Tuesday 31 May 2022

McRae Rally Challenge

Derek 'The Professor' Ringer
The guest list for the McRae Rally Challenge at Knockhill on the 2nd and 3rd July continues to grow. Those attending and now confirmed from the world of motor sport, and particularly rallying, are three generations of McRaes led by Jim, Alister and young Max, plus Elfyn Evans and his faither Gwyndaf, Stig Blomqvist and Scotland's first World rallying champion, Louise Aitken Walker.

And of particular interest it's so nice to see that a number of top co-drivers have been invited, those oft-forgotten men and women who are an integral and vital part of any successful rally team. Appearing at Knockhill will be Luis Moya, Tina Thorner, Phil Mills, Nicky Grist, Ian Grindrod - and Derek 'The Professor' Ringer.

It's a personal opinion, but I don't think Derek and the late Nicky Jack who also co-drove for Colin in the early days received the due credit they deserved for keeping a hugely gifted but wild and wayward youngster on the road and stage (most of the time!) in the early days of a flamboyant and successful career.

When I first came across Derek, he was sitting in his kitchen with the innards of a Hillman Imp engine spread out on the kitchen table meticulously assembling the mechanical jigsaw. Many folk didn't know he was a gifted engineer in his own right.

Perhaps not quite natural fodder for the local Coltness Car Club, better known as 'The Bears', but Derek's eccentricity ensured he was a good fit for the rough and tumble of club rallying life in the 1980s.

In addition to the personalities, the Knockhill rally event has attracted an entry of 80 cars with over 50 Group B, Group A and WRC cars on track.

Monday 30 May 2022

Rally - Thorburn & Beaton win Reivers

Euan Thorburn and Paul Beaton won the Beatson's Building Supplies Reivers Rally at a canter in their Ford Focus WRC. Four fastest stage times ensured the win with David Bogie and John Rowan fastest on the other two of the six Special Stages in their MINI WRC taking second place.

Blackpool's Neil Roskell with Andrew Roughead were third in their Fiesta Rally2 but there was disappointment for Freddie Milne when he slid off on the outside of a fast right hander on the first stage and ended up in a field. Rory Young was up for the fight too but retired on the penultimate stage and Chris Collie's Lancer finished its rally rather abruptly - on its roof.

One of the surprises of the rally was the pace of the fourth placed finishers, Michael Binnie and Claire Mole in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo9 just losing out on third by 3 seconds and finishing 6 seconds clear of the Fiesta R5 of Dale Robertson and Stuart Loudon.

Mark McCulloch and Michael Hendry completed the top six in their Proton Satria Evo holding off the Polo GTI R5 of John Stone and Laura Connell to clinch the place by 10 seconds.

In one of the 'drives of the rally' young Ewan Tindall and Peredur Davies scored a stunning eighth place overall in their Mitsubishi Evo9 on the youngster's first closed road rally. In fact they snatched 8th from Scott MacBeth and Daniel Forsyth when the Evo9's dash failed on the final stage leaving Scott in the dark and with no gear display!

Greg McKnight and Harry Marchbank finished top 2WD in 17th place overall ahead of Gerry Fitzelle and Mark Mason 24th in their Ford Escort Mk2 ahead of the Triumph TR7 V8 of David Kynaston and Val Thompson while Peter Jackson and Emily Easton-Page were fourth 2WD in their Mk2 just two seconds behind the rumbling Triumph.

( There will be a full report in Motorsport News on Thursday followed by a bigger report in JB's on-line mag shortly afterwards )


1 Euan Thorburn/Paul Beaton (Ford Focus 05 WRC) 37m 06.4s

2 David Bogie/John Rowan (Mini JCW WRC) +13.0s

3 Neil Roskell/Andrew Roughead (Ford Fiesta R5) +53.8s

4 Michael Binnie/Claire Mole (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo9) +56.5s

5 Dale Robertson/Stuart Loudon (Ford Fiesta R5) +1m 02.4s

6 Mark McCulloch/Michael Hendry (Proton Satria Evo) +1m 18.0s

7 John Stone/Laura Connell (Volkswagen Polo GTI R5) +1m 28.6s

8 Ewan Tindall/Peredur Davies (Mitsubishi Evo9) +1m 46.4s

9 Scott MacBeth/Daniel Forsyth (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo9) +1m 50.5s

10 John Wink/Neil Shanks (Hyundai i20 R5) 1m 53.6s



Wednesday 25 May 2022

Road - Prodrive P25

Primarily of interest to rally fans, Prodrive has announced that it will produce a limited run of 're-imagined' P25 Subaru Imprezas, no doubt with a 're-imagined' price tag to match.


This exclusive model will mark 25 years since the first Subaru Impreza World Rally Car (WRC) made its winning debut on the stages of the World Rally Championship. The Prodrive P25 has been designed to recapture the essence of that Impreza, while taking inspiration from the 22B arguably the most iconic Impreza.


Peter Stevens, who styled the original Impreza WRC for Prodrive, has defined the design, while the engineering of the car has been overseen by Prodrive technical director, David Lapworth, who was responsible for the original Impreza WRC.


This 'new' car will have a 2.5 litre flat four ‘boxer’ engine producing in excess of 400 bhp, a six speed semi-automatic paddle-shift gearbox and, due to extensive use of carbon fibre, a lightweight chassis.


Prodrive chairman, David Richards, said: “The original 22B Impreza is considered the most iconic of Subarus and highly sought after. We wanted to enhance everything that made that car so special by applying the very latest technology to create our own modern interpretation of a car that’s established a place in motoring history.”


The Prodrive P25 will make its debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in June - and here's hoping it's got the soundtrack to match the spec! 

Race - Bo'Ness Revival

Disappointment ... Scheduled to take place on the weekend of 3rd/4th September, this year's Bo’ness Revival has had to be postponed. The reluctant decision was forced upon the organising committee: " ... in light of steeply rising costs for all of the services required to turn the Kinneil estate into a live motorsport venue for the Revival".

Yet another victim of rising costs and increased regulation.

Last year, the purpose built hillclimb venue at Forrestburn near Shotts hosted the Bo'ness Revival as Covid restrictions eased. A gathering that was made possible perhaps because  there is one thing that Shotts is not short of and that is - fresh air!

Hopefully such an option could yet be considered for this year because the Revival is such an enjoyable excuse for codgers, young and auld, to celebrate the motor car and speed, and revel in the sights, sounds and smells of vintage, veteran and classic machinery.

Last weekend, a selection of historic race cars (and their drivers) gathered at Kinneil House to mark the anniversary of the first ever round of the British Hillclimb Championship that was held at Bo’ness exactly 75 years to the day of the original event.

Sad to see racing cars sitting silent and empty, when such machinery was designed purely for one thing - enjoyment.

( Thanks to Seppi Preston for the pics. )

Monday 23 May 2022

Rally - The Reivers' Return

The Beatson's Building Supplies Reivers Rally has a soul stirring line-up of 120 cars and crews for Sunday's (29th May) six stage competition in Berwickshire. The rally will start at 10.00 Hrs from Duns Square with the first car due to return there shortly after 14.00 Hrs.

Full Entry List and Programme stockists here:



Sunday 22 May 2022

Rally - Jim Clark Entry List

The Beatson's Building Supplies Jim Clark Rally will take to the Berwickshire and Borders roads this weekend with two stages on Friday evening (27th) and seven on Saturday (28th) with rally Start and Finish in Duns. Full Entry List and Programme stockists here: