Thursday 30 June 2022

Road - New Range Rover

I was asked by a few folk at the Dunoon Argyll at the weekend what I thought of the new Range Rover. I was well impressed, but it's way too sophisticated and precious for the likes of me, I still prefer the new Defender. But what you can't argue with is the engineering and the capability that is built into this latest Range Rover. However, I'd be sore feart to take it off road and risk that paintwork against Scottish gorse and heather! And as for throwing a set of wheels and trolley jack in the boot, the mere thought gives me the heebie jeebies. 

Full review here if you're interested ...

Monday 27 June 2022

Rally - McRae Rally Challenge

That's the full Entry List for the McRae Rally Challenge and Tunnock's Junior 1000 Challenge now in the on-line mag. 

Knockhill Circuit will host the July 2/3 weekend's action and festivities with rally stages interspersed with parades and demonstrations, so a full programme of events is planned to fill the weekend.

Alister McRae and Craig Ritchie won the event when it was last held in 2015, but Alister has swapped his winning Proton for a Hyundai this time, and he has also changed his co-driver in preference for a much younger and prettier one - Ian Grindrod!

Sunday 26 June 2022

Rally - Done-in in Dunoon

Service crews don't usually get a mention, but the fact that out of 129 starters yesterday, 99 crews recorded a finish is as much a testament to their efforts as those of the two folk inside the car. Some stages during the rally were literally littered with broken and bent motors, but those who made it back to service were mostly returned to battle. Thanks to the almost overlooked heroes of modern rallying.

There was little doubt about the winners though, David Bogie and Cameron Fair  reigned supreme in the MINI, and although David Henderson and Chris Lees in the Fiesta R5 closed the gap to 13 seconds over the final stages, there was little doubt that Bogie had things under control. Although the gap between the top two shown below is over a minute that's because Henderson was penalised a minute for striking a chicane. So too was another top ten finisher Hugh Brunton with Drew Sturrock and quite a few more further down the field. In other words treat chicanes like you would treat your Mum!

Freddie Milne and Patrick Walsh must have thought they were on for a podium finish. After striking a wall with the Fiesta R5 on the wet and windy Friday night, they fought back in daylight till a puncture on the penultimate stage dropped the Fiesta R5 into the clutches of the pursuit. That meant Rory Young and Allan Cathers must have thought they were in for a shout with the Fiesta Rally2, until that man Binnie fired up the after burner.

In fact, Rory was one of the first to congratulate Michael when the Mitsubishi rolled into the Dunoon stadium finish as he and Claire Mole were declared third overall. "Fair play to Michael, there was nothing I could do about those times," said Rory.

A somewhat subdued Gordon Morrison with Hannah Mckillop rounded off the top six. He felt there was more to come but was lacking confidence in the Fiesta's set-up especially when it landed after some of Argyll's fierce dips.

Another force of nature is Scott MacBeth, as he and Daniel Forsyth recorded 7th overall in the Evo9 ahead of Neil Roskell and Andrew Roughead in their Fiesta R5. Even so, at the finish Neil said: "Loved it - good event, although I had a double puncture on one side of the car which nipped a brake pipe - and didn't realise until I went for the brakes at the next corner!"

With his penalty, Brunton lost a potential top six placing which would have been a superb result considering his lack of rally experience, but drive of the rally? That must surely have gone to tenth place.

I don't know what Greg McKnight has for breakfast, nor Calum MacPherson either, for he must have some constitution to sit beside Greg at full chat. The Escort Mk2 was like a yellow streak of light spearing through the dark greenery of Argyll and will surely make some folk think about tyre choice in future - he was running MRF tyres.

Just outside the top ten in 13th place o/a was second 2WD runner Stephen Thompson  and Larry Higton in another yellow Mk2 - so maybe the colour has something to do with the pace as well! Third 2WD, and in the top 20 overall (19th), was the Peugeot 208 Rally4 of Peter Stewart and Harry Marchbank. Incredible. In this case, Peter's pace might have something to do with 'Marchbank the Baker's' pies or empire biscuits! I have road tested both.

Full report in Thursday's Motorsport News with the usual longer report in the on-line mag after that.

1, David Bogie/Cameron Fair (Mini JCW WRC) 53mins 44secs

2, David Henderson/Chris Lees (Ford Fiesta R5) +1m 13s

3, Michael Binnie/Claire Mole (Mitsubishi Evo9) +1m 34s

4, Freddie Milne/Patrick Walsh (Ford Fiesta R5) +1m 58s

5, Rory Young/Allan Cathers (Ford Fiesta Rally2) +2m 02s

6, Gordon Morrison/Hannah Mckillop (Ford Fiesta R5) +2m 19s

7, Scott MacBeth/Daniel Forsyth (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo9) +2m 34s

8, Neil Roskell/Andrew Roughead (Ford Fiesta R5) +2m 35s

9, Hugh Brunton/Drew Sturrock (Ford Fiesta R5) +3m 09s

10, Greg McKnight/Calum MacPherson (Ford Escort Mk2) +3m 38s

Saturday 25 June 2022

Rally - Bogie wins in Argyll

Bogie wins in Argyll although Henderson closed the gap to 13 secs. After a heroic push over the final stages Binnie swept past Young and Milne to grab third. Milne was therefore 4th after a puncture this afternoon with Young 5th ahead of a superb drive from MacBeth. Greg McKnight was top 2WD in a scintillating 9th o/a with Stephen Thomson 2nd 2WD. Peter Stewart in the Peugeot again raised eyebrows with his pace finishing 18th o/a.

More detailed short report tomorrow, full page report in Motorsport News on Thursday.

Rally - Argyll progress

 At the regroup after 8 of 12 stages Bogie leads in Argyll by 29 secs from Henderson who has 33 secs on Milne. Freddie clattered a wall last night so his fightback is pretty impressive. Young is 4th ahead of Binnie and Montana Morrison. Both Steve Wood and Mark Kelly are out. It was a foul night last night with wind and rain around Dunoon, and more squalls this morning, but a big round orange thing has appeared in the sky this afternoon. This been a tough, tricky, challenging event so far with lots of cars littering the countryside. Hopefully they'll show more sense this afternoon.  Some hope, eh? Fingers crossed.

Friday 24 June 2022

More SuperVans

Yesterday’s item about Ford’s latest SuperVan sparked a lot of interest. More than expected, so here’s some more, particularly for those of more tender years who didn’t know that this most sober and reputable of companies used to get up to some promotional high jinks in the past.

The first of Ford’s SuperVans was the outrageous 1971 Ford GT40 mid-engined Transit Mk1 which three-wheeled its way around the nation’s race circuits like a prancing horse in an Olympic dressage competition. The 4.7 litre V8 produced well in excess of 350 bhp and handled like a forest sprung Mk2 Ford Escort, but with oodles more oomph and sounded even more spectacular than it looked. 

SuperVan 2 was a much more sophisticated track weapon and had a glassfibre Transit Mk2 shaped body grafted on to a Ford C100 sportscar monocoque with a 582 bhp Cosworth V8. 

This vehicle was later re-bodied as the facelifted Transit Mk3 SuperVan 3 powered by a 641 bhp F1 derived Cosworth HB engine.

Thursday 23 June 2022

Ford's Supervan

Now that’s a van … Ford will show off its brand new Supervan at 2022 Goodwood Festival of Speed. Four electric motors, 2000 bhp, four wheel drive and a sub two-second 0-62mph acceleration time.

The striking, all-electric demonstrator vehicle was developed in secret by Ford Performance and electrified rally and racing specialists STARD in Austria, with exterior design by the Ford Design team in Cologne, Germany.

Ford’s first SuperVan was the 1971 Ford GT40 engined Transit Mk.1. SuperVan 2 had a glassfibre version of the Transit Mk.2 body draped over a monocoque and 582 bhp Cosworth V8 Ford C100 racing car. This vehicle was later reborn as the facelifted Transit Mk.3 SuperVan 3 powered by a 641 bhp Cosworth HB engine Formula 1 car.

The new van’s motorsport-spec construction marries the E-Transit Custom floorpan with a steel spaceframe and lightweight composite body panels including a sculpted front splitter, side skirts and rear diffuser while the rear design’s cutaways and dorsal fin flow into the rear wing to generate downforce.

The racing influence continues under the skin with unequal-length double wishbone suspension at each corner. Motorsport-grade front and rear subframes, uprights, and brakes deliver the braking and steering capability to match the enormous straight-line go.

The Ford Pro Electric SuperVan’s interior includes a full roll cage and FIA racing seats as well as a large SYNC touchscreen taken directly from Ford’s production vehicles. 

The touchscreen also enables control of the selectable drive modes that tailor the Electric SuperVan’s torque maps, regenerative braking and control responses to suit different driving scenarios:

· Road – for “normal” driving

· Track – for balancing speed and cornering on track with racing slicks

· Drag – for maximum acceleration on drag strips

· Drift – for spectacular drifting, agility demonstrations and snow driving

· Rally – for optimum performance on tarmac and gravel rally stages

Further performance fine-tuning is delivered by an electronics package that includes traction control, launch control, a pit-lane speed limiter and three-stage regenerative braking to return energy to the battery.

A Tyre Cleaning Mode can deliver exhilarating driving displays; this new feature fully brakes one axle while spinning the other, creating impressive burnouts on the front or rear axles that help clean and warm the tyres before performance runs.

Romain Dumas will drive the van at Goodwood. He has set outright records at the Goodwood and Pikes Peak hillclimbs, and also holds the electric lap record at the Nordschleife, where he won four Nürburgring 24 Hours races. Dumas’ diverse experience also includes the 24 Hours of Le Mans’ outright distance record, an FIA World Endurance Championship title, and a class victory at the Rallye Monte Carlo.

Now please remind me. How do you contact Santa Claus if you don’t have a chimney?

Monday 20 June 2022

Rally - Star studded Dunoon

Freddie Milne and Patrick Walsh head a full capacity 140 car entry in this weekend's Dunoon Presents Argyll Rally. And it's not just quantity, there's quality too, as the KNC Groundworks Scottish Championship meets up with the regulars from the Protyre Asphalt Rally Championship.

Add in the points chasers from the SD34 MSG Stage Rally and AS Performance North of England Tarmacadam Rally Championships, plus a flock of Minis from the HRCR Mini Sport Cup and you have all the makings of a huge and colourful rallying jamboree.

Full Entry List here:


Tuesday 14 June 2022

McRae Rally Challenge

Plans are well under way for the McRae Rally Challenge at Knockhill Circuit on the weekend of 2nd/3rd July and a website shop has been set up to sell memorabilia associated with the event, including replica 'rally plates' as will be worn on the cars taking part in the rally.

There's a whole range of goodies including tee-shirts and hoodies, mugs and water bottles, which can be ordered on-line and the company behind them will have a stand at the Circuit throughout the weekend. They will also have smaller more exclusive stickers for sale on the day which will not be available on the website.


The sale of these stickers and items will be raising money for the event's charity, Maggie’s Cancer Care, and hoping to raise as much money as possible.


The collection can be found here:


Sunday 12 June 2022

Rally - A rare sighting

Rare Photos ... Now here's something you don't see every day, it would appear to be an actual photograph of the camera-shy Jaggy Bunnet, former Haggis Herdsman, and something of an ethereal presence in Scottish rallying.

As an unbiased, fair minded, upstanding, un-opinionated fellow, he was 'invited' by Trix and Bruce to pick the winning ticket for the Carnegie's Fuel prize draw at the Summer Stages Rally at Crail.

Apparently one James S McRae was unavailable and so was the organisers' second choice (!) so Jaggy was actually their third choice guest - just don't tell him that!

Anyway, it would appear that the big chap mastered the complicated technology remarkably well with Andrew Forbes winning the £250 Carnegie's Fuel Gold Card.




Rally - Summer Stages at Crail

Fancy an early bet for the Beatson's Building Supplies Mull Rally - Mounsey for Mull? Jonathan Mounsey and Richard Wardle won the Summer Stages at a canter in their Ford Fiesta Rally2. John Rintoul and Ross Hynd were 2nd in the MINI while the Lotus Exige of Greg Inglis and Chris Lees was like a gazelle amongst a herd of 4WD heavyweights scoring a scintillating third place overall.

It was grand stuff. Crail was almost in benevolent mood. It was warm at times, and windy and ever so slightly wet, but on the whole quite pleasant, apart from sudden gusts of wind which would blaw yer bunnet across the sea to Holland if ye didnae hing oan.

For some, it was a more eventful and less successful day than others, but Jonathan Mounsey has certainly marked his card for Mull in October. Mull is nothing like Crail of course, but Mounsey's mastery of the Fiesta is certainly evident - and remember, his best result so far on the island is 4th!

'Motorsport News' will not be featuring a report from the event this week, so the full story is here, and only here - and includes a full class class roundup ...