AM Phillip Trucktech Snowman Rally, sat 5th March
Rd01, KNC Groundworks Scottish Rally Championship
Class Roundup, C1 to H2
The VW Polo of Jacob Harlington and Oliver Harlington won the small capacity class by four minutes from the Skoda Favorit of Tommy Sutherland and Ryan Renwick but only after it was allowed to start. When the Polo first rolled up to the gate on Friday evening prior to Scrutineering the Official almost refused it entry thinking that Jacob was a spectator and not a competitor. Admittedly the wee car does look pretty standard from the outside but the fastest 1600cc crew only beat it by 40 seconds or so over 5 stages. Jacob added: “The brakes weren’t too good on the day so we were using the ‘tram lines’ to slow down and we managed to hit 100mph a couple of times in Millbuie, flat out in fifth!” As for the Skoda it was in the hunt for points till the final stage when the brakes started to give it after a day of energetic competition. The MG ZR of Robert Tonge and Sean Newlands failed to last the distance when a cam gear broke.
Martyn Erskine and Kieran Hyslop in their Peugeot 206 were convincing winners of the 1600cc class taking victory by over five minutes from the Peugeot 205 of Andrew Logan and Calum Fraser. Martyn was slowed on the final stage catching the stricken MG ZR of Scott Peacock but Scott pulled over to let him past while Andrew’s 205 struggled on the hills with fuel pump problems especially the final stage where the crew dropped over three minutes. Third in class was the Peugeot 106 of Nikki Addison and Rachel Matheson with Nikki beaming at the Finish line saying: ” I loved that last stage, although I finished it on a puncture.” Even more impressive when you see that her time was only 10 seconds slower than the class winner. David MacLeod and David Falconer failed to finish when their Peugeot 106 broke a driveshaft.
Allan and Sam Smith “just had to follow the ruts” in the final two stages to win the class in their Honda Civic ahead of the Opel Kadett of John Brownie and Gordon Ritchie with John saying: “The rev limiter was working hard in Millbuie – I like to see that at least once in each rally!” Alistair Brearley Snr and Gerry Bryden creaked (that was their joints, not the car) into third place in the Escort. After a slow start in the morning (it’s an age thing!) they got quicker in the afternoon with Alistair getting used to the different power delivery now that he has replaced the fuel injection with twin Webers. Colin Smith and Charles Mackenzie survived a fraught day in the Astra first when a core plug developed a hole on the way to the first stage but managed to borrow a tin of Radweld from the Breakdown crew at the stage start (thanks lads). They managed two stages before it started leaking again so more Radweld was poured in at first service. Fourth in class was hard earned. Liam Richardson and Darren Kennedy were fifth in the Peugeot ahead of the Escort of Robert MacRae and Ross MacRae after tightening up the car’s steering bolts at service. Colin Baxter and Alvin Campbell ended their rally prematurely with the Escort off the road.
First time out in a Subaru Impreza, Jordan Anderson and Clare Mackenzie won their class: “I wasn’t expecting that,” said Jordan, “I was only going to do three rounds, I might do the whole series now!” Mike Moates and Gary McDonald were second in another Subaru and Thomas Rapson with Michael Sutherland were third making completing the Impreza top three. The fourth placed Subaru of Scott MacDonald and Angus MacNeil was delayed by a front n/s puncture in the first test, but they later survived a ‘woopsie’ in SS2: “It was a ‘Right 7 in’, and we didn’t quite make it. The Subaru skipped along a ditch before powering out. If it had been my old Nova, it wouldn’t have come out!” Sandy and Ian Arbuthnott scored a finish and class points in the Subaru engined Ford Focus ahead of the Mitsubishi Evo of Iain Urquhart and Michael Mackenzie after a “great day”. Donald Murray/ Morgan Redpath had a lucky escape when Donald’s foot got caught under the Subaru’s throttle, but without incident and they finished sixth ahead of final class finishers Niall Philips and Michael Moates after a “faultless run” in their Escort 4×4. Cameron Black and John Jack retired the Mazda 323 with head gasket failure while Darren McDonald and Sarah Young retired their Subaru with engine failure. And Mike Grant and Graham Kelman blotted their improving copybook (again!) when the Subaru disappeared over a banking on SS1 – after it struck a large boulder on the inside of a corner.
As the sole entrants in the class David McLeod and Eamon Boyle had an easy time of it on their Chrysler Sunbeam Ti.
With regular co-driver (and son in law) Tony Booth sidelined due to Covid, Donald Brooker had Ewan Lees in the Subaru Legacy scoring a class win over the BMW 325i of Ernie Lee and Patricia Lee. Not finishing this time was the usually reliable Ford Escort of Jim Robertson and Mike Curry with engine failure. Ten miles into SS1: The BDA “started to clatter followed by blue smoke – and yet it was perfect on the rollers on Wednesday!”