Sunday 31 March 2019

Rally - 1 Litre Fliers

After the 'Seniors' yesterday, it was the turn of the stars of tomorrow who took to the stages today for the DCC Junior Stages Rally. The 14-17 year old youngsters had 8 stages to contest, same as their elders, although today's stages were shorter.

Ioan Lloyd scored a close fought victory by just 16 seconds from Fraser Anderson with Archie Swinscoe snatching 3rd place on SS6 from Billy Grew and hanging on to clinch it by 4 seconds. Ollie Hunter didn't get a chance to mix it as his Peugeot snapped a driveshaft on the first stage then broke the gearbox on 5th.

The only downside is that the Ingliston hosted event is a 'non-spectator' affair due to on-site insurance restrictions. A great pity because they put on quite a show, especially Letisha Conn. 4 feet 10 inches of talent and lighter than Ian 'Bing' Crosbie's (co-driver) sandwich, she turned 14 just 2 weeks ago. First time out on Scottish tarmac and her first run in a borrowed Peugeot 107 she just got quicker and quicker all day finishing in 8th place.

They all did exceptionally well and the competition was fair but fierce. If there are any youngsters out there who fancy a shot at this, it's relatively cheap and there's plenty of help and advice along the way - all you have to do is pester your parents, in the nicest possible way of course!

Top Six:
1, Ioan Lloyd/Jonathan Jackson (Citroen C1) 61m 32s
2, Fraser Anderson/Steven Brown (Citroen C1) 61.48
3, Archie Swinscoe/Jane Nicol (Skoda Citigo) 61.54
4, Billy Grew/Emma Morrison (Volkswagen UP!) 61.58
5, Lewis Hooper/Sam Bilham (Nissan Micra) 62.45
6, Marcus Mcelwee/John Henderson (Skoda Citigo) 63.41

Saturday 30 March 2019

Rally - Fast & Furious 2019

It wasn't so much a case of who won, but who didn't lose on today's DCC Stages Rally at Ingliston. Just about everyone had a problem to fix or an issue to contend with during the course of an eventful day.

Winner of last year's DCC Stages, Gordon Morrison did it again, but he wasn't without his troubles. He led after the first stage then Andrew Kirkaldy led for the next three, before Morrison again snatched the lead on Stage 5 with Kirkaldy fighting back to claim 3rd behind Alistair Inglis. And if you are wondering where he came from, join the club!

Anyway, Gordon got the drop on the bunch on the first stage, but then had a problem with his flat-shifter between 3rd and 4th gears. Arron Newby from TEG Sport fixed it then the Subaru had a problem with fuel surge, so young Mr Fixit was called into action again. Meantime Kirkaldy had swept into the lead, but was struggling with tyre choice. On the 5th test, the Escort locked up under braking and slid into a bale. Not much damage but he dropped to 3rd place 5 secs behind Alistair Inglis in the Exige and 16 secs behind the leader.

John Marshall was mixing it with the top three as well until the Subaru overshot the Merge then committed the cardinal sin of reversing back, and was penalised. Alan Gardiner too was in the hunt till the Mk1 hit a bump, broke the strut and bent a bottom arm. Tom Morris had an early issue with his flat-shift linkage and then stalled the Skoda on the startline of the final stage while John MacCrone was out of luck when the Fiesta inadvertently shut itself down just after the start of SS3, prompting a switch-off and a re-set, and the crew were puzzled as to why. Ian Paterson was having a few teething problems in his re-shelled and rebuilt Subaru and didn't get a clean run till the final two stages.

Which meant that Morris finished 4th with Colin Gemmell 5th and Willie Paterson rounding off the top six. Ian Paterson (no relation) finished 7th just ahead of the wild Opel Manta of Richard Sutherland.

Stephen Thompson in his Mk2 won the 1600 class by 8 secs from Dangerous Des Campbell in the Peugeot 206 while Marc Tinsley won the 1400 class in his Peugeot 205 from the Peugeot 106 of James Strachan.

What a day, but you'll have to wait till later in the week to find out the full story in the on-line mag although it did keep the recovery boys busy. And at least we got some sunbathing done in the afternoon.

Top Ten:
1, Gordon Morrison/Calum MacPherson (Subaru Impreza) 56m 15s
2, Alistair Inglis/Jane Nicol (Lotus Exige) 56:17
3, Andrew Kirkaldy/Peter Carstairs (Ford Escort Mk2) 56:23
4, Tom Morris/Russell Smith (Skoda Fabia) 57:44
5, Colin Gemmell/Derek Keir (Ford Escort Mk2) 57:54
6, Willie Paterson/Euan O’Neill (Ford Escort Mk2) 58:25
7, Ian Paterson/Allan Paterson (Subaru B13) 58:33
8, Richard Sutherland/Jack Sutherland (Opel Manta) 58:49
9, Greg Inglis/Ewan Stanhope (Lotus Exige) 59:24
10, Ross McCallum/James Ralph (MG Maestro) 59:28

Friday 29 March 2019

Motor racing season opens

Hard to think, but  Scotland's race track in the clouds enters its 45th season this year when the Scottish motor racing season opens for business on Sunday 7th April at Knockhill.

To mark the occasion, the Commentary Tower will be re-named, the Garry Stagg Tower. For over 30 years Garry was the voice of Knockhill, commentating on car, bike and rally events as well as the various exhibitions, shows and gatherings which the circuit hosted. Sadly, he and his wife were involved in a life changing motorcycle road accident in the summer of 2017 which forced his retirement from Knockhill. To this day, they are both still receiving specialist medical care.
To honour his commitment and services to Knockhill and in particular commentary, the iconic Commentary Tower is being named in his honour.

Stuart Gray, Knockhill Director of Events said: “We are pleased to be renaming one of the most iconic and familiar buildings at Knockhill in honour of Garry. He has been a stalwart of commentary over several decades and delighted that his legacy will continue. He has interviewed F1 world champions, Indy car, Superbike and BTCC champions in the Tower, all adding to the unique position he still holds at Knockhill. We hope that he will make it to Knockhill sometime in the summer to officially open the Tower, but in the meantime, it will be named and known as the Garry Stagg Commentary Tower from April 7th onwards.”

Garry wasn't just a commentator. He was DJ and audio technician, an electrician and even a plumber on occasion. He would turn his hand to anything, and often was the last man out of Knockhill in the evening.

It was Garry who installed the original PA system at the circuit in the days when a certain young Motoring News race reporter was asked to provide commentary at some of the race meetings, and latterly some of the rallies there as well when he was switched to rally reporting. Murray Walker and James Hunt they weren't!

In those days, the commentary tower resembled a Glasgow pigeon loft on peelly waally legs. It actually swayed in the wind. There was no heating or air-con, instead a sliced potato was used to wipe down the inside of the windows to reduce the condensation - and it worked, mostly! Aye, them were't days.

The new Commentary Tower is a much more substantial building these days with all the best of technology, but I'll miss the drafts and the frostbite, the inside ladder before stairs were built, and of course, the spiders.

So think of Garry this coming weekend and I'm sure we all wish him and his wife well through their ongoing trials. Here's hoping we see him back in the Summer.

Wednesday 27 March 2019

Rally - Bob the Bolder

Bob the Scribbler (and photographer, sub-editor, designer, editor, publisher and retailer) as well as sometime talker has been busy again. The result is the latest (and 2nd) issue of his UK Rally Scene magazine which is now available to purchase.

Now that he has gone 'international', as opposed to a Scottish national publication, there are features on John Stone, Donagh Kelly and Meirion Evans, plus reports from Croft, Knockhill, Kielder and Galway and he manages to get a word or two out of a certain Colin Clark - or should that be, he has trouble stopping the verbal outpourings following a chat with Colin aka 'the Voice of Rally'.

All this and more for only a fiver. Get it from EBay now or look out for Bob at forthcoming rallies: