04 Aug: RSAC – Classes Roundup

 … Dumfries & Galloway RSAC Scottish Rally, Saturday 24th July …

Class Roundup

Class C2, SRC Clubman Category two wheel drive cars from 1451 cc up to 1650 cc

Faither and son duo, Donald and Scott Peacock were obviously just out for a Setterday jaunt with nothing but a cheery wave every time they passed and the occasional shout of  ‘OK’ when pressed for a quote – although ‘the boy’ did manage to shout something unintelligible and no doubt awfy rude. With no other  finishers theirs was an easy class win in the Peugeot 205. Bryan and Scott Gourlay retired their 205 while sitting in the queue to start SS2. When Bryan went to switch on the fan, the electrics went ‘Phut’. And that was it, game over. The rallying debut of newcomers Martyn Erskine and Mark Burgess was rather more dramatic. They appeared back at first service with no windscreen in the Peugeot and scuff marks on bonnet and roof after a roll on the first stage of the day. Lesson 1 – it was still driveable, just.

Class C3, SRC Clubman Category two wheel drive cars from 1651 cc to 2050 cc

Initially things looked ominous for class winners Martin Crombie and Ricky Finlayson when they pushed their Talbot Sunbeam into first service, but it was OK, they had only run out of petrol. But that was just the start of a day spent coping with a car which didn’t like the heat suffering misfires and electrical problems. Jordan Anderson and Clare Mackenzie were lucky to finish 2nd in their Peugeot 306 as Jordan explained: “We resorted to the tactical use of a banking in SS2 to stay on the road”. Tommy Heard and Greg McCutcheon were 3rd in the Escort Mk2 with Allan Smith and Paul Beatson retiring the Honda Civic after it holed its petrol tank.

Class C5, SRC Clubman Category four wheel drive cars

Michael Renton and John Shepheard were a little bit surprised to win the class in their Subaru having passed the class leaders John and Meghan O’Kane stuck in a ditch on the final stage. Until that point they had been troubled with an overheating engine but still finished ahead of the Subaru of Mike and Michael Moates.

Class M2, SRC Modified Category two wheel drive cars up to 1450 cc (sequential gearboxes prohibited)

Niall Cowan Jnr and Callum Shanks were quietly chuffed at the finish having beaten ‘the ol’ man’ to win the class. For his part Niall Cowan Snr with Chris Wareham were debuting the just finished MG3 which Niall has been creating from a new MG3 ‘shell and MG ZR running gear. Both had fairly troublefree outings.

Class M3, SRC Modified Category two wheel drive cars up to 1450 cc not classified in Class M2 (includes any FIA homologated Rally5/Rally4/R2 car (naturally aspirated or Turbo) and any forced induction car up to 1000 cc)

In possibly the drive of the rally, Peter Stewart and Harry Marchbank won the class and finished 18th overall first time out in a Peugeot 208 Rally4. And this despite the hassle of having to go to France to collect the car earlier in the week and then had only 3 runs at the test day in the new machine. At the finish he was so laid back I was sure that was ‘funny fag smoke’ seeping out the windows, not dust! Second in class was faither Richard Stewart with Carin Tait-Logan in another Peugeot 208  but they finished some way behind the bairns. Not so fortunate were Keith Riddick and Mairi Riddick who were holding 2nd in class behind Stewart till they cowped the MG in the final stage. In similar trouble were Ewan Tindall and new co-driver Peredur Davies first time on gravel with the new Fiesta R2T. The dust was getting thicker as they caught a car in SS2 and just missed a bend. The car rolled off the road on to its side. Not too much damage but a new steering rack will be required and a bit of rear axle straightening.

Class M4, SRC Modified Category two wheel drive cars over 1651 cc with eight valves or less

Paddy Munro and David O’Brien were easy class winners in their Escort Mk2 despite a puncture which damaged the suspension and they finished well clear of Jim Sharp and Charlotte McDowall first time out in Jim’s latest acquisition, a Mk2 Escort. Having spent years in Subarus and Mitsubishis, Jim was sometimes at a loss with the rear wheel drive machine on the loose!

Class M5, SRC Modified Category front wheel drive cars from 1651 cc to 2050 cc with more than eight valves (includes any FIA homologated R3 car (naturally aspirated or Turbo) and any forced induction car from 1001 cc to 1600 cc)

Top Juniors on the day as well as class winners were Johnnie Mackay and Emily ‘Esmeralda’ Easton-Page who had a sensible run out in the Fiesta ST after their inversion in Argyll! There was one wee panic in SS2 when the brake pedal went to the floor but this was fixed at service. Bobby Mitchell and Craig Wallace were seeded Car 75 on this 75th RSAC Scottish Rally and they too had brake trouble with their Fiesta ST but still finished 2nd.

Class M6, SRC Modified Category rear wheel drive cars from 1651 cc to 2050 cc with more than eight valves

Rivalling Peter Stewart’s ‘drive of the day’ were Mark McCulloch and Michael Hendry. They finished 13th overall and won the class despite having to back off in SS2. The thick cloying dust had caused Mark to have an asthma attack and he had to reach for his inhaler at the stage finish. And he still won the class by nearly 4 minutes. Steven and Mary Wood were 2nd in the RWD Fiesta having repaired the ravages of their Argyll accident with Jim Robertson and Paul Gribben 3rd in class in their Mk2. Paul Thompson and Callum Atkinson survived a spin on SS1 to finish 4th ahead of Alistair Brearley and Paul Barbet both in Ford Escorts. Rhuaridh Campbell and Shaina Archibald failed to finish when the Sunbeam developed mechanical trouble.

Class M7, SRC Modified Category two wheel drive cars over 2051 cc

Third 2WD car in 20th place overall was the Escort Mk2 of class winners Iain Wilson and Chris Williams, but could they have done any better without their two punctures? Second in class were Jamie McIntyre and Steven Brown having a solid run into 30th place overall, not bad for someone who is more at home on the Mulsanne Straight in a GT sports racer on slicks!

Class M8, SRC Modified Category four wheel drive cars not classified in Class M9 or SRC Pro (Class P1), without a sequential gearbox (including previously homologated FIA Group N 4WD cars). Includes any FIA homologated Rally3 car.

Ian Baumgart and Dave Robson had a fairly clean run in the Impreza winning the class by almost 4 minutes from a chap called Chris Collie having another sporadic run out. With Gary McDonald beside him, Chris was giving the Subaru a run out ahead of his home event, the Grampian but it’s some time since his last ‘sporadic’ outing. Still, 2nd in class was a result ahead of the quick Matt Calderwood and Phil Sandham in an Evo7 with its newly rebuilt engine. Graeme Sherry and Ewan Lees were 4th in the Subaru despite a puncture in the last stage with Graeme saying: “I couldn’t see a *!?*ing thing for the dust and the setting sun”. Duncan Campbell and Michael Cruickshank were 5th in another Subaru with Duncan reporting power steering loss in SS1 and having to do SS2 without it. As he later reflected, ever so slightly out of puff: “We used to be such fit young men – but not now!” In 6th place and becoming an unsettlingly familiar sight at rally finishes these days were Mike Grant and Graham Kelman while John McIlwraith and Heather Grisedale were the final finishers.

Class M9, SRC Modified Category four wheel drive cars homologated in the following classes, or previously homologated; FIA GrpA 4wd cars; FIA Super 2000 cars; FIA R4 cars; All Metro 6R4s and any derivative.

As well as finishing 10th overall Michael Binnie and Claire Mole scored the M9 class win despite having to switch the Lancer’s anti-lag off due to the heat and two punctures along the way. Scott Beattie and Paula Swinscoe were 2nd in the Evo7 ahead of Richard Hill and Paul McGuire in another Lancer. Occasional lorry driver Willie Paterson and Tom Hynd were 4th in an Evo9 ahead of Robert Harkness and Michael Curry in their re-shelled and rebuilt Lancer after its ‘bump’. Paul Collins and Robert Wood were 6th, Aileen and John Forrest 7th with Kevin Crawford and Andrew Stevenson finishing last after a troubled day. Keith Morris and Terry Mallin retired after gearbox trouble on SS2.

Class P1, FIA homologated Rally1/WRC cars and previously homologated FIA Rally2/R5 cars. Any derivative thereof including RHD conversions.

Overall winner David Bogie was also the class winner here from Jock Armstrong, Rory Young and James Wilson. Ian Forgan and Chris ‘Bruce’ Lees finished 12th overall in the Fiesta R5 first time on gravel but was wary of the conditions: “We were waiting to start the final stage behind another car which was still enveloped in dust from the car ahead of him! We nearly missed one Left 5 completely because we couldn’t see but as we passed we saw another car off at the same point.” Robert Adamson and Jane Nicol were final class finishers in the Fiesta R5 whereas Freddie Milne, Bruce McCombie, John Wink, Marty McKenna and Hugh Brunton all retired (see main rally report).

Class SH2, Historic Category 3 cars with multicam engines. Historic Category 4 cars over 1601 cc in compliance with R49.1.5

David Brown with Steve Bielby finished 3rd in class despite an incident in the first stage when the Escort overheated – apparently the fan was wired up the wrong way! In 5th place was commentating’s loss and rallying’s gain (or should that be the other way round?), Andy Kelly and Roy Campbell back out for a run in ‘Walter’ the Mk1 finishing just ahead of Ernie and Patricia Lee in the BMW 325i which was still running the old engine as they await the rebuilt more powerful engine which caused problems in Argyll. Ian and Dawn Milne retired the Escort after SS4, but earlier Ian had been complaining: ” I still feel that bluidy Covid jag in my arm every time I change gear!” Makes you wonder how Dawn puts up with him, eh? Tee Hee.

Class BH4, Historic Category 4b cars over 160cc which comply with R49.1.5 7

One starter, one finisher, Tom Coughtrie and Ian Fraser wheeled the Mitsubishi Galant out for a run through the trees and the dust with Tom commenting: “I did the 50th anniversary RSAC Scottish so I wasn’t going to miss this 75th – and ‘no’ I wasn’t around for the 25th!” he added quickly. And there was I thinking he surely must have been, although ‘the boy Fraze’ certainly wasn’t!

[RSAC Scottish Rally – Main Report]

[RSAC Scottish Rally – Fastest Stage Times]