… Beatson’s Mull Rally’s routed and ready …
The second moment Beatson’s Mull Rally fans have been waiting for has arrived: the route’s ready.
(The first moment, for the avoidance of doubt, was, of course, when we knew October could be October again and the Isle of Mull would, once again, reverberate to Millington-made magnificence.)
Friday evening (October 11, 19:09 Hrs), if you’re not selecting first gear or engaging ‘stage’ mode at the start of SS1 Mishnish Lochs 1, the best place for you will be the Rally Zone at the Glengorm crossroads on the outskirts of town.
We’re ready. Are you?
Friday evening means five stages, service in Craignure, 50.62 miles of competition and an end of loop at Salen Hotel at 23:50 Hrs.
As usual, Saturday’s split into two legs. The cars re-start out of Garmony at 11:01 Hrs and face two stages before service in Tobermory. The afternoon brings two loops of three tests split by another service in Tobermory, before a 16:17 Hrs arrival at Salen Hotel.
Just over four hours later, the crews prepare for battle once more as the legendary Beatson’s Mull Rally Saturday night gets going. Three stages down, as midnight approaches, there’s one more chance for the service crews to work on the cars – in Craignure – ahead of the final, rally deciding 15-mile run from Glen Aros to Achnadrish.
Lights go green on the 17th and final test at 00:53 Hrs Sunday morning.
Seasoned Beatson’s Mull Rally marshalls, competitors and watchers will notice not much has changed in terms of timetable since the event last ran in 2016.
Clerk of the course Andy Jardine explains why: “We’ve been through some legislation changes since we last ran the rally in 2016 and the feeling from us as organisers – and in conjunction with Transport Scotland, Police Scotland and the Argyll and Bute Council was – that we go with what we know for this year.
“We have some great plans and ideas for the future of the Beatson’s Mull Rally, but given the relatively short time frame we have in the run up to October, familiarity was favoured all around.
“The route’s got everything you’ve come to expect of Mull: the Mishnish Lochs to start Friday evening and then the usual great roads like Glen Aros and the stages around Scridain and Loch Na Keal.
“This is definitely a case of being back by popular demand; the interest we’ve had in the event’s been phenomenal already, I think there’s a danger Mull might sink if everybody who says they’re coming actually arrives in Tobermory in October!”
There’s plenty to celebrate at the Beatson’s Mull Rally in October. Not only is it the first time back since 2016 –new closed-road legislation passed for Scotland in April means the insurance clause that was causing an issue for the event no longer applies – but it’s the 50th anniversary since the first rally on the island.
Deputy clerk of the course Iain Campbell said: “We’re working really hard to make this a memorable comeback event and a really special golden anniversary. The route is the most important thing, but we have plenty of plans to share in the coming months.
“But getting the route out starts to build the excitement. It’s the details, like starting Saturday night with ‘The Long One’ – the 21.5-mile run from Calgary to Aros 33X – is so special.
Saturday night starts with the 21.5 mile Long One from Calgary to Aros 33X before the remaining three special stages see the winner announced at the end of the Mishnish Lochs stage in Tobermory around 1am on Sunday.
Campbell: “This is the phone box just outside Salen where in the distant past the rally was more or less run from. It was here that results were called in from, where the communication centre was long before everyone had a mobile phone.”
Last big question: when do entries open?
Campbell again: “August 2. And the plan is to close them, with the full quota of 150 cars on August 3!”
Friday 11th October
19:01 Hrs – Rally Start, Tobermory
19:09 Hrs – SS1, Mishnish Lochs 1, 6.77 mls
19:26 Hrs – SS2 Hill Road/Loch Tuath, 14.51 mls
22:07 Hrs – SS3, Loch Kinloch 1, 4.63 mls
22:31 Hrs – SS4, Knock 1, 4.79 mls
23:00 Hrs – SS5, Glen Aros/Calgary Bay, 19.92 mls
Saturday 12th October
11:01 Hrs – Re-Start, Garmony
11:47 Hrs – SS6, Loch Kinloch 2, 4.63 mls
12:10 Hrs – SS7, Knock 2, 4.79 mls
13:12 Hrs – SS8, Mishnish Lochs 2, 6.77 mls
13:29 Hrs – SS9, Penmore 1, 6.42 mls
13:43 Hrs – SS10, Ensay/Hill Road 1, 7.86 mls
15:09 Hrs – SS11, Mishnish Lochs 3, 6.77 mls
15:26 Hrs – SS12, Penmore 2, 6.42 mls
15:40 Hrs – SS13, Ensay/Hill Road 2, 7.86 mls
21:01 Hrs – Re-Start, Salen
21:39 Hrs – SS14, Calgary Bay/Loch Tuath, 21.89 mls
22:15 Hrs – SS15, Ben More, 4.59 mls
22:39 Hrs – SS16, Scridain, 4.31 mls
00:53 Hrs – SS17, Glen Aros/Achnadrish, 15.30 mls