11 Dec: JCR – Class Roundup

Jim Clark Rally, 8/9 Nov. 2019

Class Roundup …

With Mum Louise in London for the weekend, there was no ‘parental constraint’ on Gina Walker’s pace as she sped to victory in the 1400cc Class 1 in a borrowed Vauxhall Astra. “I’m loving it,” she said, “we were off into a banking on Fogo but reversed out OK, and we had one BIG moment in Abbey St Bathans in the mud!” Second placed James Thomson thought he was out when smoke appeared from under the bonnet of the Nova: “We didn’t have time to stop as we were due at a Control, so we got our time then stopped to have a look,” said Thomson, ” but it was just the oil cap which had come off.” Stephen Bethwaite was 3rd in class in the Nova while Gavin Lloyd lost out when his Nova spluttered to a halt in the ford at Langton with water in the spark plug wells. He finished 4th. Scott Balgowan retired his Nova with clutch failure and Simon Stewart’s retirement was caused by fuel pump failure in his Corsa.

Only two cars contested Class 2 with Andy Gray and Howard Pridmore winning in their Peugeot 205 ahead of the similar car of all-girl crew Sarah Dunn and Hannah McKillop. This was Sarah’s first run out since Crail 7 years ago and she finished 59th o/a. No bad,eh?

Des Campbell’s Class 3 winning run and 11th overall placing was quite extraordinary given the changeable conditions on the rally and the fact that he was driving his self-prepared 1600cc Peugeot 206. When asked what his secret was, he replied: “Whether it was ice or mud, if I felt the car wriggle, I didn’t lift – I just kept it gaun!” Andrew Turner was 2nd in class in his Honda Civic ahead of recently engaged couple Neil Thompson and Katie Stimpson in their Corsa Kit Car. Carl Tuer salvaged 4th in class after bursting a driveshaft on Friday night and then the throttle sensor failed with 2 stages to go. John Marshall was 5th in his MG ahead on Drew Barker third time out n in his ‘new’ Corsa fitted with demon ‘Time Attack’ tyres! Apparently these tyres are good in both the wet and the dry, but just not on the Jim Clark Rally. Stevie Irwin failed to finish when he smacked the front end of the Nova and damaged the radiator although Jamie Hope managed to finish (albeit some 26 mins behind the class winner) despite smacking the front end of the Peugeot 106 against a chicane bale!

Robbie Pearson was the only finisher in Class 4 in his 205 when Graeme Sherry retired his Peugeot in  SS11.

Steve Bannister won Class 5 in the Mk2 ahead of Malcolm Davey’s Mk1 and 3rd placed Stephen Hall in his Triumph TR4.

Class 6 winner Kev Dunn was lucky to finish when his Honda Civic broke a tooth off 1st gear on the Friday: “I was trying not to use it all day Saturday,” said Kev, “it was clattering away like crazy, but we finished.” Martin Page was 2nd in class in his MINI Cooper S ahead of Graham Roberts in his Rover MG. Johnnie Mackay failed to finish when he took the Fiesta ST hedge trimming and ended up in a field.

Mark McCulloch won Class 7 from the Welsh Doroszczuk brothers (now resident in Scotland) in their Mk2 ahead of the similar car of Norman MacPail. Cameron MacPhail’s bid to join the podium top 3 was halted by a tree. Approaching a square left with a tree on the outside, Cameron hit the brakes which immediately pulled the Mk2 to the right and into the tree, so he claimed a mechanical fault rather than driver error. Sam McFadyen fared a little better. When the Subaru overshot the FF in Langton, it aquaplaned off the road and up a banking but was rescued by the Marshals. He finished 7th in class.

No surprise in Class 8 where David Bogie led the field ahead of James Ford and Keith Robathan. Ross Brusby failed to finish when the Escort clattered the Wedderburn wall having slid off into the ditch on the outside of the bend. But he had already lost time with fuel pump trouble.

Class 9 provided Michael Binnie with the win in his Evo 9 ahead of the Subaru of Max Redpath with Lewis Gallagher’s Evo9 in 3rd place. Garry Pearson lost a bit of time, first timeout in a Mk2, when an engine mounting fractured and had to be welded up at service. Pete Gibson lost out with rear diff failure in his Evo6 saying: “I had a big moment at the Flying Finish in Langton – it was either the gates or off, so I handbraked it to spin it. I think the strain was too much for the diff!”

Ian Forgan won  Class 10 by just 13 seconds from Lee Hastings, although it might well have gone either way as both struck trouble. Lee punctured a tyre on one stage while Ian went a bit further wiping the front and rear bumpers off the Subaru with a lurid spin in Fogo. Making it Imprezas in the first three places was Neil Roske. Nigel Atkinson encountered a rock in the grass and broke a wheel on the Evo9 on Saturday morning but kept going, while Ian Paterson retired his Subaru with head gasket failure. Simon Chapman’s Proton ended its rally in the trees on the other side of a ditch in Abbey St Bathans.

Moffett, Robertson and Hunter led the ‘big’ Class 11 with the Land Rover Freelander of Douglas Dale winning Class 12 from the similar car of Ian Sykes.

Jim Clark Rally – [Main Report]

Jim Clark Rally – [Fastest Stage Times]

Jim Clark Rally - [The Blethers]