… Arbroath Stages Rally, 25 Sep 2021 …
Alistair Inglis won the Arbroath Stages Rally to take the lead of the Marshall Construction Scottish Tarmack Rally Championship at the half way point of the six round series. With a somewhat bleary eyed David Coutts alongside the Fiesta R5 pairing were well over a minute clear at the finish.
In second place were Greg Inglis with Ian Parker in the Lotus Exige, but only after a near all-nighter. That was why David was looking a bit bleary eyed as the Lotus needed a new clutch. Apparently the only way this can be done is everything out behind the bulkhead to gain access. They started at 7pm and finished at 1:00 am and that was after a Thursday evening session installing the gearbox and diff in the Fiesta which arrived from Dommie’s at 10pm.
Admittedly everyone mucked in – to a greater or lesser degree! Anyway job done, success achieved.
Completing the podium line up were Des Campbell and Craig Forsyth in a Peugeot 206 which had to be stitched up with plastic ties around the front n/s bodywork. According to the driver the damage had nothing to with bad driving, on the contrary it demonstrated exemplary driving skill. Apparently an earlier car had dislodged a chicane tyre marker in front of the unsighted Peugeot causing Des to take avoiding action.
As far as James Gibb and Charley Sayer Payne were concerned, the Campbell Peugeot was like one of those damn flies you can’t squat dancing around the windscreen in front of your very eyes. It wasn’t for the want of trying though as James’ sometimes over enthusiastic sideways approach to cornering in the BMW E30 might have had more to do with that. Even so, he had to be careful, there were a few pot holes to be avoided on some of chosen ‘racing lines’!
On only their third ever rally, Durham’s Stephen Sawley and Rob Johnson were fifth in their Ford Escort Mk2 beating the Historic spec Escort Mk2 of Richard Wheeler and Martin MacCabe rounding off the top six. Richard was particularly pleased as his Warrior engine is now behaving itself since he rebuilt it himself instead of employing a professional.
in 7th place were Scott McCombie and Murray Strachan who looked to be on course fdor top 6 or maybe top3 finish when disaster struck on the 4th stage. A boost pipe came off the Lancer’s turbo on the start line and they dropped well over a minute to their rivals. Dave McIntyre and Andy Brown were 8th in the Nova having tip toed round the final stage with a broken exhaust bracket and avoiding the potholes. That was down to a driveshaft failure at Mach1 where they had been less careful!
This was Fraser MacNicol and Neil Ross’ second ever single venue rally but did rather better than on their first when they finished 28th o/a at the Mach1. As Fraser observed, conditions here were rather different to what he had been expecting after Campbeltown and perhaps the off-airfield bits suited him better as an ex-forest rallyist and he finished 9th in the Mk2. Rounding off the top ten were Chris McCallum Peter McCallum who got off to a bad start when the Escort stalled on the start line of the opening stage. It wasn’t the engine but his new flat-shift which had failed and the Marshals had to push the car off to the side. A quick flurry of activity and a “fiddle with the connections” restored the beast to life but 3 minutes had been lost. Even so, a 10th place finish has boosted his championship chances.
Ross Auld was in the top six till suspected head gasket failure on the penultimate stage when the Escort dumped all of its water.
Steven Crockett and Kenny Anderson scored the Class 1 victory in their Peugeot 205 with Steven exclaiming: “I got the class, absolutely brilliant, after all the trouble over the years.” Christopher Smith and Amy McCubbin were less than half a minute behind in the Corsa. James and Ian Wilson had little choice but to retire the MG when a lage hole appeared in the block shortly after a loud bang and Kenny Watt and Ella Tyson went out in the first stage with a broken diff in the Mini
As well as 8th o/a McIntyre and Brown scored the Class 2 win ahead of rallying newcomer Alistair Brearley Jnr with Keith Atkinson. Alistair had got himself a Suzuki Swift as lockdown came to an end and debuted the car here but ruined two alloys which earned him two punctures. The alloys had come with the car and they were in fact roadgoing items so a set of proper alloy jobs will be sourced for his next outing. Drew Barker and Shona Hale were going well in the Corsa, perhaps too well, when a wheel dug into a hole and tipped the car over on to its roof. It was a soft roll so it’s only body damage that needs attention.
Archie Swinscoe and Barry Young won the Junior 1000 Rally by 26 seconds from Tom Johnstone and Ian McRae both crews in Skoda Citigos. The competition was quite fraught with less than a minute covering the top four crews after 40 miles of stages.
At the finish, Inglis Snr commented: “That was a tough rally. It was very slippy in places and I had a few spins but I’ll need to go and apologise to James Gibb – I spun right in front of him in the last stage!”
Earlier in the day, Inglis Jnr commented that the car was traumatised after his run on SS2 when he set fastest time beating the ol’man by 7 seconds. That would have gone down well in the after rally family de-brief!
Des Campbell was equally delighted with 3rd place: “Anyone who loves the old Charterhall Stages would love this place – and I loved Charterhall.” Nuff said, eh?
1 Alistair Inglis/David Coutts (Ford Fiesta R5) 53m 45s
2 Greg Inglis/Ian Parker (Lotus Exige)+1m 24s
3 Des Campbell/Craig Forsyth (Peugeot 206) +1m 55s
4 James Gibb/Charley Sayer-Payne (BMW E30) + 2m 46s
5 Stephen Sawley/Rob Johnson (Ford Escort Mk2) +2m 58s
6 Richard Wheeler/Martin MacCabe (Ford Escort Mk2) +3m 14s
7 Scott McCombie/Murray Strachan (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo6) +3m 24s
8 Dave McIntyre/Andy Brown (Vauxhall Nova) +5m 03s
9 Fraser MacNicol/Neil Ross (Ford escort Mk2) +5m 32s
10 Chris McCallum/Peter McCallum (Ford Escort Mk2) +5m 54s
C1: Steven Crockett/Jenny Anderson (Peugeot 205); C2: Des Campbell/Craig Forsyth (Peugeot 206); C3: Stephen Sawley/Rob Johnson (Ford Escort Mk2); C4: Greg Inglis/Ian Parker (Lotus Exige); C5: Alistair Inglis/David Coutts (Ford Fiesta R5)
Junior 1000 Results:
1 Archie Swinscoe/Barry Young (Skoda Citigo) 63m 28s
2 Tom Johnstone/Ian McRae (Skoda Citigo) +26s
3 Max Speed/Alan Gilbert (Peugeot 107) +46s
4 Sam Pattison/Paul Whittaker (Skoda Citigo) +51s
5 Letisha Conn/Ashleigh Morris (Skoda Citigo) +4m 16s
6 Aaron Webster/Neil S Jeffrey (Nissan Micra) +6m 37s
7 Rian Walker/Stuart McBride (Skoda Citigo) +9m 08s
8 Evan Findlay/Gordon Finnie (Peugeot 107) +11m 05s
Top ten after Round 3
1, Alistair Inglis, 77 Points
2, Chris McCallum, 65
3, Kyle Adam, 63
4, James Miller, 62
5, Christopher Smith, 54
6, Gerry Fitzelle, 52
7, Claire Kilmurray, 48
8, Fraser MacNicol, 47
9, Cameron Craig, 44
10, Greg Inglis, 43