There was a lovely touch at the start of the Mach1 Stages on Saturday when a lone piper appeared at the start of the rally to send off the lead cars, and by gawd he wis guid. Even the Marshals were tapping their feet as the intake and exhaust of the piper mixed with the intake and exhaust notes of the assembled machinery.
The damp wind carried the soul stirring skirl of 'Scotland the Brave' across the vast open expanse of Machrihanish adding its own little touch of magic to the mechanical cacophany in the background.
He wasn't in Highland dress though, so who was this mysterious Blue Stig? When asked why he wasn't wearing the kilt, he answered: "Cos ah'm dae'in the rally!"
The Blue Stig was in fact Andrew Gray who was driving a Peugeot 206. This was his first event as a driver having competed before as a co-driver. Coincidentally, his co-driver for the day, Robert Wood is also a piper, and according to Andrew, there were at least three other pipers competing amongst the crews. At this rate the Scottish Tarmack Championship will soon have its own pipe band.
I can just see Trix now, as a majorette striding out ahead twirling a trolley jack handle as a mace, eh?
Even Davie Hatrick was moved to wipe away a tear!