23 Aug: Grampian Classes M9 – SH2

 … Grampian Forest Rally, 14 August, 2021 …

Class Roundup (M9 to SH2) …

M9 – Modified 4WD homologated in the following Classes, or previously homologated as such, providing these run as per their homologation papers: FIA Homologated GpA Four Wheel Drive cars, FIA Homologated Super 2000 cars FIA Homologated R4 cars All Metro 6R4’s and any derivative

Another rally, another class win for Michael Binnie and Claire Mole in the Lancer Evo9 and a superb 16th overall with little in the way of trouble, just running out of tyres. Making a rare appearance were Scott MacBeth and Dan Forsyth with Scott complaining that he was a bit rusty. Even so, the speed wasn’t far away and they finished 2nd in class in their Evo9. Also claiming ‘personal rust’ was a problem was Scott Beattie who finished 3rd with Paula Swinscoe in their Evo7. Trevor Gamble and Ron Roughead were 4th in a Fiesta R5 ahead of the Evo6 of Scott McCombie and Mark Fisher which lost time with a puncture in SS2. Having completely rebuilt the rear suspension  of his Lancer since the Scottish, Kevin Crawford and Andrew Stevenson were pleasantly surprised to find the car handled much better, so it was obviously due a rebuild and they rounded off the top six points finishers. Bob Harkness and Mike Curry were 7th after a troubled day with a gear selector display which wasn’t working and they were never sure what gear the Lancer was in. They also had  a problem with the rear diff causing the car to fishtail on the straights. Stuart and Marc Irvine wheeled out their Lancer once again and finished 8th while Stuart and Marc Irvine might have done better had the Lancer not gone off in the first stage. As Stuart explained: “Marc was shouting Right8 – and I still went off!” Ronnie Horne and James MacTavish were 9th in the Subaru ahead of the Evo9 of Aileen and John Forrest but Aileen had to drive one and a half stages with no brakes causing John to observe: “That’s the best she’s ever driven!” Final finishers were Alan Wallace and Darren Robertson in a ‘new to them’ Evo7 although Alan still has the Evo6 for tarmac events and said: “We’re not quick, but we’re having fun.” Willie Paterson and Keith Morris both failed to finish (see main report) while Paul Collins and Robert Wood departed the fray in rather more spectacular fashion, parking the Subaru upside down in the middle of the road. There was little by the way of sympathy when he drove the battered car back to service but he took the banter in good part – although the car will require more than a new roofskin.

P1 – FIA Homologated Rally1/WRC cars and cars previously homologated as such and FIA Homologated Rally2/R5 cars and any derivative thereof including RHD conversions

Filling the first 7 places in the P1 class were Pearson, Armstrong, Petch, Payne, Milne, Jennings and Bruce McCombie with Ian Forgan and Chris Lees taking 8th as they adjusted to and revelled in the Fiesta R5’s performance. “I made a mistake on every corner,” said Forgy, “but I was fast on the straights.” John Rintoul and Ross Hynd were 14th in class in their Fiesta R5 and spent the day trying out different makes of tyre. John Morrison and Peter Carstairs are still adjusting to their new Fiesta R5 with John commenting it reminds him of the old MV Suilven ferry which operated on the Ullapool to Stornoway route the way the Fiesta rears up on acceleration and nosedives on braking, just like the old ferry riding up and down the waves on a stormy crossing. Just 2 seconds behind Morrison were Bob Adamson and Jane Nicol in their Fiesta R5 with Hugh Brunton and Drew Sturrock the final class finishers in another Fiesta R5.

SH1 – Historic category 1 and 2 cars. Historic category 3 cars with single cam engines Historic category 4 cars up to 1600cc

Andy Kelly and Roy Campbell won the class in ‘Walter’ the Mk1 Ford Escort finishing over half a minute clear of the Isle of Man crew Martin Freestone and Rory McCann in another Escort. Stuart McLaren had his second run out since he stopped rallying in 1998 having acquired a Group 1 spec Opel Kadett. He had a couple of one-offs during his time out, but this year has been doing the National Cup series in the BRC. He and Eoghan Anderson therefore scored good points with 3rd in class and 2nd BRC. Kevin Maguire and Karen MacLeod completed the finishers with their Hillman Avenger.

SH2 – Historic category 3 cars with multicam engines. Historic category 4 cars over 1601cc in compliance with R49.1.5

Northern Ireland’s Michael McDaid and Declan Casey won the class in their Escort Mk2 from the Subaru Legacy of Donald Brooker and Tony Booth with Ernie and Patricia Lee 3rd in the BMW 325i. Tom Coughtrie and Ian Fraser suffered a rare retirement with the Mitsubishi Galant when the clutch failed and Ian and Sandy Milne had a mechanical failure in their Escort Mk2.

[Grampian Rally – Main Report]

[Grampian Rally – Stage Times]

[Grampian Rally – Classes C3 to M8]