… Coogie Urquhart Snowman Rally, 07 Mar, 2020 …
Classe 9 – 11
Class 9 – 4WD Cars not in Class 10 or 11
Rally winners Michael Binnie and Claire Mole were obviously Class 9 winners in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo9 but it was good to see Andy Horne back behind the wheel with Daniel Forsyth giving the BITZ Subaru Impreza a shakedown ahead of anticipated further outings this coming season, but not necessarily in Andy’s hands! Anyway, the boy dun good as they say with a sensible(!) run into 12th place o/a. Another Metro 6R4 refugee was spotted in a Lancer. David Ross has bought the ex Aileen Forrest Lancer Evo5 and with Donnie Ross on the Notes finished an excellent 15th o/a first time out in the car. Matthew Calderwood was pleased with 4th in class running MRF tyres on the Lancer Evo7 which was handling better than last year with its new diff pump as he and Phil Sandham finished 16th o/a. 25 Duncan Campbell and Michael Cruickshank were a wee bit disappointed with 19th o/a in the Subaru after staling at the Hairpin in the first stage and then had a big spin in the next one with Duncan concerned about the car’s handling which will require some investigation. Ross MacDonald and Matthew Johnstone’s appearance in an EVO9 is just a one-off but handed back at the finish with no marks on the car and 21st place on the results sheets. Alasdair Reid and Donald Urquhart were 22nd o/a in the Evo8 having survived a few ‘thumps’ on the final stage with Mike and Michael MOATES well pleased with 24th o/a in the Subaru having reckoned before the rally that a finish in the 20s was his target. Now it would be unkind to mention that the 26th placed crew were getting directions from their service crew about what a rally finish looked like, (but that hasn’t stopped me before), and so it was that Graeme SHERRY and Eoghan Anderson scored an impressive and well earned 26th o/a and 9th in class in the Subaru with young Eoghan having done wel on his first gravel rally. Rounding off the top ten class finishers were John and Meghan O’Kane first time out in their 4WD Subaru although John admitted to “pointing in the wrong direction a few times on the first stage!” Also first time out in a new car, Michael Renton and John Shepheard were 11th in the SUBARU and that despite catching a car in SS1, spinning in SS2, fogetting to switch on the diffs in SS3 and then passed two cars in the final stage. Not bad for the ex- Peugeot 309 driver. Mike Grant and Graham Kelman not only finished but were inside the top 30 in the SUBARU despite a spin on the last stage. Darren CDONALD and Alison Horne finished just outside the top 30, third time out in the IMPREZA with its frsh engine, new g/box and ECU. This was also Scott MACDONALD’s first time out in a new Impreza WRX as he and Davie Falconer finished 14th in class saying the difference between the new car and his Peugeot was “night and day”. He spent the day sensibly changing up early so there’s more to come. Sandy and Ian Arbuthnott lost the huge rear wing of their Ford Focus in SS3 as it sailed off into the undergrowth but finished. Graham Morrison and Steven Edward had a “bum clenching” moment or two in the first stage in a ditch as they approached the Hairpin in their Subaru, but survived, and Mark and Stephen Shaw were 17th in class despite a failing rear diff in their Subaru WRC on the final stage. Jimmy and John Jack’s arrival at the final control was announced with a broken exhaust in the Subaru as they finished 18th. Way down in an unexpected 19th place (and 44th o/a) were Simon Hay and Calum Jaffray in the Lancer: “The car just cut out as we turned into a Left 8 on to a bridge in Rogie,” said Simon, “and it simply wouldn’t re-start. Seven cars passed us before we got going again!” Rounding off the top 20 class finishers were Jan BUDGE and Bruce Lindsay in their SUBARU: “That was a baptism of fire,” said Jan, “this is our first time here at the Snowman and we wondered, what the hell are we doing here in a 300 bhp sledge?” before adding “we’ll be back next year!” Iain URQUHART and Michael MacKenzie were 21st in their Evo5 adding: “Today wasn’t about where we finished – it was about one man!” Final finishers were Aileen and John FORREST first time out in their new ex-McCombie LHD EVO9 with Aileen saying that she was concentrating more on her right hand gear changing than going quick!
Class 10 – GPA 4WD, S2000 & R4 Cars
Just when we thought Jock Armstrong and Cammy Fair had the job done in their Subaru, up pops Michael Binnie with a blinding run through the final stage to take victory. There were no excuses from Jock but a consolation class win instead. Alan Dickson and Martin Forrest were 2nd in class in Evo9 scoring 7th o/a but might have done better had it not been for a bout of brain fade in the opening stage: “We stalled at the Hairpin in SS1,” said Alan, “but then we came to a Right/Left which Martin called out quite clearly and in plenty of time – and I went Right/Right! So I had to stop and reverse out and then get going again.” Ian FORGAN and Chris Lees were going well in the Subaru taking 3rd in class: “I’m chuffed to bits with a top ten finish (8th),” said Ian, “I’m basically a tarmac driver so this is like Christmas. I’ve got a bit of rear wheel steering going on though, a bush on a rear link has gone. It’s helping us round left handers, but not right!” John Morrison and Peter Carstairs were pleased enough with 4th in class and 10th o/a in the Evo9 despite not having been on gravel for 2 years. 5th in class were Kevin CRAWFORD and Andrew Stevenson in the Evo9 after a bad start to the day: “We were well off in the first stage and lost the rear bumper getting back out,” said Kevin, ” and we were off again in SS2, but we stayed on the road for the next ones.” First time in the car for 2 and a half years Robert Thomson with Kyle McIntosh were 6th having stalled twice at the start of both SS3 and 4 while Ross McSkimming and Paul Gribben were having their first run out in the ex-Keith Morris Evo6. Sensible run in treacherous conditions earned them 7th in class ahead of Ronnie Horne and Steven Kerschat in the Subaru. Final class finishers were Kevin Downes and Richard Wardle in the Evo8 who had a puncture early on and had to repair a diff pump at 2nd service which had failed. Neither Scott Beattie or Keith Morris made it to the finish.
Class 11 – WRC CARS & R5 Cars
Milne, MacDonald and Wink were the Class 11 leaders ahead of Bruce McCombie with John Rintoul and Ross Hynd taking 5th in class in the Fiesta R5 with John more relieved than delighted having been struggling with a very painful shoulder all day while Hugh Brunton and Harry Marchbank will be worth a watch in future. Third time out in a Ford Fiesta R5 the rallying newcomer was going well after hitting a memorial bench on the first stage which smacked the rear o/s corner and then later stalled in the stage. Bob Adamson failed to finish after striking a rock with the front n/s corner taking the wheel off.
Snowman – [Report]
Snowman – [Stage Times]
Snowman Classes – [2 – 8]
Snow-balls – [Gossip]