22 Aug: Grampian Classes 1-6

… Grampian Forest Rally, Sat 10 August 2019 …

Class 1 – 2WD Up To 1450cc

Methinks young Peacock is trying to see just how much he can get away with, either that or he’s telling some right porkies these days. Although Scott Peacock and Robin Neal won their class quite comfortably in the MG ZR, Scott tried to convince the Motorsport News reporter that the cause of a puncture was running over a hedgehog (a claim he also made on the Argyll!). And he looks such an innocent and pleasant young lad too, although he did add: “It was strange today, I was slow on the quick bits and sh*t* in the slow bits – and it’s usually the other way around.” On his second rally, Robert Tonge with Sean Newlands scored 2nd in class in their MG: “It was squirming around on the first three stages,” said Robert, “but changed the set-up at service – now we want more power!” The perpetual call of every driver, eh?

Class 3 – 2WD Up To 1650cc 16v

Another good run in the Skoda Fabia R2 netted 1st in class and 24th o/a for Jude MacDonald and Michael Cruickshank despite “a bit of a moment in Durris 2”, said Jude. Scoring 2nd in class were Caroline Carslaw and Charley Sayer-Payne in the Ford Fiesta R2 ahead of Nikki Addison and Rachel Matheson  who were awfy lucky to finish let alone get 3rd in class. The rear end of the wee Peugeot broke away from Nikki on a fast section and she spun backwards into a ditch. However, she kept the boot in, the car popped out and one three point turn later she was underway again. Unlike his Dad (who has a 100% finishing record in the car) Fraser Smith recorded another non-finish with the Honda Civic. The car wasn’t revving properly on the first stage then went into ‘limp mode’ in SS2. The main ECU/fuel pump fuse blew in SS3and 3 replacements later the car had only travelled 100 yards – the end. Christopher Gillies didn’t even get that far, when he put the Citroen C2 in a ditch on the first stage just where Keir Beaton was sitting with his head in his hands beside his dead Escort.

Class 4 – 2WD Up To 2050cc 8v

Fresh from his starring role on the Rally Finland National event where he finished 27th o/a (out of a hundred crews!) Douglas Watt scored a class win with Ian Parker in their Ford Escort, but they had a wee bit of luck: “The cam belt came off on SS4,” said Dougie, “but we managed to cable-tie a ‘fix’ to finish the last two stages.” Colin Baxter and John Campbell were the only other finishers but had a trying day with the Ford Escort: “That’s the hardest rally I’ve ever done,” said Colin, “we’ve had mechanical issues all day. We’ve had a misfire and broke an anti-tramp bar at the rear which we managed to weld at service and then the wipers stopped working when the rain came on.” Paddy Munro managed to put his Mk2 off the road in the final stage, John O’Kane retired in Drumtochty and Colin Patterson’s Mk2 ended up in a ditch in SS2.

Class 5 – Historic Cars

Tom Coughtrie and Ian Fraser took the class win by just 7 seconds in the Mitsubishi Galant VR4 despite a broken engine mounting which was fixed at service. “It cost us time early on,” said Tom, “as it was hampering me trying to get gears.” Grant Inglis and Robert Gray might well have taken the class in their Mk2 but for a puncture in SS4 completing the last two stages with 3 front tyres and one rear. Duncan Ferguson was his ever cheerful self finishing 3rd with Alex Murphy in the Escort BDG ahead of the BMW of Ernie Lee and Patricia Milligan although he claimed to have broken a spring and took it easy through the last three stages. Makes you wonder which side of the car had the broken spring, though, eh? Certainly not Patricia’s. As ever, Ian and Sandy Milne had: “A lovely day out,” said Ian, “although we got a rear puncture in SS4 when I ran over someone’s exhaust in the middle of the road.” Bill Pringle and Stuart Murphy were final class finishers in their Mk1 with Bill admitting: “It’s 25 years since I last did a rally in an Escort.” Arthur MacMillan was going well in the Mk1 till the penultimate stage when a ditch had the audacity to arrest his forward momentum.

Class 6 – FWD Up To 2050cc 16v

Bobby Mitchell was back on class winning form after his three wheeling escapade n Argyll. He and Craig Wallace took the class in their Fiesta ST ahead of the confirmed 2019 Ladies Champion and Class 6 winner Linzi Henderson and Tom Hynd in the Fiesta R2T having done enough to put these two titles beyond reach. However the Junior title will be determined on the final round between Linzi and Jude MacDonald. Johnnie Mackay and Emily Easton-Page finished 3rd in the Fiesta ST although Michael Renton’s progress in the class was halted by a tree in Fetteresso.

Grampian Rally – [Main Report]

Grampian Rally – [Stage Times]

Grampian Classes – [7-11]