Thursday 30 June 2016

Rally - Crail craic

B Fraser Esq.

There's never a dull moment at Scottish rallies these days, but what have John Smith beer cans got to do with rallying, or ointment for that matter, but on a more serious note, is Allan Paterson really considered a fire risk? We go behind the scenes at Crail!

Wednesday 29 June 2016

Rally - Charity Drive

In photographic terms, this is not a good photograph. A distant and lone Ford Escort silhouetted against the far horizon. But this is not just any Escort. On that basis perhaps this particular photo has more poignancy than the image might suggest.

Jim McRae was at the wheel and the occasion  was the culmination of a Charity Drive. A couple of months back, Jim agreed to help out the pupils at Hamilton College in Lanarkshire who were raising funds for the Vine Trust. On Friday of this week, a party of college students will travel to Tanzania in East Africa to work alongside local people and tradesmen, and with Vine Trust personnel buying construction materials and building homes, and visiting schools to work with children.

Jim put up six drives for auction and raised over £2400 with Knockhill chipping in another £500. Yesterday, the six auction-bid winners turned up at Knockhill where Jim gave each of them a hurl around the Knockhill rally stage and the race circuit - in both directions!

Initially, Jim had intended to use the Ford Sierra Cosworth but the clutch cable gave out after four folk had enjoyed their trips. That meant the fifth chap was going to be disappointed. Initially he thought that he would get his run in one of the Knockhill Rally School cars, which apparently was still more than acceptable given who his chauffeur would be.

But Jim had other ideas. Just like a good Boy Scout, he had brought two trailers with him. As the chap waited for his ride he noticed that inside the covered trailer was a Mk2. "Oh, good," he thought, then he noticed the names on the window and realised this was not just any Escort Mk2. He was visibly moved. He was not alone. Funny that, how a lump of metal, plastic and rubber can generate such emotion.

True to his word, Jim gave the remaining two folk a run in the Escort plus one young lad from the earlier Sierra runs.

By this time, it was early evening. Knockhill was all but deserted, apart from Knockhill instructor and former Scottish Rally Champion Bob Watson who had been left to lock up. 

There was just that lasting image of a lone machine on the sky-line and a haunting mechanical melody echoing around the empty hillside. Emotional? Very. Strange, eh?

Tuesday 28 June 2016

Rally - Still Game

As you know a certain Mr Bunnet is averse to having his fotie taken in Scottish rallying circles and usually avoids such occasions at all costs, but he was captured at Service last weekend on the RSAC Scottish Rally.

The bold lad was beckoned over to the Pearson's of Duns entourage by a smiling Louise Aitken-Walker, a renowned baker of cakes in the Borders region, hence the big lad's dutiful response no doubt, whereupon he was 'arrested' by two burly service crew members and forced to pose without any word of explanation.

Apparently, the ploy had actually been hatched by one Gina Walker Esquiress. Showing scant regard for her elders or any signs of respect for such upstanding denizens of the sport, this rallying newcomer has taken to calling her esteemed service crew 'Jack' and 'Victor'. In  a similar vein she has started referring to Mr Bunnet by a new nickname - Winston!

The fotie is not very good (thank goodness), it was taken by Louise, but you'll get the idea. That's Billy O'Brien on the left and Colin Atchison on the right who are every bit as upset as Mr Bunnet by this callow youth's disrespectful and inappropriate choice of nicknames.

The trouble is, she's a lovely girl and her Mum bakes exceedingly good cakes!

Monday 27 June 2016

Rally - Fib of the week

It would appear that or the signwriter has made a serious mistake. Stretching credulity beyond belief was this declaration on the side of Rory Young's Fiesta at the weekend. He had rallying's answer to 'Last of the Summer Wine' co-driving for him, one Dave Robson Esq. The duo finished 13th overall with Rory saying that he could have gone faster - but didn't want to wake him up!

Sunday 26 June 2016

Rally - Tip of the Week

Driver Donald and Scroot Gail

How to successfully negotiate the fear and apprehension, wheel shoogling and underbonnet appraisal, Log Book examination and detailed kit inspection of the Scrutineering process and come out a winner with a 'Pass' ticket - Give the Scrutineer a cuddle. It might not work every time, but it can only help.

One other point, the growing practice of greeting friends and colleagues with a kiss on both cheeks as practiced by the French should be avoided - especially from a face full of brush bristle which might have quite the opposite effect!