After the tarmac of Argyll the KNC Groundworks Scottish Rally Championship returned to its’ spiritual home, the forests, with the 75th running of the RSAC Scottish Rally.
Taking a historic 7th Scottish Rally win, breaking the legendary Roger Clarks’ record, David Bogie made the most of a dust free windscreen to win 5 out of the 5 stages. With John Rowan alongside David found the event to be much more of an endurance test than the tarmac.
Moving into the championship lead with a 2nd consecutive 2nd place Jock Armstrong & Cammy Fair continued to learn the new Rally 2 Fiesta. Having fitted his own seat, Jock was more comfortable than in Argyll although left hand drive still feels foreign.
Garry Pearson & Niall Burns were experiencing a Skoda Fabia R5 for the 1st time. Finding the car to be very different to the Fiestas they have driven before they were hampered by an early puncture. Catching a limping car in stage 3 didn’t help either, but they were able to secure a 1st podium of the season on the final stage.
Making it two 2 Wheel Drive wins out of 2, it was another solid weekend for Mark McCulloch & Michael Hendry. Despite battling the dust from previous cars they stayed clear of punctures to strengthen their lead in the 2wd championship.
2nd 2 Wheel Drive and taking the Albyn Garage Challengers win it was an excellent debut for Peter Stewarts’ new 208 R4. Driving well all day the only big problem was a puncture in stage 5. Peter will be looking to do even better next time out as he learns his new car which looked and sounded great on the stages.
After rolling out of the junior lead in Argyll Johnnie Mackay & Emily Easton-Page were looking for redemption here. They delivered on that, staying on the road while others fell off to grab the junior win.
It was handshakes all round among the Andrew Wood Motorsport Subaru Cup runners at the finish. Taking the win this time Michael Renton & John Shepheard battled through the dust and some overheating issues to grab their 1st top spot of the season.
In just 3 weeks time the circus will descend on Banchory for the Grampian Forest Rally, which will also be a round of the British Rally Championship for the 1st time.
image courtesy of Eddie Kelly Motorsport Photography
Although it feels like the dust has barely settled after the Dunoon Presents… Argyll Rally, this weekend will see the KNC Groundworks Scottish Rally Championship return to the forests of the South of Scotland for round 2, the RSAC Scottish Rally. The event has attracted a bumper entry of almost 140 crews as competitors in the Scottish Rally Championship are joined by those contesting the BTRDA championship. Expect a battle between the 2 series for bragging rights.
SRC winner in Argyll Freddie Milne is adjusting to the idea of being a championship leader for the 1st time. Adopting a policy of trying not to think about it too much Freddie is concentrating on adapting to a different co-driver for the next 2 rounds. The experienced Jamie Edwards stepping in for Patrick Walsh who has other commitments.
Having learned a lot in Argyll Jock Armstrong & Cammy Fair are stepping things up further for the Scottish. Jock having his own custom seat fitted to the Fiesta and looking to have a couple of pre-event tests to get up to speed on the gravel.
Defying the seeding committee in Argyll with a fantastic podium Richard Hill already has experience on gravel in 2021 having competed on the Nicky Grist Rally in Wales. Another driver adapting to a new co-driver he knows the Scottish could prove to be a tricky event.
Stepping up to challenge the podium finishers from Argyll is another incredibly strong entry. Here are just a few names to watch out for:
Returning to the MINI WRC with which they won the 2019 Galloway Hills, perhaps the biggest attack will come from 6 times winner David Bogie & John Rowan. They have form with this car and David will be looking to add to his tally of wins and move ahead of British rally legend Roger Clark in the number of outright victories on his home event.
Garry Pearson & Niall Burns will be out in an R5. Garry looking to turn his luck around after a disastrous Argyll.
Another to suffer in Argyll, Michael Binnie & Claire Mole have found some more performance with the new car since Argyll with a different engine map. Michael really looking forward to battling with the BTRDA Evo crews.
With the Impreza still poorly after Argyll Ian Forgan & Chris Lees have stepped up into their Fiesta R5 earlier than they planned. A test run at Mach 1 went well, now it’s time to see how the gravel goes.
On top of this the entry list is full of big names, Hugh Hunter, Rory Young, Bruce McCombie & John Wink to name just a few.
In the 2wd race, Mark McCulloch & Iain Wilson sit at the top of an impressive list in their big Escorts. Both drivers remarking on the strength of the field with names like Steven Wood, Keith Riddick & the junior drivers Ewan Tindall & Johnnie Mackay all looking to score big SRC points.
Added to that there are also big names from the BTRDA 2wd scene and further afield. Including Escort legend Frank Kelly, someone both Iain & Mark are really looking to try and do battle with.
Subaru Cup winner in Argyll, John O’Kane is looking forward to getting back on the gravel on his 1st ever attempt at the Scottish Rally. John really pushing the boat out and investing in the Imprezas’ 1st ever set of brand new tyres. The other Cup crews had better watch out….
The current spell of dry weather looks set to continue into the weekend meaning that the crews will have to contend with hot and dusty conditions on the fast and challenging forest tracks. Unfortunately, due to ongoing Covid restrictions the organisers have confirmed the event will be a non-spectator event. However, you can keep up to date with the competition and the results on the day via the event website at www.scottishrally.co.uk from where you can also download a full entry list.