02 Jun: Scottish Rally, Classes 1-6

… RSAC Scottish Rally, Sat 18 May …

Classes 1- 6 Roundup

Two starters and two finishers determined the outcome of Class 1 honours which this time went to a distinctly under the weather Scott Peacock. He was suffering a bit of tummy rot during the week in the run up to the rally but kept the MG ZR on course to take the spoils with co-driver Robin Neil. Niall Cowan Jnr and Thomas Bruce were less than half a minute behind in their MG: “There wasn’t much between us till the 4th stage when I took a chunk of time out of Scott,” said Niall, “but somebody must have fed him something at service for he took a chunk out of me on the next one!” However, there was a silver lining. He beat his Dad, Niall Snr in his 1600cc MG.

James Campbell and Kenny Foggo had a relatively trouble free run to class victory in their Talbot Sunbeam finishing well clear of the Peugeot 205 of Bryan and Scott Gourlay. First time out for 6 months, Bryan said: “Running first on the road you have to make your own lines – I’d like to have been about 5th car in!” Less than a minute behind the Gourlays was the supposedly ‘retired’ Alan McMorran and Albert Connolly in the Avenger. They were tempted out simply by the thought of running at the head of the rally in the reverse entered field. Leading the class till the 4th test were Donald Peacock and ‘new’ co-driver from across the Irish Sea, Donnchadh Burke, when the Peugeot rode up a banking at the Flying Finish and then cowped giving Donnchadh and unusual view of Scotland. Paul Rawson and Andy Hutchinson retired their Escort Mk1 in the same stage with mechanical failure.

Now doing a bit more forestry work these days, tarmac specialists Barry Lindsay and Caroline Lodge have continued their winning ways in their Peugeot 206, but young Jude MacDonald and Michael Cruikshank ran them close in their Skoda Fabia R2. Barry was very lucky: “We holed the gearbox at the start of SS5 and were trailing a plume of smoke as we went through, but I just kept going. We put more oil in for the final stage and it just kept going again.” He added: “I’ve never been in Ae before, fantastic stage!” Considering Barry’s experience and speed, Jude’s run was pretty impressive. The 14-17 year old Junior 1000cc graduate finished just 12 seconds behind after a pretty much faultless run and scored a top 30 finish with 27th o/a. Chris Lawson and Richard Wardle had a bit of a frustrating day in their Corsa. They caught cars on each of the day’s six stages. Niall Cowan Snr and Callum Shanks were 4th in the MG ahead of Caroline Carslaw and Charley Sayer-Payne with an out-of-puff Caroline claiming a ‘first’: “I got my first ever puncture in my rallying career. It happened near the start of the last stage and I got to the first left hand corner and wondered, ‘why is it trying to go straight on?’ before I realised, and then Charley just kept me calm counting down how far we had to drive on it.” Fraser Smith and Duncan Daun were 6th in class in the Civic despite no intercom on SS3 and 4 and a knackered shock absorber on SS5. Nikki Addison and Rachael Matheson were final class finishers after an “amazing” run and despite head-butting a chicane bale with the wee Peugeot. Sadly the Sloan boys, Scott and David didn’t make the finish. The Peugeot 208 hit the ‘David Higgins rock’ in Ae and cowped. It didn’t look too bad, just a broken windscreen and some ‘cosmetic’ additions to the bodywork. First time out since the 2017 McRae event, Gina Walker and Richard Simmonds didn’t finish in the C2 either: “It was a Right 9,” said Gina, “coming off the rough on to the loose, it just gripped and shot off into a ditch. There was no damage and we got it out – eventually – and drove on but were out of time.”

Despite being the only finisher in the class, Fraser MacNicol and Ricky Finlayson were still lucky to win: “That’s my first finish this year,” said the Mk2 driver, “the co-driver broke the door and had to hold it shut through SS2, we spun and stalled in SS3, whacked a tree and finished the stage trailing a brake caliper.” Despite having the services of an MS UK Academy student o-driver, one Ian Parker Esq, ‘Spanish’ Dougie Watt failed to finish – again. This time it was mechanical, so at least the bodywork was intact and unmodified.

There was no messing in the Historic class with Roger Chilman and Paul Morris scoring an excellent 12th overall on their way to the class win in their Escort Mk2. “We did what we came here to do, got round, pushed on and had a clean run,” said Roger at the finish. Second in class despite a bit of gearbox trouble were David Brown and Steve Bielby with John Lowe and Dave Robson 3rd despite a rear puncture in SS2. The Mitsubishi Galant of Tom Coughtrie and Ian Fraser was 4th, and ready with their excuse at the finish: “I fell asleep in the first two,” said Tom, “we had the heater on! Turned it off and we were fine after that, but that’s the first event I’ve done without a problem in the Galant.” The ever cheerful (?!!) Jim Robertson and Mike Curry were 5th in the Escort having found the cause of an early misfire: “The bottom of the distributor drive had broken,” said Jim,” but once fixed it was fine.” Stuart and Linda Cariss were very complimentary about the rally: “It was well worth the trip up here,” said Stuart, “although one little nudge after a 90 Left over a brow nearly caught us out – the arrow was a bit too close to the hazard!” Terry Cree and Richard Shores were “not for stopping” in the BMW when they punctured a tyre in SS2 and finished 7th. Walter Henderson and Jim Kinloch were 8th in the Mk2 despite a spin in Ae and Ben Jemison and James Dixon were 9th in the Chevette and said at the finish: “It was good enough to come back next year.” Ernie Lee and Patricia Milligan were 10th in the BMW with a blown exhaust just ahead of the ‘perky pensioners’ Mr & Mrs Milne in the Mk2 – (That was Ian’s description Dawn , not mine, Ed.) The only non-finishers in this class were Dave and Jamie Forrest whose Mk2 broke its distributor in Castle O’er.

Mindful of their too enthusiastic start to the Speyside, Carl and Rob Tuer had a rather more thoughtful approach to the Scottish. It still paid off, their Suzuki Swift taking the class ahead of the Peugeot 306 of Michael Renton and Jamie MacTavish. “This thing is superb, but we’re still learning,” said Carl, “we had a cautious start and then picked up from there.” Just over a minute behind, Michael said: “A fantastic day, we were just out for the craic. We had two punctures and one spin.” Linzi Henderson and Craig Wallace scored a 3rd place in their Ford Fiesta R2T with Linzi narrowing the stage time gap to her Dad, Walter in the Mk2. Johnnie Mackay and Richard Crozier failed to finish in the Fiesta ST when the gearbox broke in SS2.

Scottish Rally – [Main Report]
Scottish Rally – [Stage Times]
Scottish Classes [7 – 11]