… Coogie Urquhart Snowman Rally, 07 Mar, 2020 …
Classes 2 – 8
Class 2 – 2WD Cars – 1451cc to 1650cc 8v
Just two finishers in Class 2 with Donald John and Ross MacLeay taking a pretty convincing win in their Ford Escort Mk1 Mexico from the Peugeot 106 of Campbell McColm and John Paterson. James Campbell failed to finish when he retired his Sunbeam in SS3.
Class 3 – 2WD Cars – 1451cc to 1650cc 16v
Keith and Mairi RIDDICK were comfortable Class 3 winners in their MG ZR, even when their intercom failed on the final stage and “we just tootled along for 4 or 5 miles” said Keith. Fraser Smith and Steven Brown were 2nd in the Honda Civic but none too chuffed when they “got smacked by a passing car!” Pleased as punch were David MacLeod and Calum Fraser getting 3rd in class on their very first rally in their Peugeot 106. Also pleased were Cailean and Callum MacKenzie who were 4th in their Ford Escort Mk2 admitting: “That’s the first time in 16 years the car’s been out of the garage.” The MG ZRs of local rivals Niall Cowan Jnr and Scott Peacock failed to match the third member of the terrible trio (young Riddick who won the class) when they both failed to finish. Niall had trouble early on when he hit a hole hard enough in SS1 to break a sumpguard bolt then had a massive spin in SS3 before a broken gearbox finally stopped play. Scott’s rally was equally fraught and brief: “We locked up on a slippy bit in SS2 and just skidded into a ditch. The front n/s corner was pushed back and we’ve bent the cross member.” Jonathan MacDonald’s Citroen C2 and Peter Beaton’s Honda Civic both ended their rallies in the treacherously slippy first stage while Nikki Addison was going well in the Peugeot till the gear linkage failed in SS4. The third test at Rogie accounted for the Citroen C2 of Christopher Gillies, Stephen Fraser’s Nova and the Suzuki Swift Terry Smith but only after Terry had stopped twice in the first stage to repair a malfunctioning gear selector which eventually failed in the third test.
Class 4 – 2WD CARS up to 2050cc 8v
There were no finishers in this class at all when Paddy Munro’s Escort was eventually pushed into service with a failed alternator, Martin Crombie’s Sunbeam lost its oil pressure and Johnny McIntosh’s Sunbeam had electrical failure.
Class 5 – Historic Rally Cars
Tom Coughtrie and Ian Fraser were the first of the Historic crews in their Mitsubishi Galant VR4 ahead of Donald Brooker and Tony Booth but Tom will have to keep a wary eye on Donald in future as he gets the hang of his ‘new’ Subaru Legacy RS. Ian and Dawn Milne were 3rd in class in the Escort Mk2 with Ian reckoning that this year’s Snowman was the roughest and slipperiest that he’s even seen – and he’s been around a while! Ernie and Patricia LEE were 4th in the BMW 325i which started the rally on 5 cylinders, then went on to 4 and finished again on 5 with Ernie reckoning, his 5 cylinder ‘Audi’ goes better than his 6 cylinder BMW! Andy Kelly’s Mk1 failed to finish ending its rally amidst a healthy crop of wild moorland heather.
Class 6 – FWD Cars – 1651cc to 2050cc 16v
Bobby Mitchell and Ewan Lees had an eventful class win in their Ford Fiesta ST after a puncture near the end of SS4, then hit a rock in SS5 which inflicted another puncture and then the windscreen steamed up (must have been all that heavy breathing, eh?). Johnnie Mackay and Emily Easton-Page were 2nd in their Ford Fiesta ST having a good clean run through the first 4 stages before a massive bump in the final test knocked the tracking out. It’s 32 years since Paul McIntosh last did the Snowman in his Mk1 Escort, but he and Clare MacKenzie were 3rd in the Ford Focus ST170 after an return. The car was cutting out on road sections between the stages but seemed to run OK when working hard and then on the final stage hit a watersplash which caused the interior to mist up very heavily and they couldn’t see. Luke McLaren and Craig Wallace were a disappointed 4th in their Honda Civic. They lost the power steering at the start of SS1 after hitting something the snow but when the water pump drive belt came off in SS2 they had to stop and replaced it with a spare they carried in the car. Linzi Henderson fell victim to the slippery conditions and parked the Fiesta R2T unintentionally in a ditch but Craig Smith’s Astra came off a little bit worse. He was flat in 5th in SS3 when a front strut broke and the wheel overtook the car at which point the car rolled – twice! Jordan Anderson failed to finish too. On his first rally, the Peugeot failed to reach the finish with a dead battery.
Class 7 – RWD CARS – 1651cc to 2050cc 16v
Mark McCulloch and Michael Hendry had to come from behind in their Ford Escort Mk2 to win the class after a puncture on the first stage dropped them to 31st place o/a nearly 2 minutes adrift of the leaders. That pitched Steven and Mary Wood into the class lead in their RWD Ford Fiesta but then Steven blew it in SS2: “I tried too hard. I hit snow, spun and then flooded it trying to re-start it,” he said. That cost him a minute and any chance of class victory. Alister MacArthur and Clare Tilley were lucky to finish 3rd in the Talbot Sunbeam which did the whole of SS5 with no electrics when the alternator failed. Paul McErlean and Niall McKenna were off the pace for the same reason in their Mk2 when their alternator failed and they finished 4th. Alistair Brearley and Paul Barbet Ford Escort Mk2 were going well till the final stage when they burst a front strut and finished the rally with a front wheel at a seriously odd angle -m good job the Polis didn’t spot them driving in! John Brownie and Gordon Ritchie were a lucky 6th in the Opel Kadett Coupe after surviving a snowy 90 in the first stage “but I kept the revs up and got away with it” said John. Final finishers were David McLeod and Eamon Boyle in the Chrysler Sunbeam. Ali McLeod failed to get out of service in the Escort due to a mechanical problem and Kenny Wood’s BMW hit terminal trouble in the final test.
Class 8 – All 2WD Cars over 2050cc
What a run Keir Beaton and Iain Thorburn had finishign11th overall and 1st in class in their Ford Escort Mk2 after hectic last minute scrap with Mark McCulloch who finished 9th o/a. Kei was leading the 2WD brigade going into the last stage but dropped nearly 40 seconds when the rear diff started to fail and he had to nurse it to reach the finish, but what a drive from the youngster. Allan McDowall and Gavin Heseltine were a distant 2nd in their Ford Escort Mk2 after a front puncture in SS4 and then damaged an engine mounting in the final test when they struck something very hard. At least they fared better than Iain Wilson who also punctured a tyre, but he tried to drive out on it: “My own fault, There were 3 miles to go but I thought it’d get away with it. I didn’t. It ripped all the brake lines out and I lost half a disc,” he said. Rhuaridh Campbell was another non-finisher when the Sierra stopped dead in its tracks in SS2.
Snowman – [Report]
Snowman – [Stage Times]
Snowman Classes – [9 – 11]
Snow-balls – [Gossip]