Wednesday 15 May 2024

Rally - Busy weekend at Kames

It was good to see Kames jam-packed last weekend, as were the empire biscuits in the Kames Kaff, jam-packed that is, and icily topped! The paddock was hoaching and the spectator car park bunged full. As for the on-track action, the big cars made plenty of noise and the huge field of Junior 1000 cars descended on the track – and the grass – like a swarm of hungry midges scenting summer exposed, peelly waally flesh.

Graham Bruce’s over exuberant audition for ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ was quickly and sensibly curtailed early on and he and David Aitken stuck to the tarmac (mostly) from then on to score the first rally win of the Kames season. Only 16 seconds behind after 16 stages were Stephen Donnelly and Colin McCall, the two Ford Escorts having the legs of the mighty impressive 1600cc Vauxhall Nova of third placed Peter O’Neill and Eilidh Williamson.

The battling Subaru Imprezas of Gareth Dalgliesh/Andrew Side and Cammy Williamson/Roscoe West were pretty closely matched all day finishing in 4th and 6th places just half a minute apart although it was hard to decide who had kicked up the most turf whilst demonstrating their hand-brake turn cornering skills! However, separating these two in fifth place was the Ford Fiesta ST of son and father duo Graeme and Jim Rintoul, the Fiesta behaving itself this time to allow the twosome more time inside the car than under the bonnet.

If there was a ‘Drive of the Day’ award David Telfer would be in the running. He finished 7th overall on his first rally. He was neat and tidy all day and just got quicker and quicker. All was explained later. It might have been his first rally, but he has been competing in just about every other form of motor sport that East Ayrshire Car Club has to offer from autotests to sprints. As for his co-driver, Hayden Brown was competing on just his third rally – and he’s only 14, but his birthday ain’t far away. He turns 15 on the 28th of this month – and already a seasoned campaigner!

If David was ‘driver of the day’ then Fraser McCurdie must be the ‘autocrosser of the day’ as his novel line at the hairpin on the first stage of the morning saw the Mini scuttle around the outside of the tyre barriers on the grass flinging muck and turf everywhere. But he sobered up after that to finish 14th and third in class. Not so Billy Hamilton, who almost went golfing. Unfortunately, he tried to take the Kadett with him and parked it astride the tyre barrier. At least he had less damage to contend with than Ewan Murdoch whose Escort now has an unwanted ‘air-cooling vent’ at the bottom of the cylinder block. As for Colin Hay, the ‘retired’ Mk2 driver was at the wheel of son Steven’s Vauxhall Nova. He was just getting the hang of this front wheel drive nonsense when a couple of the paddles in the clutch got bent and he couldn’t select gears. Another one needing to get the gearbox out will be James Wilson. Although he finished 10th overall and 1st in the 1400 class in the MG, he had fingers crossed going for a finish as it was getting more difficult to select gears as the day wore on. Each shift being engaged with a crunch!

As for the youngsters, the top six were covered by just 43 seconds! How close is that? Rian Walker won on the day with a tidy and well driven Skoda but the tie-break rule had to be applied to separate Charlie Mathewson (VW Up!) and Ollie Forrester (Skoda) for second place. As if that wasn’t enough, the tie-break rule had again to be employed to determine fourth place with Lauchlan Hunter (VW Up!) getting the decision ahead of the top placed Nissan Micra on the day which was William Paterson’s car in 5th place overall. It would be hard to pick a ‘driver of the day’ from this wild bunch, but Lucyanne Cree’s top ten finish showed a big improvement on last year’s pace carrying more speed into and through the corners and keeping her foot flat to the board on the straights.

Perhaps the previous day’s training and testing session for the 14 to 17 year olds helped them all. It was also good to see Max McRae, Robert Proudlock and Lewis Haining plus many other ‘elders’ turning up to help and advise the youngsters on Saturday and also sitting in with them to give practical guidance. As ever, the big topic of where to go next after the 1000cc cars is a concern not just for the youngsters, but the paying parents! Fortunately the newly created MG3 Rally Challenge ( might just be the answer. A one-make, budget conscious category being run by Niall Cowan and Mark McCulloch. Well worth a look!

There was another ‘treat’ in store for the youngsters on Saturday. After the rally training activities they were asked to assemble in the paddock – to help with stage construction. Over 150 stakes and arrows had to be set up around the circuit and of course tyre markers moved to be ready for Sunday. Another valuable lesson learned and an insight into just how much work the regular volunteers undertake to provide all rally crews with their sport.

East Ayrshire Car Club Kames Spring Rally supported by Mayfield Garage Services


Top Ten

1, Graham Bruce/David Aitken (Ford Escort) 23 mins 28secs

2, Stephen Donnelly/Colin McCall (Ford Escort) 23m 54s

3, Peter O’Neill/Eilidh Williamson (Vauxhall Nova) 23m 59s

4, Gareth Dalgliesh/Andrew Side (Subaru Impreza) 24m 01s

5, Graeme Rintoul/Jim Rintoul (Ford Fiesta ST) 24m 12s

6, Cammy Williamson/Roscoe West (Subaru Impreza) 24m 32s

7, David Telfer/Hayden Brown (Ford Escort Mk2) 24m 46s

8, Liam Harvey/Chris Wareham (Ford Fiesta) 24m 54s

9, Kenneth Dalgliesh/Scott Wightman (Ford Escort Mk2) 25m 11s

10, James Wilson/Rebecca Wilson (MG ZR) 25m 13s

Junior 1000 Top Ten

1, Rian Walker/Stuart McBride (Skoda Citigo) 26 mins 12 secs

2, Charlie Mathewson/Ian Bass (VW Up) 26m 18s

3, Ollie Forrester/George Myatt (Skoda Citigo) 26m 18s

4, Lauchlan Hunter/Richard Simmonds (VW Up) 26m 23s

5, William Paterson/Niall Cowan Jnr (Nissan Micra K11) 26m 23s

6, Thomas Babb/Andrew Blackwood (Skoda Citigo) 26m 55s

7, Alfie Letham/Craig Wallace (Skoda Citigo) 27m 23s

8, Jairaj Jutley/Lewis Haining (SEAT Mii) 27m 29s

9, Lucyanne Cree/Chloe Fleming (Skoda Citigo) 27m 30s

10, Rhys Purvin/Paul Cummins (Nissan Micra) 27m 41s

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