Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Rally - Biggles in Duns

No, it’s not Biggles, it’s only double British Touring Car Champion, John Cleland. Although an accomplished BTCC racer (and inadvertent, unintentional, entirely innocent mobile panel beater) JC did undertake a full season of rallying way back in the mid 70s between racing commitments. And in that year his main claim to fame was that he knocked down more trees than the Forestry Commission.

Anyway, that’s his rallying credentials established so it’s only fitting that he is leading the parade through Duns ahead of the rally cars on Friday evening. The organisers of the Jim Clark and Reivers Rallies have really gone to town this year, and in the lull between the Road being officially closed at 5pm and the first rally car officially starting the event at 7pm there will be a parade of historic and iconic cars.

John Cleland will lead the parade in his D Type Jaguar followed by Nick Rossi (from Hexham) in his C Type Jaguar. Representing Knockhill Race Circuit, will be the 1971 Scottish Rally Champion, Bob Watson who will drive one of the circuit’s ‘E Type Experience’ cars, a 1967 series 1 Jaguar E Type.

Adding a touch more motoring history and mechanical glamour will be members of the Vintage & Veteran Sports Car Clubs whose members will be driving a variety of historic cars, from a 1919 Lagonda to a 1976 Ecosse Hillman Imp.

And bringing the whole show to a conclusion, former Mitsubishi Rally Team Manager and local farmer, Andrew Cowan has allowed Michael Deans to drive Tommi Makkinen’s World Rally Championship winning Mitsubishi Lancer.

In other words a gentle motoring warm-up ahead of the ear-bashing, eyeball searing stuff that is rallying in the streets and closed public roads. All I need now is a ‘double cone 99’ out of the cafe in the Square and a front row seat.


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