Sunday 30 April 2017

Rally - Unlucky for some

Fastest man on Sunday

Having started the second day of the Pirelli Rally in 9th place, David Bogie and Kevin Rae finished 4th after setting fastest time on all four of the day's stages in Kielder. David was quite philosophical at the finish: "It was just a question of seeing what I could do today, no problems to report, just a good clean run."

Not so fortunate were Garry Pearson and Paula Swinscoe. They started the day in 4th place and didn't finish: "We overshot a chicane," said Garry, "it was silly really, I just reversed back and the rear wheels went over a ditch and the car bellied out. No damage whatsoever, but stuck fast and no spectators around to help us out. Frustrating."

Alex Laffey and Stuart Loudon were tenth and John Wink/John Forrest came out best in their personal battle with John Morrison/Peter Carstairs. Apart from a wobbly rear wheel, the wheel nuts weren't engaging properly with the internal face of the wheel, Wink had a good run into 14th place 23 seconds ahead of Morrison who was still getting used to his new car second time out with it: "It's the first time I've had a car with a sequential 'box," said John, "and the engine has more torque than the GrpN car." Frustration got the better of him at one point when he overshot a hairpin and then tried to find reverse gear but after a few futile attempts remembered that it wasn't an 'H' pattern gearbox any more!"

Can I have a time please?
Donnie MacDonald's rally ended prematurely in a ditch: "We came over a flat crest in fifth," said Donnie but we were in the middle of the road and it went right. We got on the marbles and it just slid straight on into the ditch. We must have travelled 100 yards but it wouldn't come out and eventually it just dug itself in." It was the same for young Fergus Barlow. Second time on a proper gravel rally he hooked a left hander at a hairpin and the car got sucked in: "We nearly got away with it," said Fergus, "at one point it almost came out and I straightened the wheel a bit then it got sucked in again. Absolutely no damage, but I learned a lot today."

It was the same story for Donald Carslaw: "We just came over a crest, the corner was on us and we slid off on the marbles. No damage." He won't half get an ear-wigging when he goes home though, it was daughter Carline's Subaru he was driving. Niall Cowan was going well in the MG till the last stage when the gearbox failed.

Fredrik Ahlin took the win from Osian Pryce and Martin McCormack, while Keith Cronin's run ended - in a ditch!

Saturday 29 April 2017

Rally - Scots in Carlisle

David Bogie
After his Border Counties misfortune, there was more disappointment for David Bogie on the Pirelli Rally, the second round of the British Championship, when a brake pipe sheared on the first stage of the day.

“We were just 2 miles in, when the brakes disappeared,” said David, “and we did the next stage with no brakes at all. We managed to crimp the end for Stages 3 and 4 and did them with braking on three wheels.”  And just as a point of interest, during the 15 minute service between Stages 2 and 3, only the crew and one mechanic were allowed to work on the car using tools and spares carried in the car.

Donnie and Garry
On the other hand, it was a good day for Garry Pearson. First time in the Fiesta R5 since last year’s Galloway Hills he ended the opening day in fourth place. “It was a good day,” said Garry, “but it took a wee while to get back into the swing. We clipped a bale on the exit of a chicane in the last stage and that bumped us into a ditch but it was at slow speed so we were able to power out and get going.”

Donnie MacDonald finished the day in 13th place just ahead of Alex Laffey, John Wink 19th and John Morrison 20th.

Fergus Barlow was contesting the Junior Championship and after a good tussle with Josh Cornwell ended the day 9th in class and 26th overall.

No night off for the Biscuit Engineer
There was another weel kent face amongst the Scottish contingent, a certain Biscuit Engineer by profession from Uddingston in Tunnockshire. Apparently he got the call at 10 to 6 on the Friday evening when Alex Laffey’s regular co-driver took ill. “I was just getting the guid claes on for a night out with the boys at the pub when I got the call,” said Stuart, “to the effect, get your ‘nether regions’ (expressed in a strong celtic vernacular) down here now.”

Fredrik Ahlin leads the event from Osian Pryce and Keith Cronin, after early leader Tom Cave retired the Hyundai with broken rear suspension.

Thursday 27 April 2017

Rally - Speyside report

That's the headline report now in the on-line mag, but the format has been changed, so see what you think. Simply because there were 10 stages, the Fastest Stage Times have been listed on a separate page and there is a link at the end after the Final Results. Usually, they are inserted into the narrative, but because there were so many, it didn't look right. I might continue to do that if it is preferable.

Class Round-up is next on the agenda, followed by the News & Gossip.

Sunday 23 April 2017

Rally - Handle with care

After a grand day out in Moray, the Speyside rally report has been composed, written up and sent off to Motorsport News HQ for this Wednesday's issue. A much more comprehensive report will be published in JB's on-line mag later in the week, but in the meantime here's a pic of a unique cludgie, in a working office, at a rally service area somewhere in Huntly. This surely is the must-have, man-cave, lavatorial lever of the year. AbsoLOOtely perfect for the man who has everything. And for the technically inquisitive, it's a 3/8 spanner, certainly not a 20mm job.

Saturday 22 April 2017

Rally - Bogie wins Speyside

It was ‘business as usual’ for David Bogie at the McDonald & Munro Speyside Stages today. Even with a ‘new’ co-driver, young Andrew Roughead, the Skoda looked assured and composed all day.

“It’s never easy,” said David, “the pace was good here today but it’ll need to be better for next week at the Pirelli, I messed up last time out on the Border. We dropped a wee bit of time this morning with a puncture but after that we just kept it controlled. It was good seat-time for next weekend.”

Also here for some extra seat-time ahead of next week’s event in Carlisle, second placed Desi Henry was pleased with his pace despite his troubles: “We had 3 punctures today,” said Desi, “but then smoke started to come out from under the bonnet at the end of Stage 4. That was scary. We had the extinguishers out but didn’t need them. It was just an oil leak but we caught it in time.”

With two Skodas in the top two places, third placed Euan Thorburn salvaged something for Ford: “We struggled in the morning, but our times got better in the afternoon,” said Euan having switched back to Ford after last year’s run out with the Peugeot.

But it wasn’t Bogie who led at the start. Jock Armstrong led after 2 stages, then Bogie after 3 with Armstrong back in the lead after 4. At the end of stage 5 they were tied: “It was a good battle while it lasted,” said Jock, “then in the second last stage we went off on a 6th gear corner. It was a Left 1 into 4 at a junction and just overcooked it, but we managed to get it out without help.” He finished 11th.

Mark Donnelly scored fourth first time out on gravel with his Fiesta WRC: “We did a tarmac event at the start of the year,” said Mark, “but this was the first time on gravel, we were just happy to get round in one piece, but what a cracking rally. Fair play to David he didn’t put a wheel wrong.”

Mike Faulkner was fifth: “That was as hard as it would go,” said Mike, “we rode our luck a few times. We were right up a banking in that second last test,” he grinned, “but we had a good battle all day with Bruce (McCombie) and Shaun (Sinclair).”

Sinclair was only 5 seconds behind at the finish after McCombie got a bit crossed up on the very slippy last section on the penultimate test, which also caught out Dale Robertson who might have made the top ten first time out in the Fiesta R5. “That wasn’t a stage,” said Shaun, “it was a grassy field between the trees!”

Greg McKnight was 8th but happy with a finish as the poor wee soul was suffering from man-flu! (Women just don’t understand do they?) Mark McCulloch was 9th and Donnie MacDonald rounded off the top ten.

Quintin Milne was top 2WD car but only after a real tussle with Dougal Brown.

Top Ten:
1, David Bogie, 41m 55s
2, Desi Henry, 42m 34s
3, Euan Thorburn, 42m 37s
4, Martin Donnelly, 42m 49s
5, Mike Faulkner, 43m 32s
6, Shaun Sinclair, 43m 37s
7, Bruce McCombie, 44m 02s
8, Greg McKnight, 44m 14s
9, Mark McCulloch, 44m 32s
10, Donnie MacDonald, 45m 09s