… Coogie Urquhart Snowman Rally, Sat 7th March …
The 2020 KNC Groundworks Scottish Rally Championship gets underway next weekend when the Coogie Urquhart Snowman Rally is flagged of from Fairways Leisure, Castle Heather, Inverness, at 09.00 Hrs on Saturday morning 7th March.
Ahead of the 90 plus crews will be five Special Stages totalling around 43 miles on Forest and Land Scotland gravel roads – but will they be snow-free?
The Snowman is running a wee bit later this year to try and get away from the worst of the wintry weather which has blighted the event over recent years and perhaps to appease the ‘snowflakes’ who don’t like the snow, the ice and the cold!
Over 90 cars and crews are entered and a quick look at the top seeds is very interesting. As the pundits say every year, this could be the most close fought season in years! This time, they might just have a point. Although Jock Armstrong will start as favourite he’s still at the wheel of his Impreza which might not have the pedigree of ‘World’ or R5 cars, but the boy can pedal.
Donnie MacDonald was in pre-season sideways action, finishing 2nd o/a at Knockhill the other weekend, while Freddie Milne and John Wink warmed up at the recent Samsonas Fivemiletown Spring Rally, the opening round of this year’s Northern Irish Gravel Rally series. Wink scored an impressive 7th overall in exalted company while Milne was on the pace over the first 4 (out of 10) stages but had trouble with the car on the next two and parked up in SS7.
Third overall in last year’s Scottish series, the number 4 seed, Michael Binnie will be hoping for better this year but his Lancer is up against some heavy metal and that includes the guy right behind him, Bruce McCombie in the Focus.
Keith Morris finished just off the championship podium last year in 4th place and no doubt he will be joined in the chase for points this year by the fast improving Scott Beattie and the unpredictable Chris Collie. Rounding off the top ten is Andy Horne – in an Impreza!
So if any of you want to pick a winner from that lot, go ahead. I’m keeping my money in my pocket.
If you’re coming to Inverness, best buy a programme so that you can find out where the stages are. These are on sale at various venues around the region.
(If I get any Spect Info, I’ll post it here!)
Bannermans Seat, Inverness
Bitz Garage, Nairn
Charlie’s Cafe, Inverness
Contin Stores, Contin
Contin Filling Station, Inverness
Kingswells Filling Station, Culcabock, Inverness
Ord Filling Station, Muir of Ord
Tore Service Station, Tore
West End Filling Station, Dingwall
Entry List 1, Jock Armstrong/Cameron Fair (Castle Douglas/Lancaster) Subaru Impreza, Class 10 2, Donnie MacDonald/Andrew Falconer (Inverness/Inverness) Ford Fiesta R5, Class 11 3, Freddie Milne/Patrick Walsh (Aberdeen/Aberystwyth) Subaru Impreza WRC, Class 11 4, John Wink/Neil Shanks (Huntly/Elgin) Hyundai i20 R5, Class 11 5, Michael Binnie/Claire Mole (Cornhill-on-Tweed/Duns) Mitsubishi Evo9, Class 9 6, Bruce McCombie/Michael Coutts (Banchory/Torphins) Ford Focus WRC, Class 11 7, Chris Collie/Gary McDonald (Aberdeen/Aberdeen) Mitsubishi Evo6, Class 9 8, Scott Beattie/Paula Swinscoe (Alford/Withnell) Mitsubishi Evo7, Class 10 9, Keith Morris/Terry Mallin (Aberdeen/Motherwell) Mitsubishi Evo9, Class 10 10, Andy Horne/Daniel Forsyth (Inverness/Elgin) Subaru Impreza, Class 9 11, John Morrison/Peter Carstairs (Conon Bridge/St Andrews) Mitsubishi Evo9, Class 10 12, Alan Dickson/Martin Forrest (Glasgow/Bridge of Don) Mitsubishi Evo9, Class 10 14, Simon Hay/Calum Jaffray (Aberdeen/Torphins) Mitsubishi Evo6, Class 9 15, Ross MacDonald/Matthew Johnstone (Conon Bridge/Aberdeen) Mitsubishi Evo9, Class 9 16, Mark McCulloch/Michael Hendry (Dumfries/Archiestown) Ford Escort Mk 2, Class 7 18, Iain Wilson/Chris Williams (Dalbeattie/Millom) Ford Escort Mk 2, Class 8 19, John Rintoul/Ross Hynd (Lower Largo/Fordoun) Ford Fiesta R5, Class 11 20, Paul McErlean/Niall Mckenna (Bellaghy/Draperstown) Ford Escort Mk2, Class 7 21, Brian Ross/Daniel Johnstone (Elgin/Inverness) Mitsubishi Evo8, Class 9 22, Robert Adamson/Jane Nicol (Moscow/Edinburgh) Ford Fiesta R5, Class 11 23, Alasdair Graham/Sinclair Young (Paisley/Inverness) Mitsubishi Evo, Class 9 24, Paddy Munro/David O'Brien (Kyle/Duns) Ford Escort Mk2, Class 4 25, Duncan Campbell/Michael Cruickshank (Mauchline/Crieff) Subaru Impreza, Class 9 26, Kevin Crawford/Andrew Stevenson (Alford/Elgin) Mitsubishi Evo 9, Class 10 27, Ian Forgan/Chris Lees (Lundin Links/Glasgow) Subaru Impreza , Class 10 28, Alasdair John Reid/Donald Urquhart (Muir of Ord/Conon Bridge) Mitsubishi Evo8, Class 9 29, Matthew Calderwood/Phil Sandham (Helensburgh/Carnforth) Mitsubishi Evo7, Class 9 30, Bobby Mitchell/Ewan Lees (Dunbar/Glasgow) Ford Fiesta, Class 6 31, Steven Wood/Mary Wood (Inverness/Inverness) Ford Fiesta RWD, Class 7 32, Tom Coughtrie/Ian Fraser (Ayr/Aros) Mitsubishi Galant VR4, Class 5 33, Robert Thomson/Kyle Mackintosh (Auldearn/Auldearn) Mitsubishi Evo8, Class 10 34, Allan McDowall/Gavin Heseltine (Tarbolton/Gilberdyke) Ford Escort Mk2, Class 8 35, Hugh Brunton/Harry Marchbank (Arbroath/Thornhill) Ford Fiesta R5, Class 11 36, Mark Shaw/Stephen Shaw (Ardgay/Ardgay) Subaru WRC, Class 9 37, Brett McKenzie/Susan Shanks (Elgin/Elgin) Subaru Impreza, Class 9 38, Michael Grant/Graham Kelman (Elgin/Elgin) Subaru Impreza, Class 9 39, Keir Beaton/Iain Thorburn (Inverness/Elgin) Ford Escort Mk2, Class 8 40, Luke McLaren/Craig Wallace (Hamilton/Kirriemuir) Honda Civic R3 , Class 6 41, Mike Moates/Michael Moates (Ellon/Ellon) Subaru Impreza, Class 9 42, John O'Kane/Meghan O'Kane (Kyle/Kyle) Subaru Impreza, Class 9 43, Grant MacRae/Iain MacLeod (Portree/Lairg) Ford Fiesta ST, Class 6 44, Keith Riddick/Mairi Riddick (Haugh of Urr/Dumfries) MG ZR, Class 3 46, Andy Kelly/Robert Campbell (Greenock/Fenwick) Ford Escort Mk1, Class 5 47, Ali MacLeod/Thomas Jefferson (Stornoway/Stornoway) Ford Escort, Class 7 48, James Campbell/Ricky Finlayson (Watten/Inverness) Talbot Sunbeam XFLOW, Class 2 49, Niall Cowan Jnr/Callum Shanks (Auldgirth/Castle Douglas) MG ZR, Class 3 50, Scott Peacock/Robin Neil (Castle Douglas/Haugh of Urr) MG ZR, Class 3 51, Martin Crombie/Andrew Logan (Contin/Inverness) Talbot Sunbeam, Class 4 52, Sandy Arbuthnott/Ian Arbuthnott (Elgin/Forres) Ford Focus, Class 9 53, Jan Budge/Bruce Lindsay (Newbury/Thirsk) Subaru Impreza, Class 9 54, Scott MacDonald/Davie Falconer (Maryburgh/Inverness) Subaru Impreza WRX, Class 9 55, Linzi Henderson/Tom Hynd (Carnwath/Inverbervie) Ford Fiesta R2T, Class 6 56, Alistair Brearley/Paul Barbet (Galashiels/Chester) Ford Escort Mk2, Class 7 57, Alister MacArthur/Claire Tilley (Lochgilphead/Craignure) Talbot Sunbeam, Class 7 58, Craig Smith/Charles Mackenzie (St Boswells/Gairloch) Vauxhall Astra, Class 6 59, Caroline Carslaw/Charley Sayer-Payne (Dunlop/Glasgow) Ford Fiesta R2, Class 3 60, Fraser Smith/Steven Brown (Crosslee/Fort William) Honda Civic, Class 3 61, Donald Brooker/Tony Booth (Ballater/Inverbervie) Subaru Legacy RS, Class 5 62, Ross McSkimming/Paul Gribben (Erskine/Annan) Mitsubishi Evo6, Class 10 63, Rhuaridh Campbell/Shaina Archibald (Kintail/Invermoriston) Ford Sierra Sapphire , Class 8 64, Kevin Downes/Richard Wardle (Malton/Pickering) Mitsubishi Evo8, Class 10 65, Michael Renton/John Shepheard (Alness/Elgin) Subaru Impreza, Class 9 66, Darren McDonald/Alison Horne (Elgin/Inverness) Subaru Impreza GC8, Class 9 67, Johnnie Mackay/Emily Easton-Page (Newburgh/Finzean) Ford Fiesta ST, Class 6 68, Kenny Wood/Gordon Chalmers (Inverness/Inverness) BMW E30, Class 7 69, Kevin Gray/Daniel Christie (Invergordon/Turriff) Suzuki Swift, Class 6 70, Scott McQueen/Andrew Mackinnon (Daviot/Dores) Honda Civic, Class 6 71, Gary Blackmore/Sandy Corrigan (Fort William/Fort William) Subaru Impreza, Class 9 72, Iain Urquhart/Michael Mackenzie (Inverness/Inverness) Mitsubishi Evo5, Class 9 73, Graham Morrison/Steven Edward (Inverness/Tomatin) Subaru Impreza , Class 9 74, Ernie Lee/Patricia Lee (Ellon/Ellon) BMW 325i, Class 5 75, John Brownie/Gordon Ritchie (Inverurie/Stonehaven) Opel Kadett C, Class 7 76, Ron Horne/Steven Kerschat (Nairn/Auldearn) Subaru Impreza, Class 10 77, Graeme Sherry/Eoghan Anderson (Gartcosh/Perth) Subaru Impreza, Class 9 78, Ian Milne/Dawn Milne (Brechin/Brechin) Ford Escort Mk2, Class 5 79, Cailean Mackenzie/Callum Mackenzie (Gairloch/Gairloch) Ford Escort Mk2, Class 3 80, Johnny Mackintosh/Ali MacGregor (Inverness/Inverness) Talbot Sunbeam, Class 4 81, Jonathan MacDonald/Chris Wareham (Glasgow/Glenbarr) Citroen C2 VTS, Class 3 82, Peter Beaton/Fraser MacLeod (Nairn/Daviot) Honda Civic, Class 3 83, Jimmy Jack/John Jack (Conon Bridge/Inverness) Subaru Impreza, Class 9 84, Aileen Forrest/John Forrest (Inverurie/Inverurie) Mitsubishi Evo, Class 9 85, Nikki Addison/Rachel Matheson (Inverness/Beauly) Peugeot 106 GTI , Class 3 86, David McLeod/Eamonn Boyle (Mauchline/Kilmarnock) Chrysler Sunbeam, Class 7 87, Paul McIntosh/Clare MacKenzie (Inverness/Inverness) Ford Focus ST170, Class 6 88, Niall Philips/Curtis Fraser (Inverness/Inverness) Ford Escort 4X4, Class 9 89, Christopher Gillies/Ryan Dougan (Isle of Skye/Broadford) Citroen C2 GT, Class 3 90, Stephen Fraser/Gareth MacMillan (Inverness/Inverness) Vauxhall Nova, Class 3 91, Campbell McColm/John Paterson (Stranraer/Stranraer) Peugeot 106, Class 5 92, Jordan Anderson/Brian Foggo (Inverness/Muir of Ord) Peugeot 306 GTi, Class 6 93, Terry Smith/Kenny Foggo (Inverness/Munlochy) Suzuki Swift, Class 3 94, Donald John MacLeay/TBA (Auchtertyre/??) Ford Mexico Mk1, Class 2 95, David MacLeod/Calum Fraser (Maryburgh/Inverness) Peugeot 106 Gti, Class 3