Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Rally - Ongoing debate

An article published here (see link below) on the Blog the night before the Mach1 Stages (12th July) generated quite a bit of discussion. The topic concerned the current state of going rallying and the costs. Just to add to that debate I was talking to a chap at Mach1 who bought a 'ready to rally' logbooked car at the start of the year - then had to spend 3 grand on seats, belts and fire extinguisher which were out of date! And that's on top of his own personal protection suit and helmet which also had to be updated!

Whilst it's right to be concerned about safety and personal protection, someone is taking the mick. Fortunately Motorsport UK is looking at the whole issue of 'lifing' equipment but this is only one cost amongst many which are pricing folk out of the sport and frightening off newcomers. No doubt this is a topic which will be returned to soon!

Previous article here:

Note: The accompanying photos are purely for illustration purposes and not driver or car specific!

Rally - Sun-stroke at Mach1

What is it with cats and kids and boxes? Come Christmas, kids will tear open their presents, ditch the contents and play with the boxes. Imagination knows no bounds as they drive their own rally cars or buses or hide from the grown-ups in their cardboard retreats. It's the same with cats. Leave an empty box lying around and a cat will make a den or secret attack bunker from which they will strike terror into passing dogs and terrified weans. 

On that basis what possesses a grown adult male of supposedly sound mind to get excited about a simple cardboard container? Can it be put down simply to artistic temperament, a desire to be alone or simply the need to make a personal style statement? Or might it simply be a Blue-Peterish desire to make his own Aussie sun protection hat - once he finds enough corks? Whatever. If you do come across this chap around our rallies please be kind, tolerant and understanding. He obviously needs our help and sympathy.

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Rally - Mach 1 Mayhem

Although the top three positions were close at the end of play yesterday for Day 1 of the Mach 1 Stages at Machrihanish, there was an air of expectancy tinged with a touch of certainty as the sun broke cover on Sunday morning at the start of Day 2. But this is rallying, the only certainty in this sport is that nothing is certain till the Final Time Control is reached and clocked in.

And so it was. Tied for second place overall last night were Alistair Inglis and Gordon Morrison but on the second stage this morning, the rear suspension arm in the Montana Subaru snapped as the crew braked for a chicane. They took out the chicane in the ensuing kerfuffle.

The Lotus Exige was now alone in second place, then on the last stage of the day, long time rally leader Bruce Edwards brought proceedings to a premature halt. The Darrian clipped a tyre on the inside of a tight right which promptly flipped the car on to its roof. Fortunately both Bruce and Jim were OK but the stage was red flagged, and then cancelled as the rescue and recovery crews were called in to action.

Inglis was the new leader but John Rintoul was breathing down his neck and even Tom Blackwood fancied a bit of the action. Faster on Stages 10 and 11, any hopes Rintoul had of snatching a last gasp victory on SS12 were scuppered with the cancellation. The two Fiesta R5s therefore finished 2nd and 3rd, sixty one seconds apart!

Colin Gemmell was fourth in the Mk2 ahead of Greg Inglis who had the rear brake and hub of his Lotus repaired overnight with Donnie MacDonald rounding off the top six.

The top ten also lost Ian Paterson and Andy Horne on a very dramatic Sunday finale. Paterson’s Subaru burst a rear brake pipe and Horne’s Darrian lost compression in one cylinder so he switched it off before any further damage was done.

Kyle Adam scored an impressive top ten finish in his class winning 1600 Mk2 with Des Campbell in the Peugeot just outside the top ten. And looking like an Argyll metal midge overfed on Irn Bru, the wee Metro of Innes Mochrie buzzed round the tarmac to score the 1400 class win although Marcus Tinsley was only 4 seconds behind him - until a con rod made a bid for freedom through the Peugeot’s block. It was that sort of rally.

Bruce and Jim’s violent end to an action packed event was the only downer as the sun finally beat down on flocks of peelly waally legs now exposed to the elements from under baggy shorts. What a belter of a rally, good crack, close competition and weather that could tempt Sebastien Loeb to come over for a visit. The again, the competition might just be too hot, even for him.

Leaderboard after Day 2

1, A Inglis/C Inglis, 88m 32s

2, J Rintoul/R Hynd, 88m 49s

3, T Blackwood/G Winning, 89m 50s

4, C Gemmell/R Crozier, 91m 00s

5, G Inglis/S Brown, 91m 23s

6, D MacDonald/C Hamill, 92m 01s

7, A Oldfield/A Morris, 93m 45s

8, A Wallace/D Robertson, 94m 14s

9, K Adam/F Moir, 94m 38s

10, M Grierson/M Grierson, 94m 52s

(Rally Report and photo in next Wednesday’s ‘Motorsport News’ and a longer more detailed report to follow afterwards in Scotland’s on-line rally magazine)

Saturday, 13 July 2019

Rally - An innocent abroad

Minding his own business, Alex Scott from Aberfeldy was having a wee bit of a holiday, camping at Machrihanish last week. On Wednesday he dropped into the Glenbarr shop to buy a paper and a coffee and saw a poster for the rally – Marshals wanted. “I’ll have some of that,” he thought, went down to Machrihanish and next thing you know he was part of the set-up crew and would ‘buddy-up’ with a Marshal for the rally itself. On the Friday, Bruce Edwards was giving some local folks a run in the Darrian at a nearby facility and offered Alex a run. This is a chap who knew nothing about rallying and rally cars till last Wednesday! Having watched other folk trying to get into the thing and extricate themselves afterwards, it was Alex’s turn. He sat on the sill as instructed and managed to swing one leg in but couldn’t manage the other – so he took it off. Job done. At the end of the run he slid on to the sill but had trouble getting his other ‘leg’ out so he took it off and passed it out to Bruce’s crew. The wee girl next in line nearly fainted. Anyway, Alex, sat on the sill re-attached both legs and the job was a good ‘un. In case you think this is an insensitive wee story, Alex was laughing his head off and everyone joined in. Gaun yersel Alex.

Rally - Stars of stage

A couple of regulars from The Clansman dropped in on the Mach 1 Stages. While Gavin and Colin attended the Driver’s Briefing this morning, Gavin’s weans, Andrew and Rachael decorated the rally car. Dead ringers eh, and they didn’t need any additional makeup.