… Scottish Borders Hill Rally, Sat/Sun 20/21 November …
The Scottish Borders Hill Rally takes place this weekend at Forrest Estate near St John’s Town of Dalry, but given the current and ongoing Covid restrictions it is not a spectator event and the Service Area is out of bounds to those not wearing organiser provided wristbands.
Which is a pity. Spectating at a Hill Rally can be every bit as entertaining as standing on a banking in a forest watching rally cars, both visually and aurally. For competitors, it provides similar thrills and challenges but without some of the eye watering costs associated with current competitive stage rally car machinery. The downside is that crews will probably end each day of this weekend’s event cold, wet and mucky. On the other hand, Summer hill rallies usually conclude with hot, sweaty and stoor caked participants.
Of course, at the top end of the sport, things can be expensive but nowhere near the cost of world rally cars and their offspring. For this weekend’s hill rally, there is no driving on the public road so no need for MOTs or Vehicle Tax. Car preparation is simplified as there is no need to conform to homologation papers, just build a car to suit the class you wish to enter.
This opens up the scope to choose big capacity, powerful and not too highly stressed engines which will cut down on rebuilds and fit them into purpose or self built chassis with manual or automatic transmissions. There’s no need for trick suspension either, just long travel springs and shock absorbers, because that’s where the fun comes in.
Although the cars will use stretches of ‘standard’ forest road, the route can divert competitors off the smoother surfaces up firebreaks, side roads or through quarries where different tests requiring a different driving technique and accuracy also have to be tackled at speed. Almost anything goes in the Prototype class including big capacity 4, 5 and 6 litre V8s but the Scroots will have to scrutinise these beasts very carefully so don’t skimp on the build!
Now if you think that’s awfy technical there is a Production class where folk can take a standard diesel or petrol Land Rover, fit a cage, and have a go. Fireproof race suits are not mandatory, although advised, and helmets have to conform with current safety requirements. However, seats and belts are not ‘lifed’ like rallying, so as long as they are undamaged and in good order, the Scroots will approve.
Between the Prototype and Production class there are many more categories for ‘Specials’ such as Land Rover derived Tomcats and competition off-road Buggies but there is one guy this weekend who is sure to have ball for not a lot of money, Frazer Williams is back for more with his Suzuki Jimny.
The Entry Fee for this weekend’s 14 Special Stage, 115 mile event is £495! The first car will set off at 10.00am on Saturday morning and should finish around 6.30pm with the second Leg starting at 10.00am on Sunday morning and the first car due home around 2.30pm. And given the time of year, the final two stages on Saturday will be run in the dark, and that adds a whole new dimension to the affair.
If you’re really interested in a closer look at the sport, the best way to get up close is to offer to Marshal. In the meantime I’ll pick up some info this weekend and write a wee feature.
Entry List: 1, Justin Birchall/Andy Powell (Clitheroe/Herefordshire) Lofthouse Freelander M3 evo3, Class E8 2, Anthony Jackson/Rita Tamolina (Bradford/Bradford) Warrior Audi 4200, Class E10 3, Richard Kershaw/Mason Kershaw (Huddersfield/Huddersfield) Lofthouse Freelander, 2, Class E8 4, William Stubbs/Andrew Hill (Nottingham) Milner R5, 0, Class E10 5, Johnnie Drysdale/Tony Rae (Stirling/Edinburgh) Milner R5, 5000, Class E10 6, Mark Jacques/Adam Nicholson (Chester/Chester) Lofthouse LS3, 6200, Class E10 7, Benjamin James Duckworth/Howard Belt (Market Rasen/Market Rasen) Milner LRM-1 V8, 4400, Class E10 8, Rob Bool/Jonathan Koonja (Ilminster/Lancashire) Lofthouse Freelander/BMW, 3, Class E8 9, Wyn williams/Kevin Stubbs (Conwy/Stoke on Trent) Roberts Landrover Mk2, 6200, Class E10 10, Graham Smith/Steffanie Lawton (Skipton) GST 200tdi, 2495, Class E11 11, Jasmine Philpott/Peter Widdop (Diss/Bingley) Warrior 306, 3500, Class E8 12, Gary Bull/Barry Marshall (Rode/Flint) MG Metro 6R4, 3200, Class E8 13, Edd Cobley/Dave Hooper (Corby/Forest of Dean) Defender 110, 3, Class B3 14, Tim Philpott/James West (Norwich/Pudsey) Lofthouse Freelander, 4400, Class E10 15, Phill Bayliss/Lance Murfin (Lincoln) Land Rover Special, 0, Class E9 16, Steve Hill/Peter King (Keighley/Penrith) Simmbughini Indi, 6, Class E10 17, George Bryson/Wallace McKay (Catrine/Dungannon) Warrior Audoo quattro, 3480, Class E8 18, Andrew Miller-Varey/Douglas Scott (Carlisle/Kirkcudbright) Rivet Nissan, 3500, Class E8 19, Mark McNeill/Derek McNeill (Ballynahinch/Ballynahinch) Tomcat 88, 3950, Class E7 20, David Brose/Graeme Morrison (Fraserburgh/Fraserburgh) Land Rover 110, 0, Class A2 21, Jordan Oldbury/Phil Kerfoot (Llandyrnog/Chorley) Landrover Tornado, 4600, Class E9 22, Robert Patton/William Bones (Cloughmills/Cloughmills) Landrover 3m Challenger 88 Inch, 3, Class E11 23, Cameron Crow/Pauline Stevenson (Insch/Strathcarron) Landrover Tomcat, 4, Class E7 24, John Rennie/Ian Gray (Falkirk/Denny) Tomcat 100, 3000, Class E11 25, Paul Chambers/Steve Chambers (Cheltenham/Crumlin) Tomcat 100, 3900, Class E7 26, Clarke Carruthers/Gareth Carruthers (Portglenone/Coleraine) Bowler Tomcat 100, 4600, Class E9 27, Stephen Richards/Kevin Handley (Longridge/Kirkham) Canam Maverick, 900, Class C4 28, Mark Walker/Julie Kathryn Wilkes (Mansfield/Sutton-in-Ashfield) Polaris RZR, 1000, Class C5 29, Timothy Simon/Ben Farmer (Kewstoke/Bradford) Canam Maverick x3, 900, Class C5 30, Steve Carroll/Bill Groves (Bishop Auckland/Durham) Land Rover Freelander, 1800, Class A1 31, Frazer Williams/Ashley Cackett (Shaldon) Suzuki Jimny, 1600, Class B3 32, Andrew Wicklow/Kirsty Wicklow (Glasgow/Glasgow) Landrover Defender 90, 2200, Class A2 33, Richard Wynne Williams/Matthew Lowe (Denbigh/Denbigh) Landrover Defender Bowler, 2200, Class A2 34, Christina Dobloug/John Tomley (Oslo/Wales) Bowler Defender Challenge, 2400, Class A2 35, Allan Crow/Tbc (Perth/Tbc) Land Rover Tomcat, 3, Class E11 36, Paul Richardson/Tbc (Aberdeenshire/Tbc) Land Rover Tomcat 300 TDI, 3, Class E11 37, Benjamin Wettern/Joshua Newton (Lewes/Hexham) Northumberland Tomcat 100, 4600, Class E9 38, George Pollard/Martin Muus (Haddenham/Birmingham) Land Rover Tomcat 100, 2500, Class E11 39, Jerry Allen/Tim Wood (Leeds/Leeds) Polaris RZR Turbo S, 925, Class D6