The Kirkaldy twins (albeit 2 years apart!) dominated proceedings at yesterday's Kingdom Stages Rally at Leuchars, but there was joy too for Michael Harbour and Ian MacDougall who clinched the overall 2018 'The Cobble Shop' Scottish Rally Championship driver and co-driver titles (subject to official confirmation). And you know what? Michael almost smiled. An odd and unusual occurrence, very odd!
It was a belter of a day. After Friday's rainstorms and wind, Saturday was bright, dry and nearly warm. Kirkaldy the Younger got matters underway with fastest time on the opening stage and that was it, up, up and away in his brand new white Mk2. And perhaps it wasn't so much of a surprise, but older brother and sports and GT racing driver Andrew was quick out of the box too and just got quicker.
This was his first rally: "That's the first time I've had someone in the car shouting at me and telling me which way to go!" Whatever, he fair enjoyed himself. He was driving Alan's old red car.
Ian Forgan was right in the mix, holding second place till the 5th test when a Subaru con-rod made a bid for freedom through the block. That was bad enough, but hot oil sprayed on to the exhaust and started a fire. Fortunately he got it out with help from Ian Paterson who stopped and used his hand-held as well.
That allowed Reay MacKay to move back into second place. He had been second quickest on the opening test but punctured a tyre, dropping back behind Forgan and ahead of Andrew Kirkaldy, although Andrew swept past once he got the hang of this rallying thing.
Brian Watson drove well (now there's something you don't often hear) finishing 4th in the Subaru with young Greg Inglis in the Lotus Exige with its standard 1800cc 'K' series engine in 5th place. Rounding off the top six was the MG Maestro of Ross McCallum equalling his best result of the season, but not enough to snatch the Cobble Shop title from Harbour who also won the 1600 class on the day from Jamie Miller both in Citroens.
Gavin Lloyd won the 1400 class in his Nova saying: "That's the first class win I've had since my Sunbeam days in the 1990s!" Having written his VW Polo off at Otterburn, Martyn Douglas had borrowed a Nissan Micra: "All I needed to do today was get a finish and I would clinch the Cobble Shop 1400cc title and top Junior." He did, gaun yersel Martyn - then Dad and the rest of the boys soaked the poor sod with champagne. Cheap stuff of course!
(Full report in the on-line mage later this coming week)
1, Alan Kirkaldy/Keir Beaton (Ford Escort Mk2) 45:49
2, Andrew Kirkaldy/Peter Carstairs (Ford Escort Mk2) 46:15
3, Reay Mackay/Robert McDonald (Ford Fiesta R5+) 46:31
4, Brian Watson/Sean Donnelly (Subaru Impreza S11 WRC) 46:42
5, Greg Inglis/Eoghan Anderson (Lotus Exige) 48:39
6, Ross McCallum/James Ralph (MG Maestro) 48:53
7, Robert Adamson/Jane Nicol (Skoda Fabia S2000) 49:03
8, Ross Fernie/Michael Cruickshank (Subaru Impreza STi) 49:10
9, Keith Robatham/Phil Sandham (BMW M3) 49:45
10, Jimmy Christie/David MacFadyen (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo9) 49:54