Friday, 29 August 2014

Rally - Scottish Czechs

There's quite a bit of Scottish and British interest in this weekend's ERC round, the Barum Czech Rally Zlin in the Czech Republic, but the bit that made me laugh was the organisers' notes on some of the top international teams taking part, for instance, the Tunnocks World Rally Team.

They featured an interview with Robert Barrable, and added their own insightful comment (and the following is an exact quote): "The team, which name indicates a close relationship with a confection producer, ran through a big change in 2013. Their Škoda Fabia S2000 was replaced with a Ford Fiesta R5 and from the IRC series the squad switched for the WRC2."

It was the words 'confection producer' which got to me. Wars have been started on less. What was it that a certain blue painted famous 'Scot' once said?: "They may take our lives, but they'll never take our teacakes!" Well, it was something along those lines.


Anyway, I don't think it was intentional. A 'confection producer' indeed. Tunnocks is much more than that, but the Czechs won't realise that any criticism of the Scottish diet is likely to arouse hostility. However, they will need to be careful that they don't belittle the producers of such Scottish dietary staples as caramel wafers and shortbread, haggis and Irn Bru, pizza crunch and Co-op loaves -the one with the white bread and black crust! In fact it's just a damn good job they didn't say anything about pies and square sausage, that would have incited a call to arms and more blue paint.

Anyway Robert Barrable and Stuart Loudon run at number 10 in the event with Lancashire's Neil Simpson and our own Claire Mole at 19 in the Skoda Fabia S2000.

Other Brits include top seeds Craig Breen and Martin Scott in the Peugeot 208 T16 with Peugeot team newcomers  Chris Ingram and his furrin co-driver, Gabin Moreau first time out in his Peugeot 208 R2. Chris will compete in the remaining rounds of the FIA ERC Junior Championship the International du Valais Rally (23rd–25th October) in Switzerland and the Tour de Corse in France (6th–8th November.

Another interesting entry comes from JRM who will give its new Group N Subaru WRX STI its competition debut in the hands of Mark Higgins and Carl Williamson and they'll be running at 27.

Elsewhere, the entry includes Alex Parpottas in a Fiesta R2 while Seb Marshall will co-drive for Craig Breen's Peugeot team mate, Kevin Abbring.

Closer to home, the latest round of the Brick & Steel Ecosse Junior 100 Challenge is on tomorrow at Knockhill and features a rather unusual timetable. The rally starts at 3pm and will finish at 8pm. Apparently they get a special rate for circuit use at this time of day. So if you're doing nowt else, pop along and support the youngsters.

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