Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Rally - SAMSC Quarterly meeting


The recent quarterly meeting of the Scottish Association of Motor Sport Clubs raised and discussed a few necessary topics - again. Despite best efforts right across the sport UK-wide, numbers of club members and competition licence holders are dropping and the sport faces a constant struggle to attract, train and retain new Marshals. More needs to be done, but what? An independent observer's report of proceedings is here - it was too big for this page:


Friday, 23 November 2018

The Jim Clark Trust


Now I know it's not rallying, but I reckon this will be of interest to most of us anyway. 

The Jim Clark Trust is delighted to announce that £53,000 was raised by donations from The Goodwood Festival of Speed in July which marked the 50th anniversary of the loss of one of the world's greatest racing drivers, and one of our own.

The Jim Clark Trust would like to thank the generosity of all those who made donations including guests at the Goodwood House Saturday Night Party, the Goodwood Road Racing Club and in particular, the Duke of Richmond and Gordon for inviting the Trust to be the chosen charity for this year’s event.

This year’s Festival of Speed 2018 also launched a competition to win the 100,000th Lotus ever made to raise additional funds. The winner will of which will receive a unique Jim Clark special edition Lotus Evora GT410 Sport inspired by Jim’s famous 1960’s Elan and created by Lotus Exclusive.

The winner of the competition will be announced at the opening of the new Jim Clark Museum in summer 2019 - and there's still time to enter this amazing competition at www.jimclarklotus.com.

The new £1.6m museum is being funded by a partnership between the Heritage Lottery Fund, Scottish Borders Council and The Jim Clark Trust. The building works began in June 2018 and the new museum is expected to open in summer 2019.

The Jim Clark Trust is committed to £300,000 funding towards the project. In recent years fundraising has included events, grants, crowdfunding, merchandise, and special edition memorabilia such as driving gloves and a commemorative whisky.


The launch of the Jim Clark special edition Lotus Evora GT410 Sport competition is the most ambitious fundraising campaign to date, and has attracted interest from Jim Clark fans, F1, classic and motor sport fans around the world. The Lotus Evora includes special features such as a Scottish tartan interior, classic wooden gear knob, Jim Clark signature and discreet interior plaque making this 100,000th Lotus truly unique. The launch of the competition was attended by the Duke of Richmond and Gordon, a Patron of the Trust, with Group Lotus CEO Feng Qingfeng.

Also at the Festival, Honorary President of the Trust, Sir Jackie Stewart drove Jim’s Lotus 25 up the Hill Climb along with Jim's cousin and former Scottish Saloon Car racing Champ, Doug Niven, in a Lotus Cortina. 




Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Rally - Big Cat in the forest?


What started out as a homage to Jaguar's rally winning XK120 cars in the 1950s has resulted in the production of two current Jaguar F-TYPE rally cars, built in-house by Jaguar themselves. Sadly there are no plans to match the competition record of Ian Appleyard's Jaguar XK120 (NUB 120) which won three consecutive Alpine Rallies without incurring a single penalty point, and won the 1951Tulip and 1953 RAC rallies.

Both rally-specification F-TYPEs are powered by Jaguar’s 300PS 2.0-litre Ingenium four-cylinder petrol engine. Jaguar Design and Engineering built both cars to FIA specification, with uprated brakes and suspension, rollcage, race-seats with six-point harness, bonnet-mounted light pod and fire extinguisher.

The uprated grooved disc brakes feature four pot callipers while hand-built three-way adjustable competition dampers and softer springs have been designed to cope with gravel stages as opposed to tarmac events. The cars also have a limited-slip differential and a hydraulic handbrake!

Perhaps more surprisingly this special rally derivative is available to order now with prices starting from £62,335 - that's half the price of an R5.

But seriously, no-one in their right mind would seriously consider one of these for rallying - or would they?

When you think of 'nutters' one name springs to mind. Remember Tony Worswick? The Blackburn based engineer entered the 1992 Tour of Mull Rally in his bright yellow Ferrari 308. Daft idea for an Italian thoroughbred. Or maybe not. Tony finished in 22nd place overall out of an entry of an entry of 121 cars and crews from all over the UK.

What a memorable sight and sound that was. However, there was one drawback to using such a potent beast on the narrow island roads. The 8 long chrome air intakes on top of the 4 litre V8 protruding through the bodywork above the engine. When Tony was flat-out over Mishnish Lochs at umpteen thousand rpm, the intakes were sucking in sheep which had strayed too close to the road, and spectators had to hang on to small children!

OK, I might have exaggerated that last bit, but if Ferrari can do it, why not Jaguar?





Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Rally - Rituals in the Forest


Quite a few folk poked a bit of gentle fun at a certain bedraggled figure who walked out of the green hell (no, not Nurburgring, just Forrest Estate) last Saturday afternoon following his earlier unceremonious abandonment in a quarry mid stage - and then promptly forgot about fetching him back to civilisation! It called to mind an old adage: 'Revenge is a dish best served cold'.

And so, on Sunday morning, attracted by the sound of chanting echoing eerily through the woodland, our lonesome journalising photographer type personage chanced upon this gathering in a forest clearing and recorded this very secretive and private ritual chant for wider publication. It is published in full below. Honest, would I tell fib?

... The Marshals’ Prayer

To the omnipotent celestial Clerk of the Course, we make a modest plea
That you keep all competitors safe, and officials danger-free
Please guide the navs to stay on the maps, and drivers stick to the road
May the cars be sound and reliable, and have no need to be towed

Protect our friends and colleagues, those clad in orange of dayglo brash
from flying rocks and errant rally cars, that off the road might crash
Keep us all secure from elements, such as wind and rain and sleet
And suits and boots stay waterproof, to swathe our smelly dry feet

And while protecting all creatures great and small there's others you shouldn't bring
Make your midges vegetarian, and wasps and nettles lose their sting
Please also change the food of moths, from woolly hats and jaggy bunnets
instead of diet of fleece and tweed, offer tastes of dandruff, lice and nits

We ask as well for privacy too and sufficient nearby cover, for the inevitable call of nature
with plentiful tufts of grass to clean our butts, to replace the lack of tissue
Please also keep our batteries charged, our torches full of light and radios on standby
May our pens stay full of ink, our pencils sharp and pointed, aye ready to comply

One final ask if we can but pray to keep from harm, those young and old and grumpy
who stand on station in forest stage and tarmac road, and help when things go 'bumpy'
We wish their clocks stay true and do not lose time, and those others we must remember too
The docs and paramedics, all recovery and radio personnel, who make up the emergency crew

May the Tunnock's be with you
... and the Irn Bru too

Amen

Monday, 19 November 2018

Rally - Snap, crackle and bang


Bradford's Anthony Jackson won the weekend's Scottish 'Borders' Hill Rally by just over 9 minutes from Papplewick's William Stubbs. However, just 29 seconds covered 2nd, 3rd and 4th places after 110 miles of Special Stages. Mark Jacques from Weighbridge was 3rd just 13 seconds behind Stubbs with Ravenshead's Ian Gregg in 4th place.

The top 3 cars represented quite a spectacle and sounded glorious echoing across the wide open frost-encrusted south Ayrshire hills and glens, like a herd of rampant bucks on the annual rut. Jackson's car had an Audi V8, while under the skin of the Stubbs motor was a 5 litre Mustang. It was hard to choose an aural winner, but maybe Jacques had the edge with his bellowing 6.2 litre 550hp Corvette LS3. And the best bit? The exhaust silencers are tiny, allowing the engines to breathe and belch deeply. Wonderful.

Ian Gregg's 4th placed Polaris added even more variety with its  995cc twin cylinder turbo, but there was plenty of variety amongst the other V6, straight six, four, three and two cylinder offerings running on either petrol or diesel. But the main point was everyone had fun whether running a near bog standard Mitsubishi Pinin or Defender 90 or one of the more exotic prototypes or ATVs. The competition was fierce, the crack was good and the weather was sunny and bright. That doesn't mean to say it was warm, the minute the sun dipped below the horizon, it was colder than a mother-in-law's stare!
 
Top Scottish crew were husband and wife pairing George and Jacqueline Bryson in 7th place overall and 2nd in class. The former Escort Mk2 rally driver now has a BMW V8 powered Kirkland Proto. It may lack the lines and the looks of his Mk2, but it doesn't half go!

As a (cheaper?) alternative to forest stage rallying, Hill Rallying and Competition Safaris have got something to offer those who like driving, speed, slippery surfaces and challenging conditions with a dash of excitement and danger.

I'm planning to write 'An Introduction to Hill Rallying' for the Scottish Hill Rally Club website so if anyone else is interested I'll let you know.