Well, despite the fact that I was an uninvited 'guest' at this year's Granite City Rally, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. More to the point, the competitors enjoyed the event too and surely that is the main thing. The trouble is, it's not just event sponsors who depend on press and media exposure, rally crews and teams have to justify many of their own budgets to investors and backers. Restrictions on the press can only do long term harm to the sport.
However, there will be a full report in 'Motorsport News' next week, because, had corners been cut and word counts shortened, it would have been the competitors and the rally fans who would have lost out. I'd like to think that 'Motorsport News' is above that kind of thing.
As an action packed day turned out, David Bogie and Kevin Rae put their championship title hopes back on track with a convincing victory on this second round of the ARR Craib Scottish Rally Championship round. Chris Collie scored his best result to date with second place ahead of Mike Faulkner who was both happy and gutted: "I'm pleased with third but gutted to lose out on second place by one second!"
Following Jock Armstrong's retirement due to engine problems, Quintin Milne was holding second going into the final stage, and finished fourth: "I messed up. I was trying to hold on to second but determined not to incur any problems. I just backed off a tiny fraction over eight of the roughest parts with sharp stones in that final stage. There was no problem with the car, I misjudged it. The pace is so hot in Scotland these days that you can't back off, or you'll lose out."
If Donnie MacDonald was pleased with sixth, Reay MacKay was delighted with seventh: "That's my first finish in a year and a half." Nice one Reay.
Provisional Top Ten after SS5 (of 5):
1 David Bogie, 42m 25s
2 Chris Collie, 43m 49s
3 Mike Faulkner, 43m 50s
4 Quintin Milne, 43m 53s
5 Barry Groundwater, 44m 07s
6 Donnie MacDonald, 44m 20s
7 Reay MacKay, 44m 53s
8 Alistair Inglis, 45m 01s
9 Andy Horne, 45m 06s
10 Mark McCulloch, 45m 25s