March 2023 News

March 2023 News


Snowman Rally (4th March): it was destination Muir of Ord, north of Inverness, for the opening round of the KNC Groundworks Scottish Rally Championship, and we had no less than 13 cars competing; that’s almost 15% of the entry.

The day couldn’t have gone better for Jock Armstrong and stand-in co-driver Hannah McKillop Davison, who finished the event in 1st overall in the Subaru Impreza.

Angus Lawrie & Paul Gribben were 5th in the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9, and Drew Sturrock and driver Hugh Brunton took their Škoda Fabia Rally2 to 6th overall, resulting in both a good haul of points and their car in one piece for the BRC-opener next Saturday. Mark McCulloch & Michael Hendry has started the final stage in 6th, but a puncture on the Proton Satria Evo – which they had to stop and change – dropped them to 13th. All three crews were commended for their actions as the first cars on the scene at the SS4 accident of rally leaders Scott Macbeth and Daniel Forsyth.

Peter Stewart & Harry Marchbank were the top 2wd finishers, finishing a brilliant 11th in their Peugeot 208 Rally4, and Jamie Edwards co-driving for Bob Adamson in the Ford Fiesta Rally2 (one of the nicest looking cars in the rally) finished 14th. The Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8 of The Captain Scott Peacock has had a winter overhaul and is no longer GpN-spec, and he and Craig Wallace finished 17th, dropping a bit of time from a nominal time in SS2 which otherwise would’ve seen them closer to the Top 10.

Donald Peacock & Mairi Riddick finished 29th in the historic-spec Ford Escort Mk II, ahead of Iain Wilson & Chris Williams who were 31st in the Ford Fiesta Rally2, following a puncture in SS2 which dropped them a lot of time (and caused a bit of bodywork damage). Richard Stewart & Carin Tait-Logan finished 38th in their Peugeot 208 Rally4, and The Sloan brothers Scott & David finished 50th overall in their Peugeot 208 R2.

There was a fairly high attrition rate with 41 retirements, and unfortunately this included Robert Proudlock & Steven Brown who retired their Open Adam R2 after SS3 with a misfire, and David Hardie & John McCulloch who had alternator issues on their Ford Escort Mk II while waiting for the delayed SS4 to begin, so had to return to Service.

Malcolm Wilson Rally (11th March): just over the border in Cumbria, the opening round of the BTRDA and British Rally Championship was to take place, based at M-Sport’s WRC Team HQ outside Cockermouth. The stages were hit by snow and ice on the Thursday/Friday, meaning the Organisers were left with no option but to change the route with 12 hours to go, on safety grounds. It was a great result for Jamie Edwards and driver Arron Newby, who finished 1st overall in the BTRDA section. Kirkgunzeon Christmas Tree entrepreneur Rory Young hopped back into a car (having not driven on gravel since the same event 12 months ago and no test), and he and Allan Cathers finished a brilliant 3rd overall in their usual hired Ford Fiesta Rally2. Drew Sturrock and driver Hugh Brunton took their Škoda Fabia Rally2 to 8th place in the BRC runners, and Robert Proudlock with Dr Steven Brown alongside finished 14th overall, 1st in class and 3rd 2wd in the Opel Adam R2.

Following their disappointing DNF at last weekend’s Snowman (see above), David Hardie & John McCulloch put in an entry for the event at the very last minute, and navigated the snow and ice safely to finish 26th overall in their Ford Escort Mk II, just ahead of Paul Gribben who was co-driving for Nick Taylor also in an Escort, and they finished 31st. Finally, Niall Cowan Snr wheeled out one of his fleet of MG3s, and he and Helen Brown finished 57th and 5th in class 1400c.

Dukeries Rally (12th March): Round 2 of the North of England Tarmac Championship took place at Donington Circuit in Derbyshire. The Collin-based father & son team of Lee & Cole Hastings finished 9th overall in their Subaru Impreza, just one place ahead of Joe McKeand and Charlotte McDowall in their Subaru Impreza.

WRC Rally Mexico (16th – 19th March): From the snow of Sweden to the sunshine of Mexico, Oliver Solberg and Elliot Edmondson were hoping to keep up their winning streak. However, following a puncture on SS9 on Friday where they dropped 1m41, the pair dropped down to 5th in class in their Škoda Fabia RS Rally2. With a lot of the stages on Saturday morning cancelled due to an accident, valuable mileage was lost and despite a string of fastest times, in the end they could only claw back enough time to finish 3rd in class, 1m06 behind the leader, and in 8th Overall.

Rally North Wales (25th March): based in Welshpool and using popular stages in North Wales such as Dyfnant and Gartheiniog, Jamie Edwards and driver Kevin Procter had planned to use the event for practice in the Ford Sierra in which they plan to contest November’s RAC Rally, however, vital parts did not arrive in time. It was Kevin’s first time competing on gravel outwith Yorkshire, and the pair performed well to finished 3rd overall in the Interclub section (6th overall in the combined result with the Historic Championship).

Memorial Garden Stages (25th March): the opening round of the Junior 1000 Ecosse Challenge for 14-17-year-olds in 1000cc cars was held at RM Condor, the large Royal Marines base near Arbroath. Junior driver Ollie Forrester and co-driver George Myatt returned to the series for the second year, finishing 6th overall in a Škoda Citigo. Fellow Junior Thomas Babb was competing in a similar Škoda, and under the guidance of Paul Gribben he finished 11th on his very first event.

📸 Alan Scott: Peter Stewart & Harry Marchbank at the Snowman Rally.

Well done, everyone.


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