Saturday 1 February 2020

Rally - Snowman entries open

The Regs are out and entries open for the 2020 Coogie Urquhart Snowman Rally which takes place this year on Saturday 7th March, fully a month later than usual to try and avoid the snow!

The Entry Fee is £620 for this 5 stage 43 mile event and the entries are already starting to roll in.

Forty years ago, fingers and legs were crossed ahead of the 1980 event. Heavy snow had blanketed the area in 1978 and again in 1979 and the organisers were concerned about the impact of three in a row on their event.

As things turned out, the 70 competing crews did indeed wake up to a white winter wonderland outside their respective hotel and B&B windows, but it was only  a hard frost. The snow was on higher ground and the organisers and marshals could breathe a sigh of relief.

Donald Heggie won that event in his Mk2 Escort  taking 19 fastest times on the 21 stage event with Drew Gallacher taking one fastest time in the Chevette and equalling Donald on another, whilst Ian Wilson got in on the act in his 2 litre Sunbeam (which replaced his Reliant Kitten!), also equalling one of Donald's fastest times.Those three filled the top three places ahead of Mike Hibbert, Dom Buckley (the original!) and Vince Finlayson.

Having doubled the number of cylinders in his formerly Dolomite Sprint engined Triumph TR7 Ken Wood had been running as high as 3rd overall when the oil pressure sagged in the V8 and he was forced to retire. 

Fortunately the engine wasn't damaged and Ken went on to score some impressive results during the season finishing second overall to Gallacher in the 1980 Scottish Championship title race and 2nd overall again (behind Heggie this time) in the 1981 championship title race before winning the first of his three national titles in 1982 with his new sponsor, Golden Wonder. 

And yes, I did actually state "21 stages" on the 1980 event. That equated to 70 stage miles, and all for an entry fee of under 50 quid!

Happy days, eh?

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