23 Oct: Albar Kames Rally report

… Albar Trophy Rally supported by ISS(Aberdeen) Ltd, Sunday 23rd Sept …

Ollie Hunter scored a surprise victory and carried off the top points at the penultimate round of the Junior 1000 Ecosse Challenge at Kames Motorsport complex in Ayrshire. However, the youngster’s late season turn of pace came too late to fight for the 2018 championship title. That will be decided at the final round of the series at Cadwell Park in November between two drivers, Lewis Haining and Johnnie Mackay.

Winner last time out, the on-form Haining led the field after 8 of the day’s 16 Special Stages but failed to shake off Hunter who was only 2 seconds behind at the lunch halt. Over the second half of the rally, the two were all but inseparable with Hunter refusing to give up the chase. His determination paid off with a 1 second victory over Haining.

At the finish, Ollie commented: “I was pushing really hard all day, I can still finish 3rd in the Championship. However, I’ve clinched the top Novice award today. I hit a marker tyre early on today which knocked the steering out, then this afternoon I hit another one and finished the rally with not a wheel pointing the right way.”

Andrew Blackwood needed a win to put himself back into contention for the title, but an overshoot on the second stage cost him dear. He dropped 10 seconds to the leaders and spent the rest of the day trying to claw it back. Sixth after 2 stages he just managed to squeeze championship leader Johnnie Mackay out of 3rd place by the finish. Mind you he was lucky. He survived a two-wheeling incident when he launched the Citroen up on to two wheels as he struck a lorry tyre – but kept the boot in.

For his part Mackay felt he drove well and was genuinely puzzled by his Suzuki’s inability to match the pace of the Peugeot, Skoda and Citroen ahead of him. That means he has to finish ahead of Haining at the final round to claim the Scottish crown. However, he did prove one thing – you can handbrake a 1 litre car round a hairpin. Neat as you like, he made the wee car swap direction still keeping the revs up. Nice one.

Fraser Anderson pulled out of the rally after the half way point: “There’s something not right with the car,” he said, “this was the first run out since we repaired the car after its previous accident and we don’t want to risk any more damage.” Alice Paterson was another non-finisher when the Peugeot swiped a tyre barrier which broke a drumstick and damaged the steering.

In the supporting ‘senior’ event, Ian Gemmell dominated a sparse entry finishing over a minute clear of Graham Bruce, although 6th placed Cameron Davies impressed many with his silent progress in the Renault Zoe.

Albar Trophy Rally Junior 1000 supported by ISS(Aberdeen) Ltd

1 Oliver Hunter/Tom Hynd (Peugeot 107) 24m 40s
2 Lewis Haining/George Myatt (Skoda Citigo) +0.01
3 Andrew Blackwood/Richard Stewart (Citroen C1) +0.21
4 Johnnie Mackay/Gordon Reid (Suzuki Alto) +0.47
5 Peter Beaton/Dean Ross (Peugeot 107) +1.28
6 Cameron Davidson/Kenneth McRae (Nissan Micra) +2.04
7 Amy McCubbin/Brian McClelland (Skoda Citigo) +2.38
8 Jack Hall/Robin Nicolson (Nissan Micra) +2.46
9 Aaron Webster/William Pollock (Nissan Micra) +4.49
10 Erica Winning/Mark Runciman (Nissan Micra) +6.33

Albar Trophy Rally supported by ISS(Aberdeen) Ltd

1 Colin Gemmell/Derek Keir (Ford Escort Mk2) 21m 58s
2 Graham Bruce/Paul Toner (Ford Escort Mk2) +1.22
3 David McLeod/Eamonn Boyle (Talbot Sunbeam) +2.04
4 Alistair Cunningham/Jim Smith (Ford Escort Mk2) +2.07
5 Lindsay Taylor/David Murie (Ford Fiesta ST150) +2.32
6 Cameron Davies/Ellya Gold (Renault Zoe) +3.05
7 Hugh Murdoch/Ewan Murdoch (Ford Escort Mk2) +4.59


Scottish Competition Debut for Renault Zoe Rally Car

Had Cameron Davies and Ellya Gold been competing in the Junior 1000 class at Kames last weekend they would have finished 4th overall in the electrically powered Renault Zoe.

Davies drove the car on its competition debut last year at the Adgespeed Stages and finished 41st, so this was only his second competition outing in the car.

The former Junior 1000 champion professed himself delighted with the car: “That was brilliant,” he said at the finish, “the only thing that is adjustable on the car is the dampers so it was all about learning how to put the power down. There is absolutely no engine noise, but you can actually hear the tyres working. That is a big help because you get instant torque when you ‘plant it’ coming out of corners and it’s easy to spin up the front wheels.”

Co-driver Ellya Gold who is part of the team responsible for building and developing the car added: “What today was all about was demonstrating the capability of the car and its suitability for possible adoption by the various Junior 1000cc categories. The 64Kw motor is the equivalent of an 86bhp normally aspirated engine and it generated a lot of interest amongst the Junior drivers today and their Dads!”

Gold reckoned that a competition electric rally car could be built for around £10,000, and added: “The price of an overnight battery charge is equivalent to the cost of fuel for two and a half seasons in a petrol engined car.”