… RSAC Scottish Rally, Sat 18 May …
Classes 7 – 11 Roundup
CLASS 7 – RWD CARS UP TO 2050CC WITH 16 VALVES
The Mk2 Escorts of Duncan MacDonald/ Neil Ross and Paul McErlean/Niall McKenna scored 1st and 2nd in class with the Mk1 of William Pollock and Helen Brown taking 3rd. Duncan said he was “just glad to finish” while Paul didn’t hang around at the finish for a chat as he was in a rush to catch the boat back to NI. Rhuaridh Campbell and Phil Sandham were 4th in the Sunbeam with Rhuaridh saying this was just his third rally finish. Alistair Brearley and Paul Barbet were none too chuffed to be handed a two minute penalty for an early arrival dropping their Mk2 out of the top 30. In fact, a week after the rally Alistair was still best avoided if encountered in public! Tommy Heard and Iain McCutcheon were final class finishers in their Mk2. David McLeod and Eamon Boyle failed to finish as their Sunbeam came to rest unintentionally in a Castle O’er ditch.
CLASS 8 – 2WD CARS OVER 2051CC WITH 16 VALVES
Iain Wilson and Chris Williams had a relatively easy class win in their Mk2 Escort, but Iain was impressed with Mark McCulloch in the BMW: “I didn’t realise he had taken 2 seconds out of me in the last stage. Fair play to him,” said Iain. Even so, it was Keith Robathan and Steven Brown who got 2nd in class ahead of Gordon Murray/David O’Brien and McCulloch and Michael Hendry who finished 4th. “That was close,” said Keith, “I stalled on an uphill hairpin in SS4, got bogged down and lost time but I managed to get it back in SS5 and 6.” He finished just 7 seconds clear of Gordon: “I lost time in the last two, don’t know what happened. We were happy and thought we were going well till we looked at the times, and thought ‘Oh shit’ – it must be an age thing,” he added. “We were 2nd fastest 2WD through that last stage,” said Mark, “I enjoyed that. The wipers weren’t working in Twiglees during the rain shower but that was all.” Steve Magson and Malcolm Smithson brought the Mercedes home in 5th place having stopped at an earlier stage incident although they had their stage time resolved by the CofC. Jamie McIntyre and Gerry Bryden didn’t get far, the Escort coming to an abrupt halt in Twiglees: “I went into a Right8 thinking it was a Right2,” said Jamie, “and we went into the bushes rather fast. There was no real damage but we were OTL by the time we got it out.”
CLASS 9 – 4WD CARS NOT CLASSIFIED IN CLASS 10 OR 11
A tough day in the woods for Michael Binnie and Claire Mole who still finished 9th o/a in their class winning Mitsubishi Evo9 after two stages with no brakes, a puncture and a bust exhaust manifold. Ian Baumgart and Sinclair Young were 2nd in their Subaru Impreza ahead of the Impreza of Jan Budge/Bruce Lindsay who just pipped Max and Callum Redpath’s Subaru for 3rd place by 3 seconds. Jan commented: “I was asleep this morning but Bruce was shouting and bawling at me – I could have stayed at home and got it from the wife!” Max had trouble too: “A turbo pipe came off at the start of SS4 leaving me with no power, but we got it fixed at service. We also had a problem with the clutch over the first two stages.” In 5th place – pause for trumpet fanfare and much flag waving – Sandy and Ian Arbuthnot conquered the ‘Black Fairy’ with a fine 5th overall in the Subaru engined Focus. Bill Nicoll and Ian Shiells were 6th in the Lancer but were lucky to get out of the last stage: “We hit a pot hole and the engine cut out. We coasted round two corners before it would fire up again, so we switched the anti-lag off just to make sure we finished.” Final finishers were Aileen Forrest and Paul Cummins in the Lancer. After a slow start, Aileen was happy with her final three stages. Thomas Gray was forced out with gear selection problems, John McIlwraith cowped the Subaru and Paul Collins had a fuel problem which meant the Subaru’s engine kept dying on him.
CLASS 10 – GROUP A 4WD, S2000 & R4 CARS
The order here was Armstrong, Macbeth and Keith Morris with Alan Dickson/Martin Forrest losing out on 3rd place by 10 seconds in their Evo9: “Punctures did for us,” said Alan, “one on SS1 and another on SS2.” Kevin Crawford and Andrew Stevenson continued to pick up pace in their Evo9 with 5th in class and John Rintoul/Ross Hynd took 6th in the Skoda Fabia which had a problem with the crank sensor: “If I switch the engine off, it won’t re-start,” said John, as he drove cheerily past! Final finishers were the father and son, Stuart and Marc Irvine duo in the eyeball assaulting orange Lancer pleased with their top 25 finish: “We got round – and no damage!” Chris Collie was the only non-finisher after a punctured tyre ripped off a brake line and caliper.
CLASS 11 – WRC AND R5 CARS
The ‘big’ Class mirrored the top three positions overall with David Bogie, Euan Thorburn and Garry Pearson taking the honours from Bruce McCombie and John Wink, with Freddie Milne’s progress halted by a ditch.
As ever, the Armed Forces were represented by four crews and if you think rally drivers are great rivals you should have chat with this lot as the ‘flyers’ compete against the ‘ground forces’ from the various regiments. Barry Connolly/Matt Gudgeon took the class win in their Land Rover Wolf: “That was amazing,” said Barry, “I used to do tarmac events, but I did the Pirelli and now this. We were in a ditch for 1.5 seconds but consistency paid off. Besides what do you expect from an RAF crew?” Only 7 seconds separated 2nd placed Keith Harvey (I scared myself a few times) and Danny Hedges from 3rd placed Wayne Thompson (This is just my 3rd rally. We got sideways twice and only had to do a 3 point turn once!) and Matt Duncan. As for Tyrone Westall and Fred Richardson their adventure ended upside down in Windy Hill: “We just got two wheels on the loose, it was soft, and it sort of tipped over onto its roof!”