Monday, 20 May 2019

Rally - A dog's life

The rivalry between Scott Peacock and Niall Cowan reached new heights at the weekend. It is alleged in certain quarters that Peacock Jnr sought to wind up Cowan Jnr by placing one of those nodding dog mascots on the MG's rear parcel shelf so that he could flash his 'brake lights' at him on the road sections. However, the boy was fair flummoxed by the intricacies of the wiring diagram supplied with the kit. It ultimately transpired that the 'dog' supplied with the kit was not the correct model and didn't have the necessary fittings to route the wiring internally and mount it securely on the shelf. Nor did it have the correct 'slot' in which to insert an electrical fuse. It is also worth noting that the physical search by trial and error for such a slot is not to be recommended!

Note: No animal or human being was distressed or harmed in the retelling of this tale.

Saturday, 18 May 2019

Rally - Scottish winners

With victory on today’s RSAC Scottish Rally, David Bogie has equalled Roger Clark’s record of six wins on this event, although David was quite insistent that he doesn’t regard his achievement as being anywhere near equal to Clark’s. “Of course, it’s nice to match that record,” said David, “but the modern event bears no comparison to the challenge that the original week long International posed. I’m just pleased to have won what I regard as my home event.”

Of course he’s right. Back in the day, the ‘Scottish’ was a monster week-long event with 60 or more forest stages, no central servicing and no strict rules on rest periods, crews often having to drive some 18 or 20 hour sections with little in the way of rest, and often in the dark. And remember, there was no central servicing, service crews had to keep pace with them and keep their charges on the road. Rallying back then was as much about endurance as speed.

Today’s event was all about the speed and the biggest loser was Euan Thorburn. Six wins from six rallies so far this year, but this was another day and another rally and he was up against his long time nemesis and ‘bogeyman’. He also had another rival to contend with, Garry Pearson was very much on form this weekend after his woopsie on Speyside.

A smiling Thorburn said: “It’s my own fault. I overshot a downhill hairpin in Ae this morning then stalled it. That cost me big time.” He dropped to 3rd behind Pearson but with two stages to go the battle was still on. Then, “On the start line of the final stage, the sequential shift stopped and I had to switch to manual, then the brake pedal went to the floor!” said Euan, “I couldn’t have driven that last stage any harder.”

It worked, Pearson finished 3rd. “I struggled towards the end,” said Garry, “I thought I drove well on the first four, but the David and Euan seemed to find an extra gear for the last two stages.”

Which left Jock Armstrong in 4th place, while a puncture in SS5 scuppered any hopes of a podium finish. Bruce McCombie scored 5th after a few niggles on the way, and rounding off the top six was John  Wink ahead of Donnie MacDonald, Scott MacBeth the best of the Mitsubishis, Michael Binnie with a burst manifold, and Keith Morris.

Freddie Milne failed to finish when the Fiesta ran wide at a chicane, got on the loose and just got sucked into a ditch.

Roger Chilman was top 2WD in his Mk2 in 12th place o/a, 39 seconds ahead of Iain Wilson. Barry Lindsay was top 1600 runner in his Peugeot 206 although Jude MacDonald can be well chuffed with 2nd in class in his Fabia. Scott Peacock was top 1400 runner in his MG ZR ahead of the MG of Niall Cowan Jnr.

Oh, and one more thing. Sandy Arbuthnott finished, and finished well. There is justice in this world after all, eh?

Top Ten
1, D Bogie, Fabia R5, 40m 14s
2, E Thorburn, Focus WRC, 40m 20s
3, G Pearson, Fiesta R5,  40m 34s
4, J Armstrong, Impreza, 41m 52s
5, B McCombie, Focus WRC, 42m 54s
6, J Wink, i20 R5, 43m 06s
7, D MacDonald, Fiesta R5, 43m 09s
8, S MacBeth, Lancer, 43m 15s
9, M Binnie, Lancer, 45m 14s
10, K Morris, Lancer 45m 24s

Note: Full report in Wednesday’s ‘Motorsport News’ and extensive detailed report to follow in the on-line mag.

Rally - Sympathy

No chance. When Iain Wilson collected Chris Williams from the station in Dumfries yesterday, Chris threw his crutches into the back of the car. This followed an ankle injury some two weeks ago which necessitated the use of such aids. Of course, Iain feigned not to notice, but first chance he got, he lengthened one of the sticks by 4 notches. On Saturday morning ahead of the rally start, Chris generated much mirth amongst the ‘sympathetic’ crew hirpling about lop-sided for some time before he realised that something was up. In such a serious sporting endeavour as a forest rally, isn’t it nice to know that one’s team mates always look out for each other and have their best interests at heart?

Rally - Editorial transport

Much interest was being expressed in the mode of editorial transport this weekend. Not out of any concern for the welfare or wellbeing of your overworked and harassed roving reporter, but in the hope that it would provide an opportunity amongst the considerate masses for some severial slagging following last month’s northerly trip to the Speyside in a diminutive, nuclear green Suzuki Jimny. Nope, this time, the editorial carriage was much more befitting of a gentleman of some standing and repute. The Citroen C5 Aircross is one of life’s serious ‘wafters’. With its high seating position and typically soft and comfortable Citroen suspension, the ride proved extremely cosseting, both on the trip up and down the M74 and the old ‘A74’. Even a trip up the forest road to the test day proved relaxing to the editorial posterior and internal plumbing. Yup, if you want a comfy cruiser with a shoogle-free ride, the C5 Aircross is hard to beat. It also defied the efforts of critics to come up with a reason to ridicule your esteemed and venerable reporter!   

Friday, 17 May 2019

Rally - Capturing the action

Practising stage starts. It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it. Masters of action and composition getting up close and personal to flying chuckies, stanes and flee’in stoor.