Armstrong Galloway Hills Rally, Sunday 27 October …
ARR Craib Scottish Rally Championship, Round 8 (of 8) …
Mark McCaffrey won Class 2 in his MkII: “A good run, I fair enjoyed it” from Angus Lawrie in the Nova who was just delighted to finish after his engine problems during the week. Even a puncture on the fifth test and a clutch cable breakage in the first test causing him to do the stage in third gear failed to dent his pleasure. (Full story in ‘News & Gossip’ later). Both Scot Sloan and Derek Connell failed to finish.
Iain Haining in the Class 3 winning 1400 Nova was actually second 2WD overall in 22nd place but he was more pleased with his 8th straight class win from 8 events. Mind you, he did get one or two rows during the day. For instance, he saw a big crowd in Glengap and chucked the car sideways to set it up for a bit of a slide to show off- that is until, the intercom breathed a dire threat into his ears: “Stop it!” Donald Peacock was fair chuffed with second place in the Peugeot especially since ‘the boy’ was fourth! “We were in a ditch for a hundred yards in that last yin,” said Donald, “we thought we’d lost it!” Third in class was Charles Blair driving one-handed. That’s because he was holding the tow-rope in the other hand. It was threaded through the tailgate and tied to the Peugeot’s exhaust holding it up as all the mountings had gone. Beat that for a clamp Halfords. Fourth in class was Scott Peacock getting his first finish in his new Peugeot but was still lucky. “We hit a bump in the last stage and lost gears,” said Scott, “we only had 3rd and 4th left. Probably the linkage.” Simon Hay was fifth in class but admitted that the Peugeot was in “just one or two ditches” although he had a puncture at the end of SS5 and his sun-visor fell off. Steven Bellshaw was sixth and lucky to finish as the rear axle had collapsed, both front strut tops were knackered and a headlamp fell out. Final finisher in the class was Thaarique Fazal happy to finish (again!) despite a wee steering problem. Both Rory James and Adrian Stewart failed to finish.
Peter Stewart won Class 4 in his Fiesta R2 despite getting carried away on the final stage: “We came through the finish sideways,” he laughed, and lost the co-driver’s door mirror. Matthew Kesson was second in the Fiesta ST but had trouble with the Notes in Dalbeattie and a puncture for 7 miles in Cairn Edward. Jim Robertson managed third but the wee Citroen was giving him a hard time: “An engine mounting broke, then the exhaust, and I finished the rally with no clutch,” said Robertson. Kieran Renton was pleased to finish fourth in his R2 rebuilt after its McRae tumble but was surprised and delighted whena spectator turned up at service to give him the Fiesta’s grille back which had popped out over a jump. Alex Curran was fifth in his Corsa after struggling with lack of rear brakes in the morning followed by a front braking issue as well in the afternoon. Ian Cattanach was the final finisher in the class but the Sunbeam was looking a bit worse for wear at the front end: “It’s nothing serious,” said Ian, “but it caused an electrical problem or two.” Iain Wilson retired his Nova with driveshaft failure – right in front of family and friends at the Super Special! Gary Macleod, Jonathan Smith and Bill Davidson all failed to make the finish.
William Pollock won the class in his awfy smart MkI from Douglas Watt in his MkII who proclaimed: “Magic, first finish of the year. Absolutely delighted.” Douglas Cameron who normally co-drives for David Cameron had ‘borrowed’ the family MkII and was co-driven this time by David Ross Cameron who normally services for the Camerons. Confused? (Me too. Ed.) They finished third in class and Mickey Rankin didn’t, the MkI sidelined when the distributor cap broke in SS2. Alan McMorran also failed to come out of the last stage.
Top 2WD runner on the day was Steve Bannister in 13th place and despite his time consuming puncture in the second stage, his grin after stages 4 and 5 almost made up for it. Allan McDowall finished second after stopping to change a puncture on his MkII in SS2. “I didn’t want to risk any underbody damage,” said Allan, “because I’m doing the ‘proper’ RAC Rally next month.” Tom Coughtrie finished third in his Escort and lived to tell the tale after a big “nearly” 360 in Glengap, “then I switched to narrower tyres for the final two,” said Tom. Jim McDowall got the Avenger round in fourth place but was distinctly smelly at the finish – but not from his Hai Karate or Old Spice. The fuel filter bowl had burst and the car was smelling heavily from petrol fumes.
Ian Henry broke an engine mounting on the first stage, broke the intercom on the second and the exhaust broke on the fourth, but still finished and won the class in his Peugeot 206. Caroline Carslaw didn’t finish, a strut top mounting breaking on the Fiesta – again.
Drew Struthers was the sole runner and finisher in Class 8 in his Sunbeam and after a cautious start to the day, said: ”F*ck it, I’m just going for a play,” and went quicker!
Robert Harkness finished third 2WD overall in the BMW, but lost out with two punctures on two different tests, limping into the Final Control on the rim. Kieran O’Kane was second in class having wheeled out the old 2-door Ascona again although he had a wee bit of a steering problem. Mind you that might be self inflicted, the King of Sideways gets his money’s worth out of steering racks.
Andrew Gallacher won Group N finishing 7th overall in his Lancer despite a front puncture in the second stage: “Without that, we might have made the top five,” he reckoned. John McClory was second in class and also inside the top ten with ninth after another steady run and John Morrison was third having thoroughly enjoyed himself: “I haven’t been in these stages for a long, long while.” Billy Thomson was fourth but lucky to survive “one wee ditch” which he hit with the Lancer’s n/s front corner but resulted in no damage and Fraser Wilson was out in the first stage when something went ‘bang’, probably the input shaft.
With the top ten overall taking the top ten class positions, and Gallacher and McClory taking the Group N points, Liam Regan finished ninth in class 12 with the 4×4 Peugeot despite two punctures and a couple of issues with brakes. Ian Paterson was 10th in the Subaru and happy enough with that after a disastrous start to his season earlier this year. Although he did lose “a bit of exhaust” in the final stage. Brendan Cumiskey was 11th in his Evo6 ahead of Richard Dickson after his double puncture in Dalbeattie. Ian Baumgart finished despite a clouting the front o/s corner in Dalbeattie and Walter Henderson gave the Subaru an airing, all the while being urged on to greater feats of speed and endeavour from the left hand seat – Linzi was co-driving! Lee Hastings needed a finish to clinch the 5 of Clubs Championship and goes to Crail this weekend to try and clinch his class in the Tarmack series. Alasdair Anderson finished with only two and a half gears (!) left in the Impreza and “major noises coming from the gearbox, but we’re here!” Stuart Paterson was lucky to finish too after a wee fire in Cairn Edwards caused by a fractured power steering pipe. Darren Martin was happy to finish first time out in a Lancer (after his Subaru) having survived an incident on the final stage when “I took a 90 Left that wasn’t there.” Kris Tennant got the Lancia around in one piece (see News & Gossip) and John Clark rounded off the Class 12 finishers in the evocative looking and sounding Audi Quattro: “It went fabulously well and we got airborne a few times. It took us only 20 years to get here and both Glengap and Cairn Edward were ‘awesome’ (I hate that word, Ed.) although we did clip something in the final stage and have a wee dent in the back bumper.” Brian Watson didn’t finish after a small fire behind the dashboard and neither did Mark Goodfellow.
Full Results on: