Friday 30 June 2017

Rally - Kirkaldy's Kingdom

Full report from the 40th Kingdom Stages Rally now in the on-line mag. This is the most complete and fulsome report anywhere on planet Earth, so if your family friends and followers don't know about it, tell them where you read it and spread the word. The future of this on-line mag is dependent on numbers so tell them about the rally gospel according to Jaggy.

News & Gossip to follow over the weekend. Interesting fact. Twice as many people read the rally follow-up News & Gossip features than read the actual reports! Is that telling me something?

A Trip down Memory Lane

Something a bit different in the on-line mag today, but it does have relevance.

It's a full 40 years since Ford launched the Fiesta on to the British market and motoring has been transformed since then. I was reminded of that the other day with a trip down memory lane in a Mk1 Ford Fiesta, Ford's trend setting, and first, front wheel drive car for the domestic market.

It was also the car which launched the career of one of the UK's most successful sportswomen too!

Thursday 29 June 2017

Rally - Older cars can enter Rally GB

The organisers of Dayinsure Wales Rally GB are opening up the entry to this year's British World Rally Championship qualifier in October to older cars. In the past, certain older machinery was restricted to the National part of the event, but the rules have been relaxed this year to allow owners of certain MSA approved Evos, Imprezas and Escorts to have a crack at the full 20 Special Stages as opposed to the National event's more modest 8 stage route. There's even a discounted entry fee for amateurs and clubmen, Worth a look?

Read the full Release here:

Wednesday 28 June 2017

Rally - Granite chippings

With the Mach 1 Stages not taking place till the weekend of 15/16 July at Campbeltown there are a couple of weekend events coming up this weekend and next which might just earn rally drivers and co-drivers some family brownie points at home! Full details here.

Also, there's a look back behind the scenes at the Granite Stages Rally at Leuchars - better late than never, eh? And the photo? That was taken at the base at Leuchars - and no, I don't know either.

Saturday 24 June 2017

Rally - Thorburn wins Argyll

Euan Thorburn and Paul Beaton have endured a couple of barren seasons over the past two of years, but it all came good today. Lying second going into the final stage of the ‘Dunoon Presents the Argyll Stages Rally’ a blistering time earned them their first outright victory since the Malcolm Wilson Stages way back in 2015.

“I didn’t think that was going to happen after the first stage,” said Euan, “We punctured a front tyre and dropped 17 seconds to Jock.”

Running first on the road wasn’t a big advantage though: “I was the route marker,” said Jock, “the first 3 miles of the stage was just grass with two black lines through it. It was wet and it was slippy, it was like driving on green snow.” Even so, he managed to take another second out of Thorburn on the second test.

Thorburn hit back with fastest times on the next two stages and when the fifth stage was cancelled it all came down to the final test high on the hill overlooking Dunoon. The orange Subaru went into the stage with a 4 second advantage and came out with a 4 second deficit.

“It was drier than the first run through that stage this morning,” said Euan, “and the grip was more consistent. Plus I got the finger out and had a real push.” The Fiesta finished the stage 8 seconds quicker than the Subaru and victory was his.

Armstrong was lucky though: “We hit something and it broke the exhaust manifold. Even so, Euan was flying.”

In third place was Shaun Sinclair: “I was quite pleased with my time on the final stage. I was only 2 seconds down on Jock – then I saw Euan’s time. I don’t know where he got that from. He was on a different planet.”

Mark McCulloch was fourth: “I was just too slow this morning,” said Mark, “I had set the suspension up for the first stage but it was all wrong for the second one! Still I’m happy with my result, just not my times.”

Mike Faulkner finished a fighting fifth having slipped off the road on another slippery grassy section of the third stage: “We punctured on the first stage,” said Mike, “but we spun on the third test.  We just got two wheels on the grass over a crest and that was it, we were off the road and on the grass.”

Steven Clark rounded off the top six with Duncan MacDonald top 2WD runner in 13th place overall just 23 seconds clear of Mike Stuart.  “The rear tyres were down to the cord at the end of the first stage,” said Duncan, “but they didn’t go down.” Mike Stuart was lucky too: “We were off big style in the first stage and bent all the link bars on the rear axle.”

And that was the story of the rally. The first 3 miles of the first 10 mile stage hadn’t seen a vehicle for years and was wildly overgrown plus it was wet turning to mud, then there was a good section of road followed by a badly repaired stretch  which caused a string of punctures. The organisers consulted some of the drivers and the Stages Commander wisely deciding to cancel the afternoon’s return visit. And therein lies forest rallying’s biggest problem, you can only go rallying on the roads that Forest Enterprise allow clubs to use.

If Argyll is to return to the glory days of Scottish rallying then clubs must be allowed access to better quality roads.

Top Ten:
1, Euan Thorburn 32m 38s
2, Jock Armstrong, 32m 42s
3, Shaun Sinclair, 33m 09s
4, Mark McCulloch, 34m 02s
5, Mike Faulkner, 34m 33s
6, Steven Clark, 34m 37s
7, Simon Hay, 34m 50s
8, John Wink, 34m 58s
9, Stephen Lockhart, 35m 06s
10, Michael Binnie, 35m 25s

Wednesday 21 June 2017

Rally - Argyll Rally

It's 14 years since we last heard rally cars howl in Cowal, and they will make a welcome return this Saturday for the 'Dunoon Presents the Argyll Rally'. Full Entry List, Timetable and where to buy Programmes now in the on-line mag.

Tuesday 20 June 2017

McRae Gravel Challenge

Coltness Car Club have released details of their planned 'McRae Gravel Challenge' scheduled to run on  Saturday the 23rd September. This will be a low-key affair to mark the tenth anniversary of the loss of their hugely supportive and much revered car club member. This one-off event is not intended to rival that huge memorial event in 2008. This will be a more private gathering run by the Club, although all rally fans will be welcome.

Some folk have asked about the photograph. That was taken in August of 2001, the year of Foot & Mouth Disease in Scotland and in northern England. Rallying was pretty much banned right across the country and the Coltness event was no exception. Initially the club was told that both Lanark (Rally Start & Finish) and Lockerbie (Service) agricultural markets were closed because of the disease and the forests of Dumfries & Galloway were out of bounds.

That was what prompted club members and rally organisers to look further afield for venues and with the Hackle Rally no longer, there was mileage to be had in the central Highlands.

Initial approaches to Perth & Kinross Council and Tayside Police were extremely encouraging and to promote the deal Colin travelled up to Perth with a couple of other club stalwarts to have a look at the route and meet the Provost. And that was why the Lanarkshire based event moved to Perthshire.

Chancer that he was, Colin was all set to jump into the Provost's XJ6 and take him for a hurl through the woods. It didn't happen, just.

As for the other hairy character, if there was one man who made the Colin McRae Stages Rally what it was, it was Big Jim. He's taken a step back from organising these days, but he'll be around in September. Already, Tunnock's are planning an extra run of pies ahead of his trip north.

For more info on the McRae Gravel Challenge as plans progress, keep an eye on the Coltness CC website. 

Regs & Entries will be available soon: