Hugh Brunton and Drew Sturrock won the Autosave Components Kinloss Summer Stages at the weekend. It was cold and dry when they won last time in February, this time it was hot and dry.
Once again this new venue came in for great praise - good surface, long stages and no Merges or Splits. There were just six Special Stages, but they totalled 52 miles of competitive running.
Despite no fourth gear for the last three stages, Brunton's Fiesta R5 was never headed, leading from start to finish and although they pushed hard (despite what the Sheriff might have you believe!) Barry Groundwater and Michael Hendry finished second in the Subaru almost one minute adrift.
John Morrison and Keir Beaton finished third in the Fiesta R5 but were pushed hard all the way by the Darrian T90 of Andy and Karen Horne who were only three seconds behind at the finish.
I don't know what Joe McKeand is adding to his breakfast these days but he finished fifth with Charlotte McDowall in the Subaru Impreza. Brian Watson and Sean Donnelly completed the top six in their Ford Escort Mk2.
And yes, if you look at the tenth overall finishers, that is 'the' Donnie MacDonald co-driving for Thomas Gray. It also coincided with Thomas' best finish so far in the Escort and depending on who you believe it was all down to Donnie the Ditch's sterling efforts on keeping madcap Gray under control - fat chance, eh?
Another thing, if you thought three generations of McRaes at Knockhill was special, it was every bit as special up north with three generations of Mackays on the stages. OK, so Grandpops Allan was running Course Car duty with the Anglia but the weans were competing.
Euan MacKay and Michelle Hunter finished a quite incredible 13th overall in their 1600cc class winning Peugeot Ten 6 while Euan's brother Gordon was 25th in another Peugeot 106 with his 17 year old son Jack co-driving on his first event. And one only hopes the youngster doesn't quite follow in the wheeltracks of his faither and grandfaither - and stays out of the undergrowth! Stephen Fraser and Alan Grant won Class 2 in their Mini 1275GT.
Hopefully next year the Scottish clubs can knock their heads together to sort out a sensible rally calendar, because both this event and the Mach1 deserved better entries than they had this year. Yes, they are both pretty remote for many folk, but the reward is reaped when you get there.
Sadly, no pics from Kinloss, but permissions may be sorted for next year.
1 Hugh Brunton/Drew Sturrock (Ford Fiesta R5) 52m 08s
2 Barry Groundwater/Michael Hendry (Subaru Impreza S11 WRC) +56s
3 John Morrison/Keir Beaton (Ford Fiesta R5) +2m 08s
4 Andy Horne/Karen
Horne (Darrian T90 GTR) +2m 11s
5 Joe McKeand/Charlotte McDowall (Subaru Impreza) +3m 17s
6 Brian Watson/Sean Donnelly (Ford Escort Mk2) +4m 33s
7 Kris Tennant/Rafal Stanislawski (Subaru Impreza) +4m 43s
8 Chris McCallum/Stephen Clark (Ford Escort Mk2) +5m 01s
9 Ben MacDowall/Alison Horne (BMW 130i) +5m 03s
10 Thomas Gray/Donnie MacDonald (Ford Escort Mk2) +5m 04s
C2: Stephen Fraser/Alan Grant (Mini 1275GT); C3: Euan Mackay/Michelle Hunter (Peugeot 106); C4: Watson/Donnelly; C5: Horne/Horne; C6: Brunton/Sturrock