Thursday, 19 July 2018

Rally - Tribute Truck

With regard to the 'Blast from the Past' show this Saturday at Inverurie, Alan Wallace revealed that long time rally supporter Ally Shaw will be bringing along his rather unique company vehicle, a Volvo FH tractor unit.

In his day-job, Ally drives for Shotts based Stuart Nicol Transport and has spent a lot of time and effort on his truck which now reflects his wider rallying interest and pays tribute to the world's fastest and most successful rallying family.

If you do get the chance to see it at the Show, the more you look, the more you find, and if you're really nice and wipe your nose and your feet, Ally might even let you look inside.

Painted by Kiaran Davies, a young Welsh artist, some of the images and the details are quite literally breathtaking and thought provoking. And if the hackles on the back of your neck don't tingle, then you are in serious need of a 250v jump-start.

Show - Blast from the Past

Looking for summat to do this weekend?  Family friendly? Take the kids or old folks out for the day? And still get a fix of fumes and adrenaline!

Following the success of their inaugural event last year the organisers have promised something bigger and better this year with the second 'Blast from the Past' show  at the Thainstone Centre in Inverurie from 10am to 4pm this Saturday 21st July.

It is not just a static show with cars, CVs, motorcycles and trade stands, there is a competitive element too with an Autotest on site - the ideal (non-contact, non-damaging) introduction to all forms of motor sport.

The instigator of last year's show and main sponsor again for this year's event is Alan Wallace of Aberdeen based AW Autotech garage services, better known to Scottish rally fans as a front runner on the Scottish Tarmack Rally Championship with his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo6. Unbeknownst to all of youse out there Alan is also a bit of a classic car (and van!) buff himself and will no doubt have one or two automotive nuggets of his own on display. However, as long as he keeps moving, and doesn't stand gabbing in one place too long, he won't be mistaken for the one of the elderly, static exhibits himself!

For full information, check out the website or the Show's FB page:

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Rally - Motorsport News

It was my turn for a column in this week's Motorsport News (out tomorrow). The deadline is always the Sunday night before the Monday printing date, so naturally the column was written and ready to go before I left home for Campbeltown on the Friday. At the last minute, I changed it late on Sunday night, and wrote something else which was inspired by events at last weekend's Mach1 Stages Rally and the previous weekend's F1 showpiece at Silverstone.

Early on Monday morning I checked the overnight email to see if the column had been rejected, or if there were requests for changes, or intimation that some editorial changes had been made. Nothing. That's either good news or bad news. I'll find out tomorrow. And maybe I'll publish the full article here in due course.

Anyway, I reckon Formula 1 is no longer a motor sporting spectacle, it is purely showbusiness, with the emphasis on 'business'. It has about as much in common with 'sport' as a vegan has with a Scotch pie.

So what had I planned for tomorrow's column? Well you'll just have to wait for the next one. That is, unless I have another last minute change of heart again.

There will also be a report from the Mach1 in this week's paper with Jaggy's on-line mag carrying its usual more extensive and detailed report later this week.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Rally - Mach 1 to Edwards

You could measure the extent of Bruce Edwards' rally victory by the thickness of his Darrian's fibreglass. That's because he left a fair chunk of it behind on the final stage of today's Mach 1 Stages Rally.

After Saturday's 8 glorious dry and sunny stages, the final 4 on Sunday were awash, and every time the rain let up, it was just to draw breath and then drop some more.

Running first on the road, Bruce was first to find out where the puddles were and where the grip wasn't. At 70 mph he was heading towards the Merge on the final stage when he went for the brakes, and the Darrian aquaplaned and just took flight. He hit the one tonne bales a glancing blow which whipped of the Darrian's tail and driver's sill as clean as you like.

"It was like a skating rink out there," he said, "the car was a bit skittish without its rear wing, but we had already done enough to keep Gordon at bay."

Try as he might, there was no catching Brucie on Saturday, so Gordon Morrison prayed for rain on the Saturday night. The big surprise was that somebody up there was actually listening to him, because it rained all night and all day Sunday. Each time the Subaru closed the gap a bit, the Darrian opened it up again, and the two finished just 16 seconds apart after 90 miles of stages.

There was a fierce old fecht for third place too with Ian Paterson just edging out Brian Watson to clinch the deal by 9 seconds. "I broke a prop shaft on Saturday," said Ian, "Simon Proud loaned me his spare, but Brian was taking time out of me in the wet." At least until the penultimate test when the Sheriff spun and lost 13 seconds to Ian. He got 3 back on the final test, but it wasn't enough.

Best of the Escorts was Tom Blackwood's bright yellow Mk2 in 5th place just ahead of the mighty Mk1 of Alan Gardner with Colin Gemmell finishing 7th in his Mk2.

The Mitsubishis of James Gibb and Donnie MacDonald tied for 8th place with James quicker on the opening test after Donnie almost got lost between the bales while Alan Wallace rounded off the top ten.

Alistair Inglis failed to finish when the electrics on his Lotus played up, again, but he thinks it's the crank sensor this time and John Rintoul was forced to retire his Fiesta RX when the brake pedal jammed on the floor and the car smacked a bale. Tom Morris managed to fix his Metro's misfire but it was something rather more simple which stopped play. The car misted up in the rain and it was worse than trying to peer through a bathroom window. Given the speeds that the crews were reaching on the day that was considered a wee bit too dangerous to carry on.

Donald Bowness scored a scintillating 11th overall in his 1600 class winning Nova while Cameron Craig took the points in the 14500 class in his Peugeot.

1, Bruce Edwards/Jim Smith (Darrian T9 GTR) 105 mins 18 secs
2, Gordon Morrison/Calum MacPherson (Subaru Impreza) 105m 34s
3, Ian Paterson/Callum Shanks (Subaru Impreza B13) 106m 30s
4, Brian Watson/Sean Donnelly (Subaru Impreza S11 WRC) 106m 39s
5, Tom Blackwood/Gordon Winning  (Ford Escort Mk2) 107m 28s
6, Alan Gardiner/Dave Robson (Ford Escort Mk1) 108m 12s
7, Colin Gemmell/Derek Keir (Ford Escort Mk2) 109m 23s
8, James Gibb/Taylor Gibb (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo9) 109m 59s
9, Donnie MacDonald/Chris Hamill (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo9) 109m 59s
10,  Alan Wallace/Darren Robertson (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo6) 110m 17s

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Rally - Mach1, Day 1

If the sun shines on the righteous, then that must have been a seriously godly bunch gathered under clear blue skies at Machrihanish today for the first half of the Mach1 Stages Rally. After 8 stages totalling 44 miles, the heat-weary drivers and co-drivers and sun-baked service crews headed for food and drink. Primarily drink.

Bruce Edwards and Jim Smith finished the day 38 seconds clear of Gordon Morrison and Calum MacPherson, with both drivers showing signs of heat-stroke as Bruce clambered out of the nuclear roller skate and sank into his old-man’s canvas chair while Gordon spread eagled himself on a towel on the tarmac.

“I had no heat issues on those last two stages,” said Bruce, “but I actually backed off on SS5 and 6 just to save the car a bit.” Of even more concern was the fact that he had to spend money this morning: “I had to buy tyres after the first two stages,” he explained, “the fronts had done 8 events and the rears had done 10, so I really can’t complain.” But of course, he did.

As for Gordon: “That Darrian is just **** .... a wee bit of rain would me good. I had heat issues all day trying to keep the Subaru cool, although the last two stages were better.” Mind you, he might get his wish if the weather gods are to be believed. Rain is forecast for tomorrow.

In third place are Ian Paterson and Calum Shanks having a fierce tussle with Tom Morris and Russell Smith. “We broke a prop shaft on Stage 5,” said Ian, “so I put the call out round the service area and I had folk queuing up to offer me one. Simon Proud loaned me his spare, so that was really good of him.”

23 seconds behind, the Metro was struggling in the heat too: “We had a misfire over the first two stages,” said Tom, “so we changed the spark plugs – one of them was actually rusty. The misfire was still there over the next two so we changed the coil pack. It’s still there but it was actually running better over the final two stages as the clouds came over and temperatures dropped.”

Alan Gardiner is 5th in the mighty Mk1 but only 5 seconds behind him rounding off the top six is Brian Watson in a WRC Impreza.

One of the first to depart the fray was Alistair Inglis, the Lotus afflicted with a return of its electrical problems: “We thought we had found the cause and cured it,” said Alistair, “obviously not!” The car was late arriving for the start of SS1 and then conked out half way round.

Freddie Milne spun his Mk2 on the opening test and dropped down the order and Donnie MacDonald and Tom Blackwood had a coming together on the first stage but it was all resolved quite amicably.

Best drives of the day must be from Donald Bowness and Michael Harbour. Donald is leading the 1600 class in his Nova in 11th place o/a and Michael 14th in his C2 - the pair of them scrapping like two spoiled weans over one tube of Smarties. Although Michael was lucky. Fresh from his rebuild after Leuchars when he cowped it. He nearly did it again this afternoon: “I just rode up on the tyre markers and the car reared up on to 2 wheels. Phew!”

Cameron Craig leads the 1400 brigade in his Peugeot 205 with Innes Mochrie 2nd but only 13 seconds clear of the VW Polo of Martyn Douglas.

Tomorrow there are just 4 stages, but whoppers, totalling 45 miles, so if they thought today was tough, things can only get tougher.

Top Ten:
1, Bruce Edwards, 49m 28s
2, Gordon Morrison, 50m 06s
3, Ian Paterson, 50m 54s
4, Tom Morris, 51m 17s
5, Alan Gardiner, 51m 25s
6, Brian Watson, 51m 48s
7, Donnie MacDonald, 51m 53s
8, Tom Blackwood, 52m 02s
9, Colin Gemmell, 52m 05s
10, Alasdair Graham, 52m 08s