11 Nov: Bogie wins Galloway Hills

… Armstrong Galloway Hills Rally, 25 Oct …

With six fastest times from six stages you wouldn’t suspect that David Bogie was not a well boy on Sunday’s Armstrong Galloway Hills Rally. He had returned from Spain the night before with a dose of the Mediterranean trots, but the car was prepped and the team were wide eyed and bushy tailed and ready for the ‘off’.

Coincidentally, Jock Armstrong and Paula Swinscoe set a string of six second fastest times while Desi Henry and John Rowan recorded an almost similar feat with third fastest times on five of the stages and equalled Jock on SS3. So no doubt about the winners and runners up then.

There was just one little black speck on the day’s proceedings, or to be more accurate, millions of little black specks. Hard to believe at the end of October but the midges were out in Galloway and they were stocking up for Winter!

SS1, The Toffee Shop Laggan O’Dee 1, 6.40 miles
1, David Bogie/Kevin Rae, 6m 46s
2, Jock Armstrong/Paula Swinscoe, 6m 50s
3, Desi Henry/John Rowan, 6m 58s
4, Mark McCulloch/Michael Hendry, 7m 20s
5, Rory Young/Allan Cathers, 7m 21s
6, Jonny Greer/Kirsty Riddick, 7m 23s

For someone who was looking a bit peelly waally on Saturday morning – “I’m just feeling drained now, but no more sickness!” – David was either telling fibs or had engaged auto-pilot on the Fiesta and let the car do the work through the first test, 4 seconds up on Jock. Desi was going well in the Skoda and using this event as much for seat time as a test ahead of Rally Wales GB and although not best suited for the conditions was trying out a close pattern tyre similar to those he would have to use in Wales. Mark McCulloch was fourth quickest in the Lancer by one second from Rory Young in a similar car as he had forsaken the Buckley Fiesta to blow the cobwebs out of his own Lancer. Another driver keen to test ahead of Wales was Jonny Greer in the DS3 and he rounded off the top six.

SS2, Race & Rally Fleet 1, 7.85 miles
1, David Bogie/Kevin Rae, 7m 03s
2, Jock Armstrong/Paula Swinscoe, 7m 10s
3, Desi Henry/John Rowan, 7m 11s
4, Chris Collie/Neil Shanks, 7m 36s
5, Niall Henry/Damien Duffin, 7m 38s
6, Fraser Wilson/Craig Wallace, 7m 41s

The top three repeated their first stage positions with Chris Collie best of the rest this time ahead of Niall Henry and Fraser Wilson in Lancers. Young was out of the top six and would be until he got to main service: “At the end of the first stage I turned in a bit too quick at the last bridge in the Laggan test and hit the bridge parapet,” said Rory, “It splayed the steering slightly so it’s hard work at the moment, even on the straights.” Scratching his head for a different reason was Greg McKnight. He was well off the pace in the second stage: “I don’t understand it,” said Greg, “I just can’t get into it this morning – maybe I’ve been doing too many tarmac events recently.”

SS3, Motorwise Laggan O’Dee 2, 6.48 miles
1, David Bogie/Kevin Rae, 6m 39s
2= Jock Armstrong/Paula Swinscoe, 6m 48s
2= Desi Henry/John Rowan, 6m 48s
4, Mark McCulloch/Michael Hendry, 7m 04s
5, Jonny Greer/Kirsty Riddick, 7m 09s
6, Chris Collie/Neil Shanks, 7m 10s

Bogie was quickest second time through Laggan O’Dee – “You know, I thought it was better on the second run. The road was cleaner.” – with Armstrong and Henry tying on second fastest. Jock was smiling and shaking his head at the end of that one: “I was a passenger in there at one point. It was downhill 90L into a 90R and then a Left8 at the end of a slippy bit between the logs. I was sideways going into it and it just got worse. Lucky there was a wide lay-by section coming out of the logs and there was just enough room to catch it without hitting anything.” McCulloch set third quickest time from Greer and Collie.

SS4, Oakbank Services Craigencallie, 6.48 miles
1, David Bogie/Kevin Rae, 5m 42s
2, Jock Armstrong/Paula Swinscoe, 5m 45s
3, Desi Henry/John Rowan, 5m 53s
4, Mark McCulloch/Michael Hendry, 6m 11s
5, Jonny Greer/Kirsty Riddick, 6m 13s
6= Chris Collie/Neil Shanks, 6m 14s
6= Greg McKnight/Chris McKnight, 6m 14s

The Craigencallie test (Black Loch country for the old hands!) was next ahead of main service but there was no stopping, and no catching, Bogie. There was a note of concern though in the Bogie camp: “The brake pedal is going soft,” said David, “it feels like burst brake line, but we’ll get it checked out at service.” McCulloch, Greer and Collie continued their battle for fourth but young Greg McKnight got into the mix, the Mk2 tying with Collie for sixth fastest time. Collie was lucky though: “We had a front puncture near the end of the stage, but I’m pleased with the car. It’s back to what it should be.” But McCulloch was looking concerned: “We broke the exhaust in there but we’ve wrapped some aluminium around it with four jubilee clips, so fingers crossed.”

Fraser Wilson missed out on the top six times and the reason became apparent when he drove into service. Jammed between the tyre and the rim was a rather solid looking wedge of wood: “I thought I had hit a stone and punctured but the tyre didn’t seem to go down,” said Fraser, “then I got to the finish and there was a whole branch sticking out of the wheel. We removed most of it but left the bit stuck in the tyre till we got here.” Alasdair Graham was trying out his new Evo9 and gave the boys something to do at service: “We didn’t hit anything but somehow the sumpguard got knocked off in that last one.”

SS5, Stewartry Tyres Fleet 2, 7.85 miles
1, David Bogie/Kevin Rae, 7m 03s
2, Jock Armstrong/Paula Swinscoe, 7m 09s
3, Desi Henry/John Rowan, 7m 13s
4, Jonny Greer/Kirsty Riddick, 7m 22s
5, Chris Collie/Neil Shanks, 7m 25s
6, Rory Young/Allan Cathers, 7m 31s

After service the top three continued their high speed convoy at the front, but Mark McCulloch lost out in the battle for fourth place when: “There was a tremendous heat build up in the area where we patched up the exhaust,” said Mark, “so we had to switch the anti-lag off. I didn’t want to risk it. Remember what happened to Dale Robertson a couple of years back on the Jim Clark?”

Coincidentally, Jock Armstrong switched his ALS off for the last two stages as well: “It was overheating a wee bit,” said Jock, “we’ve got a new turbo on the car for Rally Wales and there isn’t as much heat screening around it, so we’ll need to look at that before we head south.” Desi Henry broke the Skoda’s anti-roll bar in here and also did the last stage without it, saying: “She was a bit floaty in there!” Fraser Wilson also admitted to a slight indiscretion – again: “We clipped a bridge in there. It was a downhill Left9 over a bridge into a Right5 and just went into it too quick. I felt the tail end rubbing the bridge but we got away with it.”

SS6, Jas P Wilson Forest Machines Cairn Edward, 8.00 miles
1, David Bogie/Kevin Rae, 7m 56s
2, Jock Armstrong/Paula Swinscoe, 8m 01s
3, Desi Henry/John Rowan, 8m 06s
4, Jonny Greer/Kirsty Riddick, 8m 22s
5, Mark McCulloch/Michael Hendry, 8m 25s
6= Fraser Wilson/Craig Wallace, 8m 36s
6= Rory Young/Allan Cathers, 8m 36s

There was no last stage silliness (well, almost!) and the top three finished as they had started the day, with Desi Henry admitting to a bit of luck over a Right6 ‘jump’: “David (Bogie) had been in this ditch earlier and must have cleaned it out,” said Desi, “it was a mile from the end of the stage but it didn’t really cost us any time.” Jonny Greer consolidated fourth place taking 3 seconds out of McCulloch on the final 8 mile dash through Cairn Edward: “Those last two were better,” said Jonny, “they had dried out since this morning. I really enjoyed that. It is 10 years since I was last here and that was only my second rally at the time!” Rory Young tied with Fraser Wilson on sixth fastest with Collie just losing out and Niall Henry lucky to finish: “I was just crossing the FF line when a rear tyre let go when we were in full flight on full lock – and nearly finished up in the ditch.”

Ninth was the first of the 2WD cars with Seamus O’Connell another lucky finisher: “The gear linkage broke in the last stage and we only had 4th gear,” he said, while Rory Young rounded off the top ten in his Lancer.

At the finish David Bogie paid tribute to the sterling efforts of the organisers who completely revamped the route during the week before the rally. With only 61 entries the organisers were faced with cutting miles or double usage. With the south west forest roads in excellent condition, they chose the latter. In fact, they used one stretch of road three times: “It was actually better third time through,” said Bogie, “it was cleaner and it had started to dry up in the afternoon.” A point echoed by Desi Henry: “The stages are brilliant. Fast and flowing – I could do with another 50 horse!”

As ever, Jock had the last word: “It’s quite nice for someone else to win the Galloway Hills,” he smirked, “I’ve won it 7 times – and David had only won it once before.” Naturally this was said within earshot of David – sounds like a challenge, eh?

Final Results:
1, David Bogie/Kevin Rae (Ford Fiesta R5) 41m 09s
2, Jock Armstrong Paula Swinscoe (Subaru Impreza) + 0:34
3, Desi Henry/John Rowan (Skoda Fabia S2000) +1:00
4, Jonny Greer/Kirsty Riddick (Citroen DS3 R5) +3:06
5, Mark McCulloch/Michael Hendry (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) +3:12
6, Chris Collie/Neil Shanks (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6) +3:18
7, Fraser Wilson/Craig Wallace (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) +3:54
8, Niall Henry/Damien Duffin (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10) +3:55
9, Seamus O’Connell/Andy Richardson (Ford Escort Mk 2) +4:03
10, Rory Young/Allan Cathers (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 5) +4:06

11, Greg McKnight/Chris McKnight (Ford Escort Mk 2) +4:26
12, Richard Dickson/Roger Alcorn (Subaru Impreza) +4:33
13, Scott McCombie/Mark Fisher (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) +4:38
14, John Wink/John Forrest (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) +5:02
15, John McClory/David Hood (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) +5:13
16, Paddy McToal/Connor O’Loan (Ford Escort Mk 2) +5:39
17, Ross MacDonald/Matthew Johnstone (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) +5:40
18, Keith Morris/Martin Forrest (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6) +5:59
19, Alasdair Graham/Laura Stuart (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) +6:08
20, John Rintoul/Ross Hynd (Hyundai Accent WRC) +6:25
21, Alex Curran/Heather Grisedale (Vauxhall Corsa) +7:28
22, John McIlwraith/Scott Young (Ford Escort RS) +7:51
23, David Goose/Richard Wardle (Ford Escort RS) +8:27
24, Scott Sloan/David Sloan (Vauxhall Corsa) +9:01
25, Ross McFadzean/Scott Thomson (Subaru Impreza) +9:03
26, Spencer Wilkinson/Jamie Edwards (Subaru Impreza STi N15) +9:41
27, Gareth White/Greg Halfpenny (Citroen DS3 R3T) +9:48
28, Billy Thomson/Sean Duffy (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) +10:05
29, Alex Pirie/Cameron Fair (Citroen C2) +10:51
30, Jim Robertson/Colin Maxwell (Citroen C2R2) +10:56