… Beatson’s Building Supplies Reivers Rally, Sat 29th May …
The McKnight family never seem to have an easy time of it with Mark having the gearbox out overnight to change to fix the clutch slave cylinder for the Reivers plus long spells on the spanners during the week before! But he was rewarded with Greg’s class winning and top 2WD performance on Sunday in the family Escort. With Harry Marchbank on the Notes, the duo finished 17th overall nearly a minute clear of the Mk2 of Gerry Fitzelle and Mark Mason. Peter Jackson and Emily Easton-Page were only 9 seconds behind in 3rd place in the Mk2 despite struggling with a lack of brakes all day, but Peter added: “I just took it slow this morning and then let it loose this afternoon!” Kieran O’Kane and Barry Mcgleenon were 4th in the Opel Ascona with Barry Renwick and Steven Dargan 5th in the Mk2. Chris and Peter McCallum were 6th in the Mk2 but Chris had been spotted in the local Duns pie shop before the rally started! The constantly ‘retiring from rallying’ Gordon Murray was 7th with Philip Sandham in his Mk2 ahead of the Renault Clio R3T of Carl and Rob Tuer after a day learning to swear in French: “We spun it on S1 and SS3, and we’re still trying to learn what a French set-up should be!” First time at the Reivers and only on his second rally, Ben MacDowall was pleased with a finish as he and Alison Horne got the BMW 130i home in 9th – and what a lovely crackle off that exhaust!
There was a surprise in store too for Class 8. Not only did Billy McLelland finish, but he and Chris Robertson won the class in their Mitsubishi, but there was a bit luck involved, or was it skill? “We were catching a car,” said Billy, “and I misheard a Left 5 into Sq Right. We had a wee off but kept it on the road!” The return of Alasdair S Graham and Kenny McGuire was also their time on closed roads with the Evo and they finished just 13 seconds clear of the Subaru Imreza of local crew Ian Baumgart and Sinclair Young in 3rd place. Local boys Max and Callum Redpath were tempted to bring out the Subaru and finished 4th despite spending some quality time in a field in the last stage. On his first closed road rally in 13 years of rallying, Ross Chalmers and Andrew Stevenson finished 5th in their Impreza ahead of the Alan and Greg Stark Evo9 which came out of the last stage with the rear n/s corner showing signs of smacking a post. Orrin McDonnell and Eoghan Anderson struggled a bit with their Subaru Impreza which lost 2nd gear in SS4 and subsequently had selector issues but finished 7th with cries of: “We’ll be back.” Gary Salmon and Warren Scott were 8th in their Subaru ahead of the Jan Budge and Bruce Lindsay Subaru with the Subarus of Bobby MacDonald/Ross Callander and Mike Moates/Gary McDonald 10th and 11th. Tommy Boylan and Weazel Currie didn’t finish, parking their Subaru on the green side of a Fogo hedge as opposed to the black side!
The top five crews in Class 9 – Binnie/Mole, McCulloch/Hendry, Tindall/Davies, MacBeth/Forsyth and Armstrong/Fair all featured in the headline rally report but sixth placed Angus Lawrie and Paul Gribben weren’t far off the mark in their Evo9. They had brake problems in the morning but: “We changed the brake fluid to a better quality product at Service to see if that would help,” said Angus, “the brakes still weren’t right but we gave it a right good go in that last stage!” Lacking recent ‘seat time’ Ross Hunter and Martin Woodcock were 7th in the Evo9 ahead of the Subaru of Joe McKeand with Calum MacPherson having to give his driver hand signals when the intercom failed. Also off the pace on the day were Scott McCombie and Murray Strachan in the Evo6 finishing just ahead of 10th placed Ian Paterson and Michael Cruickshank in the Subaru. Lawrie’s team mate, Willie Paterson with Tom Hynd admitted to two sepaartte ‘wall of death acts on roadside bankings in the Evo9, but finished in one piece just ahead of the Subaru of Stuart and Alice Paterson having caught two cars in the final stage. First time out in the Evo6 and first time at the Reivers, Graeme MacVicar and Andrew Forbes were 13th ahead of the Skoda Fabia of Drew Gallagher and David Crosbie with Drew saying: “I thought I was quick – till I saw everyone else’s times!” On cloud 9 were Aileen and John Forrest on their first closed road event with Aileen beaming and saying: “I loved it!” Final finishers were Billy Cowe and Kirsty Campbelton but the Subaru finished on 3 cylinders and with no 5th gear. It was also Kirsty’s first rally – what an event for a debut, eh?
The top six in Class 10 all featured in the top ten overall led by Thorburn/Beaton, Bogie/Rowan, Roskell/Roughead, Robertson/Loudon, Stone/Connell and Wink/Shanks with Jonathan Mounsey and Richard Wardle having a pre-Mull shakedown in a Fiesta Rally2 with Jonathan adding: “It wants a 6th gear, it’s only geared for 120 in fifth!” Despite one slither up a junction John Marshall and Craig Wallace finished 8th in the Fiesta Rally2 ahead of an annoyed John Rintoul and Ross Hynd in the MINI WRC. Annoyed because John hadn’t realised there was only 10 seconds between him and ‘Bobby Beatson’. Bob Adamson and Will Atkins were 10th in their Fiesta Rally2 ahead of Barry Groundwater and Martin Forrest i the Subaru S11 which suffered from a lack of brakes in the first loop. John Morrison and Peter Carstairs were12th in the Fiesta R5 ahead of Bruce McCombie and Michael Coutts having bad day in the Ford Focus WRC. “The last time we did this event we were in the Puma. I cooked the brakes in SS1 but that was my fault and then the power steering failed in the afternoon loop. That was hard work!” Stuart and Marc Irvine lost time with two broken wheels in the Hyundai Accent WRC and also a spin and a stall in the final stage. Last crew home were Donnie MacDonald and Andrew Falconer in the Fiesta Rally 2 after incurring a maximum in SS2: “We went off in Ayton in the Evo in 2011 and I was that busy looking for it first time through, that guess what? We went off in the very same place again. We shot right across the road and ended up in a farm, the same farm we encountered last time – and you know what? It was the same boys who pushed us out today that pushed us out all those years ago.” Both Hugh Brunton/Drew Sturrock and Murray and Mark Grierson retired their Fiesta R5s with mechanical issues.
Phil Cook and John-Paul Boom, and Benjamin Shackleton and Michael Hurley completed the course in their Land Rover Defender Wolf XD machines but Danny Hedges and Jake Humphrey retired their Wolf in SS4.
Stuart Egglestone needed a bit more puff than his Pinto engined Escort could provide to break into the top ten but he and Brian Hodgson still managed to finish a quite exceptional 24th o/a well clear of 2nd placed Michael Reed and John Millington in their RS2000. David Mcleod and Eamonn Boyle were 3rd in their Chrysler Sunbeam ahead of the Hillman Avenger of Kenny Moore and Fiona Moir.
Just outside the top thirty were Steve Bannister and Callum Atkinson in the Escort Mk2 ahead of the clutchless Escort of Nick Kitching and Andrew Trollope. Ernie and Patricia Lee were 3rd in the BMW 325i with Ernie admitting that he spun the car not once, but twice: “Trish was not amused the first time I spun it but at least she laughed when I did it again!” On other hand, methinks that was not a Covid jag bruise on Ernie’s upper left arm!!
Apparently class winner David Kynaston in the Triumph TR7V8 also had a bruised upper left arm: “Every time I lift, she (Val Thompson) thumps me in the arm!” Chris Cleghorn and Ken Bills finished and earned themselves 2nd in class their Escort RS1800.