Friday, 31 August 2012

Rally - Merrick tales


Autumn has arrived in Wigtown, it’s getting dark and the lights are on under the Scrutineering marquees.

Amongst the latest cars to arrive is the Ford Focus of Euan Thorburn. To keep his title hopes alive he needs a win tomorrow and a maximum point score so I asked him if he felt any pressure: “No pressure. There’s no plan for tomorrow. We know what we have to do. I think the long stage will be where it’s won or lost, and we’ll be trying.”

He added: “I’ve never done Glentrool this long before and I’m looking forward to it. In fact this will be the longest single forest stage I have ever done, although I’ve done 20 milers over Otterburn before, but that was in the Peugeot and on tarmac.”

When asked what he had done to the car after Speyside, he said: “Just a spanner check. We know the car better now, but I’m under orders. I’m only allowed to use two switches inside the car, one for the diffs and the other for the anti-lag – the go-fast button and the go-faster button!”

David Wilson passed through with the MkII: “When I left home this morning (north of Inverness!) I had a nagging feeling that I had left something behind, but couldn’t think what. All the way down the road it bothered me till we got 6 miles from Dumfries – the MOT! I had forgotten to get it done during the week. Luckily we found a garage in Dumfries that had a cancelled slot so he could fit us in. Naturally, it passed first time.” Anyone who knows the brains behind the Wilson outfit will raise their eyebrows at the use of the word ‘naturally’ in that final sentence.

Had a wee chat with Rachel Medich and Katherine Begg in the ‘Rally2Raise’ Nissan Micra. Rachel uses her rallying activities to raise money for MS, cancer and mystygamus charities and had driven the wee car the full 285 miles from Aberdeen to Wigtown for the rally and will drive it all way back after the rally on Sunday. No trailers for her.

Both Rachel and Katherine are specialist theatre nurses, and Rachel had just come off night shift the night before last to get ready for this weekend’s rally and the long drive south. 

True grit, eh? So if you see them out and about tomorrow, chuck some money their way.

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