Tuesday 15 November 2022

Rally - 1980 Coltness Stages Rally

Where are they now? ... This event won't make the book that is currently being written about the Scottish Rally Championship as Coltness Car Club's 'Coltness Stages Rally' in 1980 wasn't in the national series.

Even so this 15 Stage rally attracted 120 entries plus 8 reserves 42 years ago to its event which included 30 miles of stages in the 150 mile route. All the stages were held on private land and many may recall names such as Muldron, Hareshaw, Dunsyston, Mountcow, Cairngryffe, Howgate and Boreland amongst others.

Starting from Newmains in Lanarkshire the rally finished back there at the Pine Lodge Hotel for the after rally prizegiving, disco and serious bevvy session - and maybe one of the reasons that particular hostelry no longer exists! You'll never guess what first prize was - six bottles of Auchentoshan whisky. Aye, them were't days, eh?

CCC President Tom Clark and Charlie Young won the rally outright from Jimmy Horne and Ashley Strachan although third placed Alastair and Judy Fletcher might have made more of an impression on the top two places had they not slid off one stage and gone through a fence!

Still rallying these days, albeit in a Peugeot 208 Rally4, back then Richard Stewart and Bob Morland, the number 26 seeds finished eighth overall, having 'graduated' from a Ford Anglia to a Talbot Sunbeam while a certain Richard Malloch Nicoll was ninth overall.

Robin Christie might well have made the top ten but for a deceptive right hander in the penultimate stage. The Chevette rolled off the road and landed on top of the Course Opening Car! At least there were sufficient bodies around to get him back on the road. Bill Lymburn dropped out of contention  with a broken panhard rod in the Triumph TR7 V8 and Kenny Stewart incurred 19 minutes worth of Time Penalties while John Allan failed to finish when a brake disc broke up and tore the centre out of a wheel.

Bruce Lyle's rally ended against a tree on the penultimate stage and was followed in quick succession by Drew Murray, Hugh Steel, Ronnie Burns and Ronnie Gray - the tree is still there!

Top Ten:

1, Tom Clark/Charlie Young (Ford Escort RS)  31 mins 34 secs

2, Jimmy Horne/Ashley Strachan (Ford Escort RS)  32m 53s

3, Alastair Fletcher/Judy Fletcher (Vauxhall Chevette)  33m 03s

4, Fred Henderson/Fiona Beacon (Vauxhall Chevette)  33m 07s

5, Walter McDonald/Charlie Caven (Ford Escort RS)  33m 24s

6, Jimmy Fleming/Margaret Fleming (Vauxhall Chevette)  33m 48s

7, George Marshall/Alan Ainslie (Vauxhall Chevette)  34m 06s

8, Richard Stewart/Bob Morland (Talbot Sunbeam)  34m 07s

9, Richard Nicoll/Gordon Mackie (Ford Escort Mexico)  34m 16s

10, John Wilson/Ken Richardson  (Ford Escort RS2000)  34m 30s


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