The 2015 Scottish Championship could be the most hotly contested for some years. David Bogie says he will not do the full championship series, but will concentrate on individual events with a view to contesting Rally Wales GB again later in the year. Euan Thorburn is also looking further afield this year too and will not defend his Scottish title.
According to Shaun Sinclair: "This must be the most open its been for half a dozen years," he said. Shaun will contest the full season this year: "I had a good run on the Galloway Hills despite being rusty, and the first stage tomorrow should suit me - it's fast and wide!"
That's a view shared by Donnie MacDonald who has a newly built engine for the season: It's been on the rolling road and we've driven it on the public road for 250 miles so fingers crossed. The first stage will suit me fine, just knock it into top gear and it's flat all the way - except the end bit. It never catches the sun, so it could be slippy!"
There was no sign of Jock Armstrong (late as usual) this evening and Andrew Gallacher is due to arrive at 1.00 am. The engine was installed in his new Fiesta Evolution at 4.34 am on Wednesday morning and although the build is complete, it's all the detail bits that need finishing.
Mike Faulkner will start as one of the favourites tomorrow but even he says: "There could be up to 14 favourites tomorrow. It's going to be closer than its ever been. We had a test last weekend and tried out our new 4 pot brakes which are much better than the old two pots".
Quintin Milne has a new car having bought Alistair Inglis' Evo5: "It's lighter than my old Evo9 and it has a flatshift, but it only has mechanical diffs so it requires a bit more finesse and feel to drive it on the loose." Fraser Wilson has rebuilt his gearbox but is sticking with Group N till he sees what everyone else is doing and Barry Groundwater has only had his gearbox refettled since last year's superb run on Rally Wales GB. Dougal Brown has bought the ex Wayne Sissons Evo9: "It has a similar engine to my old car but the gearbox, diffs and suspension are all upgrades, plus its a fresher car." He has his sights set on a top six finish tomorrow, but then so do many others.
Throw in the likes of Mark McCulloch (with Dougal Brown's old car), Chris Collie and past Snowman winner Reay MacKay, and it would be a brave or foolish pundit who tried to predict a top three.
Bruce McCombie is looking like a whippet after cutting out bread and crisps while two others have been on a more serious diet. Shaun Sinclair had a bet with Brian Watson. Over the past 6 weeks, Shaun has lost 20 and a half pounds and Brian has lost 20. They called it a draw!
Oh yes, this is the Snowman Rally, and there is a forecast for more snow in the morning, although the majority of the mileage is currently snow-free.