as well, just how inebriated was Iain Wilson at the barbecue and bar later that evening? He was spotted outside in the dark with a can in one hand and a cigar in the other – and he doesn’t smoke. Or maybe he was celebrating the birth of a new car?