Wednesday 29 March 2017

Rally - DCC Stages

Full entry list for this weekend's two rallies at Ingliston now in the on-line mag. On Saturday Round 2 of the Blackwood Plant Hire Tarmack Championship gets underway at 9.00 while on Sunday the Juniors take to the track for the opening round of the J1000 Ecosse series commencing 9.30 am. Unfortunately this is a non-spectator event so you'll either have to compete, officiate, marshal or service. On the other hand there will be a full-colour report on proceedings in the on-line mag next week. So tell your pals where to find the info.

And the pic? Well, even rally folks are fashion conscious, mixing and matching personal and automotive colour schemes with elegance, style and panache! Now where are my suede boots with the wooden heels?

Friday 24 March 2017

Rally - Border banter

Things appear to be getting serious in this year's ARR Craib Scottish Rally Championship. The News & Gossip from the Brick & Steel Border Counties are now on-line, but there are fewer funny tales and less juicy gossip as the competition gets fiercer - apart from Messrs McClory & Hood of course! And remember the line from that old song written by Noel Coward - 'Don't put your daughter on the stage'? Well, Fraser Louden may have cause to rue his decision to introduce his daughter to the delights and attractions of 'stage' rallying.

Thursday 23 March 2017

Rally - Border Classes

Full roundup of all the classes from the weekend's Brick & Steel Border Counties Rally now on-line - just the News and Blethers to come now.

Wednesday 22 March 2017

Rally - Border Counties

The world's most comprehensive report on the Brick & Steel Border Counties Rally is now on-line. This will be followed by the world's most comprehensive Class round-up tomorrow (Thursday) and the world's most extensive news round-up from the world's most prestigious Scottish stage rally championship on Friday.  Exaggeration? Nope, it's all perfectly true and it's all written by the world's longest suffering Scottish rally journalist - well there is only one. And if you save it all up for the weekend, you'd best settle in for a long read.

Sunday 19 March 2017

Rally - Clowning around

A light hearted look back at Saturday's Border Counties ... You can tell the Clone Motor Sport team don't get out much. The boys from the deep south west enjoyed the sights and sounds of the big city of Jedburgh and indulged in a bit of culture at the 12th century Jedburgh Abbey. It was pointed out to me, that given their propensity for cavorting on high walls, it's a good job they have their own Funeral Director with them! Meanwhile to the east of Clone County, Mark McCulloch surveyed the after effects of what turned out to be a lucky 'hit'. Having tackled a flat crest rather too enthusiastically, the ensuing hundred yard see-sawing sort-out from lock to lock was effectively curtailed and straightened out by striking a handy banking. Naturally this had nothing to do with sheer luck and jamminess, as it was claimed to be under perfect control at all times relying on pure skill and talent.

Duncan MacDonald had some new 'artwork' with a warning to spectators on the rear end of his awfy smart Escort boldly promoting his prowess as a rally driver. Naturally, he claimed to know nothing about it till he got to Scrutineering. It was alleged that it was applied before the rally unbeknownst to his good self! Also sporting some new artwork was Freddie Milne. The Lancer has a picture of 'Ziggi the Wolf' on the bonnet, this toothsome fiercesome creature belonging to girlfriend Abi. Also spotted doing a bit of flag waving was QueeNicola's new standard bearer supporting the cause. If he's on her side, then the Union is safe!

And finally, Rory Young was spotted kissing the lucky boots and paying homage to the rally winner who had other things on his mind, like trying to join the Royal British Legion Pipe Band as their new drummer! Fortunately for those of us who have an ear for music and appreciate the difference between a good tune and a fearful din, he failed his audition and his application was rejected. 

Cultural exchange

Look at the eedjits!


A bold claim

Beware the wolf

First Minister in waiting?

All hail, the boots, the boots!

Gie's a shot o' yer fiddlesticks Mister - Nae chance!

Saturday 18 March 2017

Rally - Bittersweet Border

If ever an event demonstrated the extreme highs and the bitterly dispiriting lows that rallying can generate, it was today’s Brick & Steel Border Counties Rally. Going into the penultimate stage, Greg McKnight was on course for the best result of his short career. He was lying second, 17 seconds behind Jock Armstrong. This was sensational stuff.

The yellow Lancer set off in hot pursuit of the orange Impreza, but one thing more important than power and speed, is brakes. And Greg didn’t have any. Half way through a brake pipe burst. He made it to the stage finish and crimped off the pipe. He dropped to fourth place. Bad enough. Then in the final stage, two punctures, both on the driver’s side. If this was a film script, the audience would be hurling pop corn at the screen in corny disbelief. He finished fifth, poor reward for glorious effort.

At the rally finish, Jock said: “Greg’s day will come. That was some drive.” Finishing second was a relieved Mike Faulkner. Relieved, because the new car was proving its worth: “The car’s good, it’s all about me now. We enjoyed the battle with Greg and Rory. We stretched our legs a bit on that final stage and managed to catch Rory.”

As for Rory Young: “We had a wee bit of an ‘incident’ in a ditch in Elibank. We were almost on our side, it was one of those moments when you think to yourself, ‘is this going over or is it going to come back?’ Fortunately, it came back. That was scary. It was very fast.”

Another happy man was Mark McCulloch having got to the root of his Snowman problems: “The solenoid in the diff pump was jamming so we got it fixed and it was fine today.” But he too had a scary moment: “It was a flat in 5th gear moment in Yair. We came round a left hander and the tail went out, and just kept going, hit a banking and bounced us back on to the road. I backed off after that!”  

That meant Greg McKnight finished fifth, still a fine result but not what might have been. Heart wrenching, but that’s rallying.

Just ask David Bogie. He punctured a tyre and at the next corner the Skoda just understeered off the road: “I tried to drive it out the ditch,” said David, “but it just kept digging itself in.” That left CA1 team mate Fredrik Ahlin to take the first victory of the new BRC season from Tom Cave and Osian Pryce, with Euan Thorburn in 8th place after 2 punctures.

The wet and skittery conditions claimed more than their fair share of victims. More ‘offs’ than a school full of trapeze learners, but most of them got back on with little more than embarrassment and some time loss. Like Shaun Sinclair who set some scintillating times, but an off on the second stage cost him a maximum. No damage, just off in the glaur and beached. At least he kept going. Steven Clark lost out on a top four placing when he too skited off the road and got stuck.

1, J Armstrong/ Swinscoe, 43m 32.4s
2, M Faulkner/P Foy, 44m 02.9s
3, R Young/A Cathers, 44m 14.6s
4, M McCulloch/M Hendry, 44m 33.8s
5, G McKnight/L Marshall, 44m 56.4s
6, P Stephenson/P Walsh 45m 39.7s
7, I Wilson/W Rogers, 46m 13.0s
8, I Baumgart/M Dickson, 46m 32.6s
9, M Binnie/C Mole, 46m 32.9s
10, J Wink/J Forrest, 46m 36.9s

Full report in Wednesday’s Motorsport News!

Wednesday 15 March 2017

Rally - Apology & Correction

Just after I had posted the pic of Murray Grierson and Roger Anderson 'winning' the 1988 Border Counties the other day, I received a missive from the far East (Mark in Edinburgh!) who took me to task, in the nicest possible way, over a factual inaccuracy in my caption (old age is a terrible affliction - but a wonderful excuse).

He informed me that his Dad, Mad Murr and Big Roger did NOT win the Border Counties that year, it was in fact none other than Colin McRae and Derek Ringer. This occasioned another trip to the loft to seek out the appropriate file. And of course, Mark was right. I had mis-read the computer printout. In  my defence, computer results were in their infancy in those days and I quite simply transposed the wrong columns from the dot-matrix print-out.

For the record, Colin won the rally in the RED Sierra from Dominic Frattaroli (in a Darrian!) and David Gillanders in the Metro. Murray and Roger actually finished 8th.

But perhaps of more importance was the fact that The Scots won the Barrel of Beer! In those days when rallies were fun and hosted after-rally parties, the organisers of the Border Counties presented a barrel of beer to the winning 'national' team. This was not a normal 'team competition' whereby members were nominated before the rally. This was a much more simple affair. Points were awarded to the top three Scottish crews home and the top three English crews and whoever had the most points won the beer. The only drawback was that the beer had to be drunk before the bar closed for the evening. Fortunately, the rally finished in Gala Rugby Football Club so they were used to hordes of thirsty, dust-streaked wretches descending en masse on the bar. And a fine time was had by all.

You couldn't get away with that nowadays in these more 'enlightened' politically correct times, eh? Perhaps this weekend's organisers could settle on a tray of pies? Just a thought!

The appropriate pics have now been selected and printed here. My sincere apologies.