Wednesday, 21 March 2018


Pete Weall and Gerry Potter

The Scottish Association of Car Clubs held its final AGM last night in Bridge of Allan. No don't get carried away, it wasn't that bad, the Association has simply changed its name to the Scottish Association of Motor Sports Clubs which is a much more accurate reflection  of its purpose.

However, many of the old problems remain. Not enough Volunteers, Organisers, Officials and Marshals. If competitors knew just how precarious this position is, then they might just be a bit more appreciative of the efforts of the untold hundreds of mugs, sorry, volunteers around the country who expend so much time and effort on the provision of a whole variety of motor sporting events throughout the year. This is a bigger problem facing the sport than lack of entries.
Russell Fair and Suze Endean

Did you know there are currently 53 car clubs in the Association although 25 of them don't run any events while there are 5 clubs who each run more than 15 events per year?

Anyway, one man's view of last night's proceedings is here for all to read:

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Rally - DCC Stages

Full Entry List for Saturday's 2nd round of the Cobble Shop Scottish Tarmack Championship now in the on-line mag. First car away at 09.00 Hrs at the start of 8 special stages.

Just 3 points separate the top 7 after the first round of this year's series last month at Knockhill, but the gaps should open up a bit after this second round.

Unfortunately, this is a closed-site facility so NO spectators are allowed. Unless you're marshalling, officiating, servicing or competing, then have a long lie-in and look at the Scotresults website for stage by stage progress. All the excuses and gossip will be posted here alter.

Monday, 19 March 2018

Wheelchair Curling

After a weather affected false start to the year's rallying season, there was a change of pace this week - to curling on wheels.

The sponsors of the tenth anniversary Tunnock's Wheelchair Curling Tournament in Hamilton Ice Rink made 'yours truly' an offer he couldn't refuse. With the wheelchair curlers captivating viewers with their skills at the recent Paralympics in South Korea the suggestion was made that this annual domestic competition could provide the ideal introduction to those seeking a new challenge. And so a few Press Releases and photographs were sent out to the local media.

Curling on wheels presents a rather different challenge to its participants. Not only is there no sweeping, but the competitors have to be steadied on the ice with a brakeman or woman otherwise they would sail off backwards as they pushed the stone forwards. Not as easy as it sounds - ice is quite slippy, as rally drivers will have us believe, and the stones are sufficiently heavy to defeat the best efforts of the England Cricket Team over-arm bowlers!

Anyway, the competition got underway this morning and will continue tomorrow (Tuesday) and Wednesday with 3 sessions commencing at 9.00 am and again at 1.00 pm and 3.00 pm.

Opening proceedings was Tunnock's Bakery MD, Boyd Tunnock CBE himself who has taken a personal interest in this competition since it started ten years ago. He welcomed the players and their families and friends and told a wee story which would have had the 'pc brigade' harrumphing in disapproval. But the man could charm the bobble off a woolly hat and everyone fair enjoyed it. Then it was on to the competition with the players being piped on to the ice by a young lady piper. Marvellous, absolutely marvellous.

Naturally, Boyd didn't come alone. He was accompanied by a few boxes of Teacakes and Caramel Wafers which went down a treat.

P.S. It should be pointed out that no biscuits were consumed whilst this was being written and the photographs were being taken!

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Rally - Funeral Arrangements

Iain 'Coogie' Urquhart's funeral service will take place next Thursday 22nd March in the Crown Church (at the junction of Midmills Road and Kingsmills Road) Inverness IV2 3JT at 12.45 Hrs, following which the committal will take place at Glen Convinth cemetery on the A833 south of Kiltarlity and to the north of Drumnadrochit.

Thereafter family and friends will gather in the Kingsmills Hotel, Culcabock Rd, Inverness IV2 3LP.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Iain Urquhart, 1960 - 2018

Scottish rallying has lost yet another loyal supporter and enthusiast. Iain Urquhart passed away suddenly and unexpectedly last Saturday.

A stalwart of Highland Car Club, and long time behind-the-scenes grafter at the Snowman Rally, 'Coogie' became more widely known at events throughout Scotland, and even 'abroad' in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, as an MSA Steward and more recently an MSA Safety Delegate.

Like many of the 'older generation' (he would have been just 58 next month!) he started competing in navigational rallies and autotests before a brief foray into stage rallying navigating for Iain McGilvray in the Peugeot 205 amongst others, but his main focus at the time was creating and establishing his own business, Newton Energy. His background in plumbing and heating led to the creation of this Inverness based company which specialised in renewable energy, heating, plumbing and electrical services.

Those early endeavours severely restricted his leisure time activities which centred around his family and his sport. Thereafter active participation in the sport was replaced with enthusiastic participation in Highland Car Club activities, events and management. That led in 1988 to a four year stint as Clerk of the Course for the Snowman Rally. These skills and experience were then shared with other rallies and organisers and also the Scottish Rally Championship committee.

His expertise was based not on memorising the Blue Book but on practical experience of the various duties required of a rally marshal or official. This ability was also recognised by the MSA who appointed him as a Steward, and more recently an MSA Safety Delegate, a much more onerous task. He was a natural choice for such duty. Rally safety was always a concern and in 2006 he co-authored a report with Ulster Rally's Gary Milligan on behalf of the MSA on 'Safety Cars & Their Duties'.

Yes, he could be stern and strict - but not for long. He was opinionated too, but that was because he always believed his cause was right. And yet, if you had a counter argument, he would listen intently, and consider it carefully, before telling you that you were still wrong. That is, in the unlikely event that you were right!

This was a man who could deliver a stern ticking-off when circumstances required and then take the sting out of it with a quip or a joke - thereby making the lesson all the more memorable because of it.

There was a constant whiff of comic menace and serious frivolity lurking beneath that gruff exterior that could only be contained for so long before erupting in a splurge of laughter.

That was probably the reason he was so well liked by those whose paths he crossed and those who crossed his. Humour was the best form of attack, of engaging with others and of imparting advice, an art which he practiced to perfection.

He was great company whether indulging in serious debate or stupid banter and the jokes and tales were endless. Sadly, his untimely passing means there will now be a quiet corner in Rally HQs and car club gatherings where once the laughter radiated.

The sport's loss is nothing like the loss to his wife Teri and the girls, Louise and Hazel. Our thoughts must be with them and their wider family and friends at this terrible time.