08 Apr: DCC Classes & Juniors

… DCC Stages Rally … The Classes …

Class 1
Stuart McBride and Shona Hale won the 1400cc class in their Vauxhall Nova although it needed a bit of tie-wrapping during the day: “I hit a bale,” explained Stuart, “I was passing Beefy at the time and clipped it. It did push the wing well in but we got it sorted.” Marcus Tinsley and Rachel Clark were second in the Peugeot 205 despite a misfire in SS5 which was fixed before SS6 with a change of plugs and leads. Gavin Lloyd and Gordon Clark were third in their Nova first time out in the car since it was bought. That meant sorting it out during the rally which included leaking rear brakes and splashing fuel out of the filler cap. Eamon Kilmurray was fourth in the Suzuki, Alan Falconer fifth in the Nova and Martin Farquhar was sixth in his Peugeot 106. Michael Robertson had to be towed in from SS3 when the Peugeot’s fuel pump failed and he missed the next two stages.

Class 2
Gareth White and Harry Marchbank were winners of Class 2 in their Peugeot 208 R2 from the Citroen C2 R2 Max of Greg Inglis and Martin Forrest, but there was only 7 seconds between them at the finish. Both had minor ‘offs’ during the day so look out for more fireworks next time they meet up. Stevie Irwin and Ian Middleton were a distant third in their Nova ahead of Joe Pringle in the Nova and Gordon Milne’s VW Polo. Chris Singer retired his Citroen C2 with gearbox failure and the front n/s suspension of Graeme McKinnell’s Escort collapsed. Gary McDermaid was competing in his Peugeot 106 for the first time with new power steering fitted, but it wasn’t right. During the course of the day it was getting stiffer and tighter so it needs to be checked out back at home. Alan Watt also retired his 106 after the first stage and Ron Walker didn’t get far round the first stage before the fuel pump failed in his wicked looking Ford Ka.

Class 3
George Auld and Richard Stewart were delighted with the Class 3 win although they were lucky to finish when a link on the Escort’s rear suspension broke on the final stage and the back end had a mind of its own for the final few miles. Kenny Moore and Richard Wardle were only 23 seconds behind in the Avenger after another trouble free run with Ian Forgan and Chris Lees in third place in the Ford Ka. Graeme and Jim Rintoul were content with third in their Fiesta: “We’ve only got 140hp,” said Graeme. Mark Flintoft was fifth in his Mk2 with Robert Marshall finishing sixth in his Mk2. Ed Todd managed to get around after some trouble with the GTM and scored 7th. The gear linkage had to be repaired after SS2 and then a wee oil leak had to be found and fixed but there was more trouble on the final stage with the gearbox again. Ed hoping that it’s just the linkage and not the ‘box! William Beattie was having his first rally in his self built Escort which behaved itself pretty well on its maiden outing part from fouling its plugs while waiting for the start of stages 3 and 6. Hamish Kinloch retired his Escort with a broken ignition switch and Bill Hamilton was an early departee when the Opel Kadett blew its head gasket: “Number 2 cylinder is like a water fountain,” said Bill, “remember Waltzing Waters?” Stuart Grant had a fuel problem in SS2 and had to get The Escort towed in and Roy Ness burst his Fiesta ST’s oil filter on the first stage. Although he got a new one from the local Dingbro he missed the second stage. Stuart Urquhart had clutch failure in his Sunbeam and the Chevette of Gordon McElrath broke its diff. Greg Stark retired his Peugeot when the oil ump failed although he caused his co-driver most consternation by wandering off at times through the service area when he should have been paying more attention. Iain Findlay’s rally was short lived too when the bottom suspension arm on his Astra pulled out of the chassis on the first corner of the first stage: “I don’t understand it,” said Iain, “a new arm was fitted for this event and it has just pulled out of its mountings.” Gavin Gray didn’t last much longer when the Citroen ZX’s timing belt snapped and Hugh Johnston missed the second stage when he smacked the Escort’s nose on a bale although he completed the rest of the stages.

Class 4
The order here was Kirkaldy from Blackwood, Robathan and Hope, with Tom Hynd in fifth place first time out in his new BMW MINI. Although he snapped a driveshaft on the sixth stage he was quite pleased: “I had been taking it easy up till then,” said Tom, “and then I had a go! We’ve learned quite a bit today and there are a few things to sort out for next time.” Fergus Gray was sixth in the BMW but said: “We were nursing a prop shaft joint which was breaking up,” said Fergus, “and we didn’t have a spare!” Alex Adams retired his Escort with gearbox failure in the afternoon: “I was having trouble trying to select gears, particularly third” said Alex, “and then it just got worse.” Prior to that he had to borrow a throttle cable from Hamish Kinloch in the morning when his broke, and Rob Snowden in that mighty wide orange Escort broke its gearbox. According to Rob the extent of the gearbox problem can be summed up in one single technical expression: “Shagged!” Unfortunately that’s one of the few technical expressions that has failed to make the Appendix in the Haynes manual.

Class 5
In the big class it was Feeney from Gibb, Watson and Graham with Morrison taking fifth after his promising start to the day. Ian Archer was sixth in his Mitsubishi with young Martyn Douglas scoring 7th on his first ‘proper’ run out in the Subaru, but he’ll be hoping his Dad doesn’t read this far: “I took the Bridge flat in the fifth stage,” said Martyn, “Running the other way in the morning I didn’t think it was that bad! Big sideways, but got away with it – and that was after a ‘Ken Block’ moment at the Rosebowl corner.” George Paris was the final class finisher in his Subaru.

( And that is as far as your erstwhile ‘Roving Reporter’ got, missing out on a few crews who were coming and going as he was going and coming, to and from the service area. )

DCC Junior Stages Rally, Rd01, 2017 Junior 1000 Ecosse Challenge

Not so much a separate class, more a separate event, for Dunfermline Car Club had gone to the trouble of running a rally purely for the Junior 1000 Ecosse Challenge contenders on the Sunday following Saturday’s DCC Stages Scottish Tarmack counter. Overnight, the 8 stages had undergone a big change with the Juniors getting 25 miles of competitive running compared to the previous day’s 55 miles. A mighty effort from the club, but a more practical idea than trying to incorporate the two events into one.

As things turned out, Ewan Tindall and Paul Hudson scored their first win of the Scottish season by 15 seconds from Finlay Retson and Tom Hynd, but it didn’t start out that way.

It was Jude MacDonald and Michael Cruickshank who seized an early lead first time out in their new Skoda Citigo. They were a second quicker than Retson who had borrowed a Nissan Micra for the day, ahead of his graduation to the senior ranks in May, with Tindall a further 2 seconds adrift in his Citroen C1. Only a second behind them was the Suzuki Alto of Johnnie Mckay and Gordon Reid. Close stuff.

It was more of the same in the second stage where MacDonald was quicker again, but only by a second from all three – Tindall, Retson and Mackay – sharing identical second fastest times.

Mackay lost ground over the next two stages: “I was trying too hard,” he said, and that allowed Lewis Haining and George Myatt to get in on the action in their Toyota Aygo.

That meant after four stages, MacDonald was tied with Tindall for the lead just 2 seconds clear of Retson followed by Haining and Mackay with Josh Hislop and Ian Shiels rounding off the top six.

Tindall was now in the groove, driving pretty damn quickly and neatly, but Retson was losing ground. As the tyres went off (yes, really, on a 1 litre car!) the Micra started rolling and squirming but young Retson was on it. Watching that wee Nissan coming round what used to be called ‘Clock Corner’ into ‘Arena’ in the days of Ingliston motor racing was a rare treat. The car was visibly squirming on its line, but did he lift? Did he heck. Wonderful.

Sadly Macdonald was forced to pull out after SS6. He was feeling unwell, and Haining scuppered his hopes of a podium finish when he went the wrong way at the Split on Stage 5. Mind you what was most impressive about Haining’s mistake was the way he handled it. No tantrums or cursing (or maybe just a wee bit) but he just accepted it and got on with it. Some of his more illustrious elders from the previous day could learn from that!

That left Tindall and Retson to sort out the lead, but Tindall was quicker on 3 of the afternoon stages compared to Retson’s one, resulting in a 15 second victory for the Citroen driver: “The gearing was wrong for this event,” said Ewan, “but I just got on with it. I was a bit slow at the start, but I’m pretty happy with that.”

Retson was happy too: “I pushed a bit too hard on that last stage,” said Finlay, “and just kissed a bale. It pushed the wing in a wee bit but no real damage.”

Delighted with third place and his first podium was Mackay. “It just came out of the coachworks on Thursday,” said Johnnie, “and now it’ll need to go back in again!” No real damage but he had scuffed both sides of the paintwork against bales: “I had a big moment on SS1, sideways into the chicane and bashed a bale, then I went over the bridge too fast, got it sideways on landing and bashed a few cones.”

Lewis Winder and Jane Nicol finished fourth in the Toyota Aygo ahead of Andre Blackwood and Gordon Winning in the Citroen C1 with Peter Beaton and Kenny Foggo sixth in another Citroen. Haining had dropped to 7th after his ealrier indiscretion leaving Amy McCubbin and Brian Mcclleland to take 8th in the Micra and Alice Paterson and In Crosbie were 9th in the Peugeot 107. With Macdonald out, Josh Hislop was the only other non-finisher when the Peugeot’s power steering failed.

Just a pity Ingliston is a non-spectator venue, rally fans missed a treat.

Final Results:
1, Ewan Tindall/Paul Hudson (Citroen C1) 42m 22s
2, Finlay Retson/Tom Hynd (Nissan Micra) 42m 37s
3, Johnnie MacKay/Gordon Reid (Suzuki Alto) 43m 48s
4, Lewis Winder/Jane Nicol (Toyota Aygo) 44m 18s
5, Andrew Blackwood/Gordon Winning (Citroen C1) 44m 44s
6, Peter Beaton/Kenny Foggo (Citroen C1) 45m 42s
7, Lewis Haining/George Myatt (Toyota Aygo) 46m 32s
8, Amy McCubbin/Brian Mcclelland (Nissan Micra) 47m 00s
9, Alice Paterson/Ian Crosbie (Peugeot 107) 49m 36s

[Main event report]