… Pendragon Stages Rally, 25th August 2019 …
The 9th round of the Cobble Shop Scottish Tarmack Championship was a scorcher and with temperatures hitting 30 degrees the crews were all up against it, not only with tyre issues but remaining hydrated and cool in the cars. The event had attracted a total of 91 entries, of which 23 were STRC registered.
Stage 1 got off to a flyer, but due to an accident the stage was stopped to allow the rescue and medical teams to attend. Nominal times were given to the majority of the crews. We wish a speedy recovery to the affected crew members.
Four crews were STRC registered two of which were Marshalls, John in the R5 and Robert this time in a Subaru Impreza. Robert was really looking forward to the event and with the tight and twisty sections mixed with long straights it was more suited to the Class 5 Escort that we are more used to seeing him in. John had a mixed day, being held up by a preceding car at times and trying out different settings. The Fiesta R5 also suffered a puncture which destroyed the wing and front bumper on their way to 7th overall and maximum class points in the STRC. Meanwhile Robert Marshall was getting to grips with the Subaru and despite a slow start was using the event as a learning curve on the 4WD machine finishing 31st overall. Alan Wallace in the distinctive green and white Evo had a steady run finishing 44th overall and bagging some more championship points. Harry Chalmers in the Subaru is always a welcome sight on the stages and with some decent times finished 24th Overall and 6th in class on the event.
Three STRC crews took to the stages, namely Alistair Inglis in the Lotus Exige, Colin Gemmell in the Ford Escort and Willie Paterson also in a Ford Escort. Early on Gemmell was setting some stunning stage times and with tyre issues during the day for most crews Colin managed an excellent 4th overall. Alistair was going great guns and commented at service the stages really suited the Lotus and had nothing more to say than “absolutely fantastic” finishing 2nd overall, it looks like Alistair has got the bit between his teeth again. Unfortunately Willie Paterson’s day ended in a ditch on the second last stage but minimal damage to the car so hopefully it won’t be long before its back to its pristine condition.
Five crews take on the Warcop stages with Greg Inglis in the orange Lotus bagging 9th overall, Michael Robertson in the Honda Civic finished 15th overall and not withstanding a decent drive yet again from the youngster what was even more amazing was he forgot to order Route Notes and drove the entire event with no Notes! Respect. Chris McCallum was a welcome returnee in the white Mark 2 Escort and clinched 18th overall. Robert Cumming was in the driver’s seat this time in the Astra and finished in 50th overall. Michael Harbour took a stage max on the last stage but still managed 41st overall.
With 5 championship contenders, Des Campbell had a Nominal time on Stage 1 in the Peugeot then snapped a driveshaft on Stage 2 which meant the Borders team didn’t finish as high up the leader board as hoped but a 37th overall means at least a few points were clinched. Kyle Adam did his championship hopes no harm at all finishing 13th overall and 1st STRC in class 2. Jamie Miller in the C2R2 MAX was having some mechanical issues prior to Stage 1 but overcame them by fitting a new starter motor, thanks due to Des Campbell for coming to the rescue with a spare starter. There was a long delay at the start of Stage 1 due to 9 of the first 30 cars going off or retiring but Jamie couldn’t get into a rhythm at all and was very hot in the car leaving him feeling a bit knackered. The afternoon stages went better but nowhere near the pace of the top class boys to finish 23rd Overall and 5th in class on the event. Ben Wilkinson in the Citroen Saxo retired on stage 6 for reasons unknown. Allan Watt in the other STRC registered Saxo didn’t fare any better and stopped on Stage 4 with overheating issues.
Stephen Bethwaite in the Nova and James Strachan in the Peugeot 106 Stephen kept the foot in all day and this paid off with a 40th overall and 3rd in class on the event, James unfortunately retired after stage 5 with a broken valve spring, despite this the team were upbeat as it was their first time using route notes.
Other Scottish crews
Top seed and previous Pendragon winner Gordon Morrison got a Maximum on the final stage and dropped to 47th place overall, Barry Groundwater retired onnSS3 and Ian Paterson suffered a broken gearbox on SS4 while Billy McClelland cowped the Lancer. James Gibb was also forced out with a broken engine mounting in the Mk2.
And finally, quite a few of the Scottish crews packed up smartly after the rally to head for home – and got stuck in a two and a half hour traffic jam on the A66. Meanwhile Colin Gemmell and Derek Keir had stayed for the prizegiving. Guess who got home first – and felt pretty smug about it!
Top Ten Overall and Class winners
1, Kevin Procter/Patrick Walsh (Ford Fiesta S2000) 1.02.21
2, Alistair Inglis/Colin Inglis (Lotus Exige) 1.04.33
3, Alistair Hutchinson/StJohn Dykes (Renault Clio) 1.05.30
4, Colin Gemmell/Derek Keir (Ford Escort Mk2) 1:05:33
5, Frank Bird/Jack Morton (Ford Focus WRC) 1:06:09
6, Marcus Noble/Helen Noble (Ford Escort Mk2) 1:06:59
7, John Marshall/Scott Crawford (Ford Fiesta R5) 1:07:14
8, Mark Borthwick/Phil Boyle (Ford Escort Mk2) 1:07:19
9, Greg Inglis/Ian Parker (Lotus Exige) 1:07:26
10, Barry Lindsay/Caroline Lodge (Peugeot 106) 1:07:52
Class 1, Stephen Bethwaite/Ann Forster (Vauxhall Nova) 1.15.27
Class 2, Kyle Adam/Gordon Adam (Ford Escort Mk2) 1.09.00
Class 3, Greg Inglis/Ian Parker (Lotus Exige) 1.07.26
Class 4, Colin Gemmell/Derek Keir (Ford Escort Mk2) 1.05.33
Class 5, John Marshall/Scott Crawford (Ford Fiesta R5) 1.07.14