… RSAC Scottish Rally … The Classes …
Angus Lawrie was a clear winner in Class 2 finishing top 1450cc driver in his Vauxhall Corsa but it wasn’t quite a clear run. He had one scarey moment when he lost his brakes due to stones rattling along the underside which knocked off a brake bleed nipple and he lost all the fluid, and also knackered the handbrake, and he had a puncture in SS2. Grant MacRae was beaming with second in class in his awfy smart Peugeot Rallye and even had time to tow a stricken Skye Rally Club club-mate into final Service. He also made a new discovery: “The car doesn’t have much ground clearance so when you go over rocks or through the ruts, you lose the steering – cos it grounds out on the bellypan!” Equally pleased was Ross Carbry in third place in his Corsa: “After two non-finishes on the two most recent events, all I wanted was a finish.” Job done. Niall Cowan rounded off the class finishers but was lucky to finish when a bolt in the MG’s suspension broke and the wheel collapsed against the hub but he managed to reach Service – without the local Polis noticing, and then broke a driveshaft on the way to SS3.
Despite having “to dodge a few large rocks” in SS3, Donald Peacock was a convincing winner in Class 3 from Allan Young, both in Peugeot 205s, but Luke McLaren retired his Peugeot in the second stage when it lost all its oil. Robbie Beattie and Douglas Cameron also failed to finish.
Alex Curran took the class win in his Corsa despite a few issues with fading brakes and Jim Robertson was second in his Citroen C2. Ross Hughes was well chuffed with third in class but more importantly, scored his first class win in the Junior Ecosse Citroen C2 series. He was a mite lucky though as he stopped at the accident in SS1 and was given a Notional Time which was the slowest time of the ten cars in front – and he reckoned he was quicker! Murray Coulthard was spotted parked up mid stage 2 with the bonnet up and David Martin broke the steering in his Citroen in SS4. As for Thomas Gray in his Fiesta and both Citroens of Andy Struthers and Gina Walker, they all ended their rallies in the final stage – cowped!
Andy Chalmers took the class in his Mk2 from the similar car of John McIlwraith.
The Mk1 Escort of Phil Jobson took the class from David Ferguson’s Historic spec BDG and the Sunbeam of James Stephenson. In fourth place was a smiling Ian Milne: “I fair enjoyed that. I was catching cars today.” Alan McMorran failed to finish when his Avenger’s engine let go in SS6.
The order here was the Nova of Martyn Jones from the Astra of Kevin Gray with Caroline Carslaw’s Fiesta in third place. Martyn actually rolled the car in Rivox but the crew bashed the panels out and fitted a new windscreen before sending him on his way again. Iain Mutch was the final finisher in his Astra. Alan Cowan failed to finish after failing to rectify a difficulty in starting his Astra and then when it did start it was idling too fast. So there was summat serious going on under the bonnet. John MacLeod also failed to finish when his Focus broke an engine mounting which damaged a radiator hose and the throttle sensor. He completed the stage on full throttle but had to call it quits at the end before the engine did and got towed halfway home by Iain Mutch and the rest of the way by Grant MacRae.
After fixing a terribly serious problem: “It pulled my knob off,” Duncan MacDonald won the class in his Mk2 and then explained further: “An overhanging branch whipped off the fire extinguisher pull knob, but fortunately the fire extinguisher didn’t go off.” Keith Seager was second in his BMW Compact and now that he’s getting back into the swing of things again has plans for a bigger engine!
The Escorts of Gordon Murray and David Hutchinson finished first and second with Donald Brooker’s BMW third.
Alasdair S Graham was the only finisher in the GrpN class having survived a scary moment when he caught a car with a double puncture: “As I passed him the windscreen got covered in muck and I didn’t see the chicane.” Fortunately there was little damage and only a puncture on the final stage to contend with. Fraser Wilson departed the fray on the fourth stage: “I hit Barry groundwater’s stone, took off and plunged nose first into a ditch on the opposite side of the road. No damage but stuck.”
Mike Faulkner took the class honours from the Subaru of Ian Baumgart who remarked: “The stages here were better than Carlisle (Kielder) last week.” Iain Wilson was third in his Subaru although he picked up a 10 second penalty: “I was lucky it wasn’t more,” said Iain, “We had just fitted new tyres and on the way out of service I felt something rubbing at the rear so it was quickly back to the service bay, jack up the car and check it out. Turns out, it was a buckled wheel so it was quickly changed and back on the road, although just a minute late at Service out.” The Subarus of Duncan Campbell and Mathew Thomson were fourth and fifth from the Mitsubishi of Billy Thomson. Linzi Henderson was seventh in the family Subaru ahead of Gareth Dalgleish and Scott Mutch who was lucky to finish after sliding off the road in SS3, ands would still have been there had it not been for spectators – although it must be pointed out that at no time did any spectators set foot on the forest stage, they all pushed from the banking and ditch as required by the new MSA rally safety rules!! (Scott fibs so beautifully, eh?). John Wink failed to finish. Having survived “a wee spin on a downhill Right 9 – I went Left” he did the job properly on the final stage and cowped the Lancer. Scott MacBeth was another non-finisher: “I ran over a big rock 3 miles into SS1 and it hit the sumpguard. The impact sent a big shock through the car and the engine cut-out. It wouldn’t re-start!” Michael Binnie lost all his brakes in the sixth stage after a punctured tyre ripped out the brake lines, but prior to that had to change a broken driveshaft at first service. Simon Hay put his Mitsubishi off the road in SS4 and Alasdair Anderson retired with a blown turbo in his Subaru. Geoff Goudie got a puncture in SS2 and it would appear that it caused damage to the Subaru’s suspension as he retired in SS3 and Scott McMinn burst a turbo pipe and a water hose in SS4.
Armstrong, McCulloch and McCombie were the class leaders with McKnight in fourth place ahead of Barry Groundwater who had been lucky to survive the impact of a huge stone on the inside of a right hander in SS4 – the same stone which claimed Fraser Wilson. Scott McCombie was sixth after striking a stone in the first stage which damaged the sumpguard and he survived a “couple of moments on the slippy bits under the trees in SS2.” Fraser Louden managed to fix a problem at first service which threatened to sideline the Mitsubishi: “The front n/s suspension dropped after a bolt stripped out of the floor mounting. We had to lift the passenger seat out to drill and plate the floor to insert a new bolt and were lucky not to run out of time.” James Gibb was eighth in the Fiesta but had to keep an eye on oil levels as there was a distinct ‘weep’ from somewhere: “It had a new bottom end for this event,” explained James. Final class finisher was Ross MacDonald who lost 3 minutes in the first stage with a puncture. Keith Morris recorded a rare non-finish when the Mitsubishi’s oil pressure plunged and he switched off. Freddie Milne also failed to finish when he completed the final stage but not the final road section and that perhaps had something to do with the front o/s and rear n/s double punctures he got in SS4.
The order here was Thorburn, Pearson and Young with Brian Watson finishing fourth.
Thaarique Fazal scored himself a class win in N1 after welding up the fuel tank (!) before the rally started and Alasdair Currie was a ‘works’ driver for the day when Steven Brown loaned him the use of his own Peugeot 205 and young Alasdair rewarded him with a class win in N2 despite losing the back box in SS3 and then the middle exhaust section in SS4. Donnie MacDonald took a class win in N6 despite his lack of brakes ahead of Nigel Feeney and John Morrison who was again troubled by a misfire in the Lancer. Lee Hastings got fourth in N6 and Drew McDonald didn’t, when his oil pump failed.