Sunday 15 July 2012

Rally - Sunshine at Kames

The Juniors queue up to start
There’s a huddle of people around Alan Gardiner’s Mki Ford Escort here at Kames at the moment. The rally leader after 8 of today’s 16 stages on the Albar Trophy Rally is still sitting under the service van awning while the other rally leaser Ross Fernie is out there in his Subaru Impreza.

Two rally leaders? That’s only because they have tied on identical times so far, but the pressure is now on Gardiner.

Chris McCallum is holding third place in his MkII from Blair McCulloch in the Nova in fourth. Just chatting to Alex McCulloch at half way, the family Nova is fast approaching 50 events now, and if his counting and his memory were just a wee bit sharper it might even be more. Not bad for fours years of events in the forests and on tarmac.

Graham Bruce is fifth in a Lancer EVO4 from Alistair Cunningham’s Opel Manta.

But one of the big attractions is the Junior 1000 competitors, with en entry of 12 youngsters aged between 14 and 17 years of age competing in 1 litre cars – because there is no public road mileage on this single venue event at the compact Kames complex.

Kames has its own micro-climate - but the sun is out!
And they are all having a ball, but they are fiercely competitive too. 14 year old Alexander Vassallo is a Citroen C1 has just set a top three fastest time overall on the 8th test! Ryan Weston is 25 seconds behind him in a Tooyota Aygo with Harry Marchbank only 3 seconds behind him in Nissan Micra.

It’s obviously a great way to go rallying with lots of Dads helping out sons and daughters and I bumped into Nigel Feeney spectating with his 4 year old who ‘only’ has ten years to wait, but the kid is already ambitious. When  asked what car he wants to drive, he said: “I think I’ll start with a Subaru.”

And here’s the latest, Alan Gardiner’s car has just joined the queue at the stage start, and he’s still within his permitted lateness – Phew!

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