Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Rally - Be inspired

It’s not been a good year for rallying. There have been personal tragedies and sporting difficulties to face and endure, and there are times when we all question what we’re doing. For despite all the efforts of those who organise and participate in sports events, and ensure they are safe while striving to keep others safe, accidents will inevitably happen. We all cope in different ways, some walk away from the sport, while others try harder to make it better.

Inevitably, some will question why we do it, and the older we get the harder it is to answer.

Last night I got a phone call from 16 year old Ally Currie who has entered this year’s Mull Rally in October. Yup, you’re way ahead of me - he’s only 16, but his 17th birthday is on Friday 10th October. He’ll be out of bed like a burst spring on Friday morning to drive his Peugeot 106 down to Scrutineering on Friday afternoon and then on to the start ramp later that evening.

Not possible you might think, but this lad has petrol pumping through his veins and gears between his ears. In fact he ‘spectated’ on his first Tour of Mull Rally when he was only a few days old with his Mum at the foot of their garden by the roadside and he’s been steeped in the sport ever since.

He has been competing in the 14-17 year old Brick & Steel Junior Challenge up here when time and budget allows so he’s already quite experienced. Naturally, he has completed his BARS course and has a Competition Licence. More recently he went over to the Isle of Man and “spent a fortune” on a 12 hour intensive driving course and passed his Driving Test first time. That earned him a full Driving Licence – at 16 years of age.

Come the 10th of October he will be legally entitled (at 17 years of age) to drive on UK roads on his IoM Licence. I think that will make him the youngest ever MSA Competition Licence holder to start a ‘senior’ event. How’s that for dedication and forward thinking?

He’s working all the hours he can get at his job with Inverlussa Marine on the island and then going home to work on his car. He’s also working hard to generate sufficient sponsorship to cover the costs and expenses, but he’ll be there.

And that’s why the sport will endure. And that’s what keeps us coming back for more. Be inspired? You betcha.

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