Thursday, 11 January 2018

New Year - New Season


This year's Calendar of Events is now on the website which lists the ARR Craib Scottish Championship and Cobble Shop Scottish Tarmack Championship rounds. The list also includes a few other events and 'shows' which may or may not be of interest, but if you need an excuse to get out of the gardening chores of a weekend, they might prove attractive!

The Snowman Regs are out, and the race for the 2018 Scottish Championship title looks wide open. Three men have dominated the series over the past 9 years. David Bogie has 5 wins, while Euan Thorburn and Jock Armstrong both have 2 each.

David has set his sights on the Prestone British Championship this year so count him out of the Scottish title battle. He won't even be in Inverness for a pre-season warm-up as he and team mates Fredrik Ahlin and Tom Preston are all taking their Skodas to Sweden for a two day test followed by  run out on the Ostersund Winter Rally, second round of the Swedish National Championship.

Euan Thorburn hasn't revealed his plans as yet, but there's no good news on the Jock Armstrong front. As of to-day's date there have been no puffs of white smoke issuing from the holy halls of motor sporting knowledge and legislature down south. There were (faint?) hopes that his licence suspension would be lifted or at least shortened, sadly not.

Advice was given that should he appeal the severity of the fine and the suspension then the matter might have been quietly resolved, but our hero can be a thrawn buggar, eh? And why not?

Appealing this National Court sentence would imply that the defendant had accepted the Court's verdict and its subsequent conclusion and thereby an admission of this 'heinous' crime. In this particular case, it would appear that the three judges were intent on 'making an example' - and it has backfired. The whole thing could have been handled with a severe finger-wagging telling-off behind the bike sheds, before it had ever got this far.

Even more troubling, Jock hasn't bothered applying for a new 2018 licence. He may well be looking elsewhere. Some of his pals go Karting at weekends and rumour has it that Jock has bought himself a twin-engined Kart. And with a race every month from January to October at the nearby Castle Kennedy Circuit, rallying could lose Jock altogether.

With this in mind, there has been talk of a 'mass moon' protest at the Snowman Rally next month on one stage when the MSA Officials run through ahead of the rally cars. Naturally, troosers would be pulled up rather quickly afterwards, and not just because the 'Justice for Jock' supporters wouldn't want to upset the rally drivers, but more likely because it will too damn cauld to leave delicate dangly bits waggling about in the chill Winter air!

Anyone out there up for such a protest?

For the moment, the ba' is on the roof. The National Court is an independent body appointed by Motorsports Council and the MSA itself has no over-riding power in the matter. So there it rests. The legislators have dug themselves into a hole and there doesn't appear to be a way out.

And if there's no 'JforJ' by Border Rally time in March, the first round of the British Championship, then who knows - even more bare buttocks glinting in the morning sun!

By the way, although news of Donald Milne's tragic accident and subsequent tribute was published on these pages, there is a more comprehensive Obituary on the website:

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