Friday, 20 November 2015

Rally - and Motor Racing



Scottish rallying could learn a thing or two from Scottish Motor Racing Club’s ‘Go Motor Racing’ nights. Last night, John Clark Group hosted the second of two events at its Pentland Land Rover dealership at Newbridge, the first one was in Aberdeen on Tuesday night.

And what a turn-out, Dario Franchitti was there and rising star Ciaran Haggerty, also Graham Birrell and John Cleland plus a surprise visitor in the person of Charles Samson, the 1975 and ’77 Scottish Rally Champion, plus many more top and club drivers from the world of Scottish motor racing. It was also good to catch up again with Ecurie Ecosse team leader ‘Big Shooey’McCaig and Graham Brunton who is doing so much to help young Scottish drivers on the British and international scene. Marshals were represented and even MSA scroots to handle any technical enquires.

Keeping it all moving along, Knockhill commentator Duncan Vincent bounded around the showroom like an intoxicated pixie on full volume interviewing guests and drivers. I don’t know what he’s on, but I don’t think there is a medical prescription for it. Maybe he grows his own.

There were also a good few cars on display from karts to single seaters, from saloon cars to sports cars, and all accompanied by team personnel who were happy just to chat or fill-in the curious on the dark arts of motor racing and race-car preparation. In addition, some purveyors of parts, accessories and other equipment were in attendance.

There were also some serious discussions going on in quiet corners of the three-floored showroom and it would appear that Scottish Association of Car Clubs Vice Chair, Pete Weall (for he was there), has hatched a cunning plan. He was seen in deep discussion with quite a few folk including SACC Pres John Cleland and John Clark (himself!) of John Clark Group, and MSA Council Member Bruce Lyle, Rory Bryant from Scottish Motor Sport and Mike Howe from SMRC.

With a wee bit of luck and goodwill perhaps rallying could do something similar to introduce the sport to a new generation and spread the word. Gawd knows it could do with a bit of promotion and positivity!

At its busiest there were well over a 100 folk in the showroom last night and there was a buffet with hot and cold drinks, but what clinched it for me was Harry Simpson’s pies. The renowned Edinburgh based motor racing butcher makes the best pork pies in Scotland and he’s a dab hand now at Scotch pies too. Me? Purely in the interest of quality and taste!







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