Tuesday 29 March 2022

Thinking dangerously

There's a vacancy at the top of Scottish motor sport although the vast majority of folk will be completely unaware. After 8 years in the post, Pete Weall stepped down as Chair of the Scottish Association of Motor Sport Clubs a couple of weeks back at the AGM. Usually the Vice President steps up in a seamless transition to take charge but not this time. Due to his own pressure at work the incumbent VP felt he could not give the time and therefore declined the post of Chair.

And therein lies the problem. Who would have the time and energy to take on an unpaid task of this magnitude? There's another problem, there is currently no job description. That is the first task the present committee has to resolve.

The trouble is each Chair has brought his or her own stamp to the role in the past and Pete will be a hard act to follow, because he took on too much. He freely admits he took on too much so any future Chair can rest a bit easier.

But given the predicament, surely this presents an opportunity to properly define what the SAMSC is and what the Chair has to do to take it forward?

Motor sport is facing one of the biggest challenges of its long and illustrious life, not just the rising cost, complexity and regulation of the sport but the increasing costs of participation and therefore the difficulties in attracting new participants. Added to that is the threat of carbon emissions. Motor sport is not the biggest contributor (not by a long chalk) but it is the most highly visible user of fossil fuels.

That means on e of the bigger tasks facing motor sport ahead of the incoming electrical revolution is getting the public on-side. And it's not just emissions, if rallying is being squeezed out of the forests then there has to be some give and take with regard to getting the use of closed public roads. Public acceptance here is vital, as one 'stage-side' objector alone can cause havoc and route cancellations. And we're supposed to live in a democracy!

SMS' Rory Bryant with Euan Thorburn and Robert Reid
What is needed is a stronger (and more professional?) SAMSC which can deal at a decision-making political level with SportScotland, as well as national and local government. Since the Edinburgh based 'Scottish Motor Sport' was disbanded two years the sport in Scotland has no direct link to the political classes. Instead the majority of decisions are made in Bicester. Indeed surprise was expressed at the time when MS UK decided not to co-fund SMS, because the law up here is different from other parts of the Union.

Take just one example. Forest & Land Scotland is a quite separate decision-making entity from Forestry England, Natural Resources Wales - Forestry, and the Dept of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs NI - Forestry. What gives some non-elected personnel in a  different part of the UK the right to make decisions where their jurisdiction could be questioned?

So here's a revolutionary thought. If SAMSC needs a new Chair how about paying someone to take on the job rather than asking a volunteer to give up his or her time and subsidise the job out of his/her own pocket?

Where would the money come from? A grant from SportScotland and a contribution from MS UK - on the basis they take fees from Scottish competition licence holders and event organisers so a percentage could (should?) be provided for regional governance. Motor sport in Scotland is one of the very few sports which doesn't have its own 'governing' body. If the bikers can do it, why not the motorists?

Radical? Yes. Necessary? I'm beginning to think so.

Apparently the 'SAMSC Chair' job description will be circulated to all member Scottish motor sport clubs and nominations for the post of Chair sought. Could this provide the opperchancity for a bold new move?

Monday 28 March 2022

Rally - Junior rallying

Kallum and Richard
If you thought Efren Llarena's win on Rally Azores at the weekend was close, taking victory on the final stage by 2.7s victory from Ricardo Moura, then yesterday's (Sunday 27th) Junior 1000 event at the DCC Stages was closer still. Just one second separated the winners from the runners-up.

Admittedly the Junior event for 14 to 17 year olds was a tad shorter at just 36 miles over 8 stages, the weather was better - warm, dry and sunny unlike the Azores! -  and they were driving rather more modest 1 litre machinery but the actual competition sizzled all day right from the start.

Sam Mason and James Seymour led after the first four stages, then David Burden and Peter Williams assumed the lead over the next three before the final stage. At that point Burden had a four second lead. Job done, eh?

Having sat his BARS test just last Wednesday (!) fifteen year old Kevin Graffin with Richard Crozier (definitely not 15, or anywhere near it!) rolled up to the stage start. They were five seconds quicker than Burden over that final timed test to snatch a one second victory at the last gasp. Epic stuff.

A great day, with an excellent entry of 20 cars buzzing around Ingliston like a swarm of angry bees. They may not be as quick as the 'world' cars but by heck the competition was fierce. Sixty seconds covered the top five.

A full report will be published in 'jaggybunnet.co.uk' later in the week.

Saturday 26 March 2022

Rally - DCC Stages Rally

First time  out in a Fiesta Rally2 and on his first visit to Ingliston James Ford won today's DCC Stages Rally. Alistair Inglis was second in his Fiesta R5 and John Marshall third in a Fiesta Rally2. 

Also on his first visit to Ingliston, Jonathan Mounsey was holding a strong second place till his Fiesta Rally2 broke a cog in the gearbox and then Gordon Morrison lost second place when he failed to start the final stage when the Fiesta R5 had a throttle problem.

Greg Inglis scored a superb fourth place and was top 2WD but Ben Wilkinson lost out taking the wrong direction at a Split.

Best result of the day was young Archie Swinscoe's ninth overall in the 1600 class winning Vauxhall Adam, first time out in the car.  Des Campbell broke a driveshaft and Stephen Hay broke his gearbox.

Report and photo in next Thursday's Motorsport News with more comprehensive report to follow in 'www.jaggybunnet.co.uk'.

Friday 25 March 2022

Road - Mustang Mach 1

A trip down memory lane - a fast trip! ... This is no ordinary Road Test. This is no ordinary car. It's not the fastest, nor the best handling. It could be argued it's not the prettiest or most handsome.


The latest Mustang Mach 1 represents much more than just facts, figures and statistics. It conjures up memories of the good times. The Beach Boys, Don McLean, drag racing, hot rods and the rise of the muscle car.


Even so, this latest (final?) reiteration of the species is an altogether more sophisticated machine as befits these modern times.


And yet there is something visceral each time you fire up those 8 cylinders, grasp the six speed shifter and shove it into first gear. Let the good times rock and roll. Yee Haa.



Thursday 24 March 2022

Rally - Diary Date

Six-time Olympic Champion, Sir Chris Hoy, is the first of the star names to be revealed who will be competing at the 'McRae Rally Challenge' in July in a few months time.

Supported by Beatson's Building Supplies over the weekend of 2/3 July at Knockhill Racing Circuit, Sir Chris will be competing in this special event two day single venue rally spectacular to celebrate former World Rally Champion Colin McRae's title win in 1995 and the huge impact that the McRae family has made on national and world rallying.

"I can't wait, I'm so excited to be taking part in this special event; being friends with the McRae family makes this opportunity all the more exciting for me," said the race driver who used to do a bit of cycling. Apparently my big pal Jaggy is a close and personal friend of Sir Chris Hoy too and is permitted to call him 'Sir' for short.

Stuart Gray, Knockhill Director of Events said: "We cannot wait to see Sir Chris back at Knockhill taking part in the McRae Rally Challenge. He is the first of a whole host of rally legends that are coming to the event as we release more names over the next few weeks. Everyone at Knockhill is really look forward to seeing him, and all the other stars here at the start of July."

Wednesday 23 March 2022

Rally - DCC Stages Preview

Gordon Morrison heads a top quality entry list for this weekend's DCC Stages Rally at Ingliston but this is a NON SPECTATOR event. That decision has nothing to do with the organisers, it is a stipulation by the site owners. On event results will be provided by Scotresults, but for the full story of the weekend's activities you know where to turn.

Motorsport News will have short report and photo next Thursday, and Scotland's own rally magazine at 'jaggybunnet.co.uk' will follow up afterwards with a full and comprehensive report on the action.

The full Entry List for Saturday's 'senior' event and Sunday's Junior1000 rally has now been published on-line at:


On another note, the date for next month's Milltown Stages Rally has been pushed back a week and will now take place on Saturday the 9th of April (not the 2nd!). The reason for that is a flock of sheep is currently resident on the site. However, the benefit is that competitors will have two weeks between the DCC and Milltown instead of one, so that might just attract a few more. At the moment, the organisers need a more entries to make the minimum number. Full details on the Condor MSC web site.

Saturday 19 March 2022

Rally - Snowman Classes

Snowman Rally, Classes Roundup ... That's all the news from the various capacity classes on the AM Phillip Trucktech Snowman Rally now published in the on-line mag at 'jaggybunnet.co.uk' and it answers the burning questions of the day, like, how fast is Jacob Harlington's VW Polo, and how does 6ft 4in of nonsense fit into a Mk2 Escort? 

All this and more at:



Friday 18 March 2022

Road - Young Driver Competition

This of interest? ... A nation wide driving competition for drivers aged 10-16 yrs has just been launched – and it’s all about safety rather than speed.

The Young Driver Challenge 2022 encourages youngsters from just 10 years old to compete to be crowned Britain’s Best Young Driver. Anyone old enough to have an official driving licence isn’t allowed.

Run by 'Young Driver' the UK’s largest pre-17 driving school, entries to the eighth annual Young Driver Challenge are now open at any of the scheme’s 70 UK venues. Anyone having a Young Driver lesson can ask to be marked and entered during a standard lesson. The 40 highest scoring entrants split between two age categories (10-13yrs  and 14-16yrs) will then take part in a final in September at The British Motor Museum. TV presenter and motoring expert Quentin Willson will host the event.

At a Young Driver lesson, pupils learn to drive in the same way as they would on the road at 17. Lessons take place on private property in dual controlled cars with fully qualified instructors. Youngsters learn how to change gear, steer, brake, handle junctions and roundabouts and even perform complex manoeuvres.

As well as being named one of the best young drivers in the country, prizes up for grab include £200 cash and Young Driver lessons worth £750, along with family restaurant vouchers.

Entries for the Challenge are now open until 26th June 2022. For more information go to www.youngdriver.com or download the Young Driver App.

There are just five Scottish venues, and unfortunately all centrally located:
Edinburgh, Royal Highland Centre
Falkirk, Falkirk Stadium
Glasgow, Braehead
Glasgow, Silverburn Shopping Centre
Livingston, The Centre Shopping Centre

40 young drivers competed in the last Challenge final in 2019 with Vicki Butler-Henderson and Quentin Willson handing out prizes to the winners. Overall winners were Joshua (age 10 -13 category) and Poppy  (age 14 - 16 category). 

Help Wanted - and Ignored

Call centres and company website help services ... Over the past three weeks, Virgin Media has managed to block my email account three times which has caused hours of frustration trying to phone, waiting for a response and then getting nowhere when eventually I get through to a human being. They offer a temporary fix and tell you to change your password. Admittedly some call centre operators are more helpful than others, but it's finding the ones that actually do care about their customers that is the difficulty.

That leads to the next seemingly deliberate ploy to annoy and frustrate. The security question asked for the name of my first car. Something I am completely unlikely to forget but the machine tells me I'm wrong. For #*+?'s sake I should know what I drove better than any bluidy machine!

When that fails, the next question is to provide them with details of the most current bill. Even when the details are meticulously entered and checked, the machine comes back with the message telling me it is wrong. It even told me my mobile phone number was wrong when I'm holding the bluidy thing in my hand.

By this time the blood pressure was close to blowing a V8 sized gasket and I was getting nowhere fast, or even slow. The machine ground to a halt  and offered no more alternatives. That was it. The job was done as far as it was concerned. It was obviously all the customer's fault.

The trouble is that modern call centres are seemingly staffed by a generation who were raised on computers and smart phones and have little knowledge of how society evolved and was successfully managed in the High Street face to face, telephone, typewriter and Royal Mail days. It's the same with company websites. There is an arrogant assumption that everyone has access to the internet and knows how to use it.

First they require you to go through their 'Frequently Asked Questions' to resolve the query whilst completely disregarding the fact that you may have come up with a brand new 'not so frequently asked question'! These complex electronic questionnaires appear to have been designed by sadists who are computer literate but have lived life in a  darkened room lit only by the glare of countless screens.

And the worst part? When you do actually get to speak to a human being, they are so reliant on the 'accuracy' of their own machines and software, that it is the customer who is always wrong. Changed days, eh? Grrrr!

Somewhere along the line there are a number of overpaid executives sitting in centrally heated, overstuffed comfort counting their sales, salaries and bonuses at the expense of customer service - remember the Post Office scandal? It used to be ambition that drove people on, now it's just greed.

It won't be long now before the machines do indeed take over the world and the human race as a species is doomed. Methinks the machines have in fact started the process but those who are supposedly in control, are in fact the ones who are being controlled! Spooky, eh?

Tuesday 15 March 2022

Road - The Man from Ford

He cometh and he taketh away! Sad to say, the press appraisal Mustang has been reclaimed and returned. However, there should be enough fumes in the tank for the driver to get it to the nearest filling station for a re-fill. Having said that it did require a top-up during its short stay. At best it was returning 29 mpg, at worst -- rather less!

Trouble was it was all too tempting to switch it into Sports mode, and revel in the rumble of a 5 litre 454 bhp beating heart under the hood, sorry, bonnet!

It'll require some recovery time before composing the Road Test report which will be published shortly in 'jaggybunnet.co uk', but in the meantime, the Beast did get the ultimate Seal of Approval from one brand new fan.

Sad to think that Grandbaby Bunnet will grow up in a near silent electric motoring world missing out on the deep throb of a V8, the beat of a flat four or the sonorous song of a BDA in full flight. The electric car manufacturers say they can reproduce any sound, but can they reproduce the physical and aural sensations? I doubt it.

Sunday 13 March 2022

Road - Galloway tour


The Beast at rest... The car that is, not me!  What I have found is that some stretches of the roads in Galloway would have made ideal stages for the proposed Coast 2 Coast Rally and one can only hope that matters can be satisfactorily resolved for next year. During the trip I found not one soul who was opposed to it, indeed most folk were looking forward to something different and exciting in this far flung corner of Scotland.   

One thing I did find was a symbol of support for a beleaguered nation not too far to the east. Flying resolutely above a small and peaceful harbour was a fluttering beacon of hope and defiance.


Friday 11 March 2022

Road - Thunder in the Glen

Y'know, some times, just some times, the everyday job of a motoring writer is a teeny wee bit more appealing than weekend rally reporting. 


Thursday 10 March 2022

Rally - Snowman Report

That's the main headline report from the AM Phillip Trucktech Snowman Rally now published in the online mag at 'jaggybunnet.co.uk'. 

There's also a list of the top ten fastest times on each stage which makes awfy interesting reading. The Class roundup will have to wait till next week as I have a mighty and thunderously important task to undertake this weekend - more on that later - perhaps!

Correction & Apology ... I made a mistake in the rally report which I submitted to this week's 'Motorsport News' and must apologise to the Lees brothers. In the report I said it was Ewen who was with Ian Forgan, when in fact he was codriving for Donald Brooker in the Subaru Legacy. Which means that it was in fact Chris who was with Ian when the car tumbled off the road. I'm sure we all wish Ian and Chris a speedy recovery. 


Wednesday 9 March 2022

Rally - Coast2Coast Postponed

The news that the Stranraer based Coast2Coast Rally which was scheduled to run over Friday and Saturday 6/7 May has been postponed has come as a bitter blow to Scottish rallying but more especially to Machars Car Club. After years of effort it appeared that success was  finally within reach until snatched away with weeks to go.

Similarly, Glenrothes Motor Sports Club had an event and route planned and despite huge local support a vociferous minority scuppered their plans.

If anyone out there still thinks Closed Road Rallying will be the answer to the diminishing sport of forest rallying then they simply don't understand the problems.

For instance, when organising a forest event, the organisers have to deal primarily with one main landowner, plus a few others, farmers and residents along the route.

On the other hand, any team planning a closed road event has to deal with multiple landowners, road users and other interested parties. That means meeting and dealing with farmers, estate owners, businesses  and residents who may live on or near the roads being used. And of course they also have to comply with the Road Traffic Act as well as other national regulations and observe local by-laws.

Using public roads is not simply a matter of erecting a barrier at one end and another at the far end. All other road users have to be advised not just local folk and farmers who live along the route but all those using such roads including the blue light services Police, Fire Brigade, Ambulance operators, Doctors and midwives and all other NHS services. All public utility providers such as gas, electricity and telephone companies as well as the Post Office and delivery firms have to be advised plus Bus and taxi companies. That means  countless meetings, phone calls and email messages.

Even when all such agreements have been sought, there are always a few who will require additional assurance. What might be given as a casual agreement initially can become a source of anxiety as the date draws nearer and doubts start to creep in. More information is sought and more assurances have to be given and that all takes up even more time.

In some other parts of the UK the culture is different. Rallying is a way of life even for those who don't actually participate. We simply don't have this culture across the mainland - yet. It will take time.

It was all looking so promising. Stranraer and its former ferry car park providing the ideal base and the surrounding roads providing a real challenge, not to mention the enthusiastic support of the majority of people, businesses, local authorities and the local sponsors. The people of the furthermost part of the south west have lost out on a chance of a significant financial injection and the chance to promote the area as a tourist destination in its own right.

Meanwhile Mull, the Jim Clark and Argyll have started the wheel rolling, but honestly anyone who takes on such a task has to be either a workaholic or a masochist - or both! Machars CC might be down at present, but they're not out!

Tuesday 8 March 2022

Rally - Bob Milloy, Funeral

Bob Milloy's funeral will take place at Fishwicks Beetham Hall Crematorium, Beetham, Milnthorpe, LA7 7BQ,  at 2pm on Tuesday March 22nd. It's situated on the old A6 and coming from the north, it looks as though the best access is via Junction 36 on the M6.


As Bob specified, it will be non-religious and those attending should dress in a "non-funereal" manner.


An online tribute page has been created which will allow people to leave personalised tributes in memory of Bob. To use this facility please visit http://www.fishwicksltd.co.uk/ and click the donate button. You will then need to enter 'Robert Milloy' to gain access to his unique tribute page.


If travel to Cumbria is difficult, there will be an option to join in proceedings via the internet, either as they happen or for a few weeks afterwards. To connect please visit https://watch.obitus.com/fnV5UT using the Username: qovu7781 and Password: 471187 



Rally - Rally Sport News

Bob Irvine has been busy again. The latest issue of his 'Rally Sport News' is now available to view on  line. As usual it's full of newsy snippets and articles and the ideal companion for a feet up, mug of tea moment. There's a feature on Anders Kullang, a name that many will recall, and another on a chap called Alex Strathdee whom fewer might recall, but who played an integral part in Jim McRae's career. Well worth the read.

The link below may seem a bit long and cumbersome, but I tried the shorter version Bob originally sent out and it didn't work. He said no-one else has complained so he must think I'm awfy computer illiterate, but anyway if this one worked for me, it should work for everybody!

It's in 'pdf' format so you can read it on line or download it to read it later.