24 Aug: Grampian Classes C1-M6

…Voyonic Grampian Stages Rally, Sat 13 Aug 2022 …  

Rd6 (of 8) 2022 KNC Groundworks Scottish Rally Championship

Class Roundup


According to class winners, Robert Tonge and James Hudson, their MG ZR finished the rally with a beach in the back due to the amount of stoor found its way through all the cracks and crevices of one of Longbridge’s finest automotive achievements and they finished well clear of the Skoda Fabia of Murray Mackay and Andrew Macaskill.


Chris Baillie and Brian Foggo were the sole finishers and therefore class winners when all around fell by the wayside. David and Danny Sutherland were first to go when their Peugeot 205 slid off the road, rode up a banking and bellied out in Drumtochty, where it stayed stuck fast until the Recovery crew came along. They were followed shortly afterwards by Martyn Erskine and Kieran Hyslop when the Peugeot 206’s engine blew up. Whether it has something to do with listening to Dangerous Des’ pre-rally advice about “giving it the revs” had something to with this or not we’re not entirely sure!


Colin Patterson Gary Clark won the class in their Ford Escort Mk2 by only 14 seconds from the Opel Kadett of John Brownie and Daniel Christie while the Opel Manta of Graeme Sherry and Ewan Lees went AWOL in the first stage when the transmission failed while the Focus ST of  Greg Grant and Emma Cooper expired in SS3. Craig Smith and Charles Mackenzie didn’t finish either when the Astra snapped a clutch cable in SS2 and then broke a driveshaft.


There is something far wrong here, Mike Moates and Gary McDonald won their class – again! The Subaru pairing finished over half a minute clear of the similar car of Thomas Rapson and Michel Sutherland while Matthew Thomson and Ian Graham were lucky to finish 3rd when they heard a hissing noise from under the bonnet. Turns out a water pipe running under and behind the Subaru’s manifold was leaking and they couldn’t reach it so filled it up with Radweld and hoped for the best. Darren McDonald and Sarah Young were 4th ahead of Gareth and Kenneth Dalgliesh with Iain Urquhart and Michael Mackenzie 6th in class who finished the rally with half an exhaust after smacking a hay bale chicane. Cameron Black and John Jack in the Subaru dominated class were 7th in the Mazda 323 but would have done a lot better had they not had to stop a change a punctured tyre on SS2 and narrowly avoided ending up on their roof in SS4. Neil and Ian Philip were the final finishers when Alan Wallace and Martin Forrest retired the Lancer Evo7 in SS3.


Keith and Mairi Riddick were again the class act of Class M2 wining by over a minute in the MG ZR, but young Robert Proudlock with Steven Brown continues to impress on only his 6th rally in the Vauxhall Adam in a secure 2nd place ahead of Scott Peacock and Craig Wallace in an MG ZR which needed ‘extensive surgery’ to reach the finish. Apparently the engine was running too hot so more throughflow air was needed and after much discussion which ranged from raising the bonnet to hacking the front bumper, they simply cut off the bottom two corners of the number plate. Job done. Meghan and John O’Kane’s pre-rally rituals are becoming more bizarre but they seem to be working as they finished 4th in class. Apparently, the simple practice of eating a ‘lucky’ banana before each rally is no longer sufficient. Meghan’s penchant for banana hats has extended to Johnnie MacKay who was spotted wearing one as well and they now carry a wholesaler’s bulk boxed supply of banana sweets. Terry Smith and Kenny Foggo finished 5th in the Suzuki Swift ahead of Ashleigh Morris and Martin Haggett who had a torrid day in the Fiesta R200. It started with a rear puncture in SS2, a later ‘straight-on’ at a 90L junction where an earlier car had removed the tape and then smacked a rock with the front o/s corner on SS4 leaving the Fiesta R200 battered and bruised but still driving. Unfortunately Justin Gunning and Steven Clark fared even worse when a trapped rock punctured an alloy wheel rim causing the tyre to deflate and the Fiesta R2 slid off the road and down a banking and that was after setting second fastest time in the class in the longest stage of the rally!


John Crawford and Josh Davidson were in class winning form again in their Escort Mk2 finishing over a minute and a half clear of the Mk2 of Paddy Munro and Dave O’Brien. Despite a lack of seat time recently, Dougal Brown and Lewis Rochford were on the pace in their Mk2 until a puncture in SS3 forced them to have to stop and change it – then the power steering module fell out! Jim McDowall and Shona Hale were 4th, their only concern was that the heat was melting Shona’s jelly babies into a solid jelly mass inside the packet! Mind you, Jim did admit to one overshoot when he tried to reach a loose jelly baby on the floor – a little bit of grit always makes it taste better, eh? Roo Campbell and Shaina Archibald were 5th in the Sunbeam ahead of Graeme and Kyle Morrison in their Mk2 with the Sunbeam of Jimmy Jack and John Shepheard bringing up the rear but losing out on their personal battle with Roo.


Allan McDowall and Mark Casey had an excellent run into 21st overall with a class win in their Ford Escort Mk2 with Brian Ross and Jamie Mactavish not too far behind and still adjusting to 2WD in their Mk2. In fact, Brian’s was a late entry having to source the bits and repair the Speyside broken stub axle and then Jamie arrived at the rally on the Friday evening at 11pm, at which point Brian thrust the Route Notes at him! Some prep, eh? David Wilson and Michael Moates were on sparkling form once again hurling the BMW Compact through the stoor until the head gasket failed in SS4. David suspected it was going in SS3 and tried to nurse it through SS4 to reach service, but no luck. And from class winners last time out to the ignominy of non-finishing this time Gordon Murray and Michael Cruickshank retired the Escort in the final stage with mechanical problems.


“I’ve found a new technique,” said Simon Hay who hasn’t been out for a while, “I’ve asked Calum (Jaffray) to keep reading the Notes late. When I did get a late Note I found I was still getting round the corners, which means that I must have been slow in to the others!” Orrin McDonnell and Eoghan Anderson were only 9 seconds behind their Evo6 in their Subaru  despite losing the front  bumper in SS2 and bending the straight brake pedal rod into an S shape.

[Main report]

[Fastest Stage Times]

[Classes M7 to BRC4]