No-one will ever know how much time and effort has been put into this year’s Armstrong Galloway Hills Rally which takes place on Sunday. That’s because no-one kept a count of the hours spent, the sweat poured and the arteries tightening under stress. Had they done so, the south west would have been raided by the ‘gangmaster police’ refusing to believe that so few, accomplished so much, with such limited time and resources.
What they have achieved, especially with the Super Special, is quite simply unbelievable. It is a tribute to them and to so many other car clubs, officials, marshals and helpers throughout the country and throughout the year that so many of us can enjoy the best sport in the land.
From Tobermory, Inverness, Elgin and Aberdeen to the north and Duns, Jedburgh, Dumfries and Castle Douglas to the south, with Aberfeldy in the middle, bands of overworked, and unpaid rally enthusiasts roam the countryside continuously thoughout the year. They are seeking out new routes, testing new ideas and spending countless hours on the phone and computer negotiating with local Councils and Forestry folks, land owners and Police forces, not to mention the sport’s governing body, to organise and run these complex and huge events. For what? So that those with a passion to drive fast on demanding roads can do so in safety while deriving so much pleasure and in the process entertaining the rest of us mere earthlings who enjoy watching the spectacle.
On that basis, I urge you all to visit the Super Special on Sunday, at least once, to see what has been created. Almost the entire stage can be seen from the spectator viewpoint. This will be especially suitable for those who have never been to a rally before, a sort of gentle introduction to the dark art of rallying. There is a car park, viewing area and a mobile emporium for the provision of nutritional sustenance - such luxury, just don't expect the same facilities at 'proper' forest stages!
Not only that, the organising team from Solway, Machars and East Ayrshire Car Clubs have produced just about the best Rally Spectator Guide in the business, and it’s free, to download from their website.
And do you know something, I reckon this event could teach a certain other event far to the south next month about accessibility, value for money and sheer spectacle.
Full Spectator Guide available to donwload here:
Other wider information here: