SRC contenders benefit from significant prize fund
A whole host of ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship (SRC) competitors are fired up for the final two rounds of 2018, knowing they are in with a shout of claiming some of the best prizes available in UK rallying.
With four gruelling rounds in Inverness, Elgin, Lockerbie and Dunoon now completed, the SRC next heads to Aberdeenshire for the Grampian Forest Rally on Saturday 11th August, where it won’t just be championship frontrunners Andrew Gallacher and Donnie MacDonald with their eyes on the prize.
Series organisers have offered a large array of incentives to suit the needs of all SRC competitors in 2018, meaning that every single driver that starts an event has something enticing to aim for.
The SRC John Horton Star Driver Award is one of the most eagerly anticipated on the SRC tour. Open to every single registered competitor, this unique scheme rewards drivers for their fighting spirit, driving skill and impressive performances.
A panel of judges select a recipient after each championship round, with all the nominees then meeting for an end-of-year shoot-out where this year they will compete for the coveted Star Driver trophy as well as a day of tuition with 1999 British Rally champion Tapio Laukkanen.
Debuting in 2017, the success of the Star Driver Award has been vindicated with last year’s winner Keith Riddick’s recent performance on the Down Rally in Northern Ireland. Switching to sealed surface, Riddick chose to contest the MSA Asphalt Championship round as the prize drive for his Star Drive achievement, aiming to broaden his skill set behind the wheel.
Despite retiring with mechanical issues, the MG ZR pilot showed he was worthy of the award, setting some impressive stage times on an outing that was subsidised by the championship.
Paddy Munro, Marty Scott, Angus Lawrie and Ross Hughes have all already secured themselves a spot in this year’s shoot-out, with drivers keen to turn heads on the following rounds to be in with a chance of the award. Shoot-out winner Riddick admitted that it’s not just on the rallies where judges are looking for more than just outright speed.
“My advice would be just to be yourself” Riddick revealed. “The judging panel aren’t there to catch you out, and it’s not about being the fastest driver which I was thankful for.
“They were looking for someone who was good at all aspects of rallying, and a reminder to those that don’t get nominated after a rally: we were a wildcard entry and managed to win it!”
The SRC Junior championship is riddled with enviable prizes too, with two amazing rewards on offer for claiming the title. The winning driver will receive a free entry into the Dayinsure Wales Rally GB National in October as well as joining the Star Driver winner in a forest with Tapio Laukkanen.
The battle to become 2018 champion is brewing rather nicely. Tom Howie currently leads the way in his Talbot Sunbeam, but is being chased hard by the MG ZRs of Niall Cowan Jr and Scott Peacock. Ally Currie’s Ford Fiesta ST is the pacesetter however, with the Mull driver notching up two wins already this season but suffering retirements on the other two rounds.
“I believe the championship fight is still on,” Currie admitted. “However, I need to win the final two events to do that so the pressure is on but I know I’m capable.
“I think for any young and upcoming driver it’s important to fight for good prizes and exposure and the SRC has done a good job with that. I’m pleased to have been in the running for two Star Driver nominations already this year, it’s very rewarding for the team considering all their efforts. I’d love to join John MacCrone, Craig Rutherford and Paul Mackinnon as the fourth Mull driver to be SRC Junior champion.”
Alongside the Star Drive and Junior incentives, competitors eligible for the SRC Challengers can take advantage of a half-price entry into the subsequent SRC event when they seal a category win. The Challengers is open to drivers who have secured no more than one overall top 10 finish in the last decade and has crowned champions such as Scott McCombie and Michael Binnie who are now consistently troubling the top 10 places.
The Speedline Star Driver Award is another substantial benefit associated with SRC registration, with all registered competitors automatically becoming eligible for the Grand Attack Trophy with support from Speedline Wheels. A panel of judges decides the winner at the end of the season, with discounts available to all competitors after registration.
Used Car Parts also have a strong relationship with the SRC, with the increasingly popular Subaru Cup receiving sponsorship from the Dumfriesshire firm for the third year running.
Using cars similar to the model 1995 world champion Colin McRae made famous, a £100, £50 and £25 voucher is on offer to the top three Subaru Cup finishers on each event.
Championship partners Pirelli also offer their fair share to SRC competitors with a dedicated bonus scheme, while the winner of the Morrison Trailers Award will be eligible for a substantial discount off the price of a Brian James trailer.
With a host of incentives on offer to competitors across the field on SRC events, the battle on the final two rounds will be in full flow from the front to the back of the pack.
The next event in the championship takes crews to Banchory near Aberdeen for the penultimate round of the series, The Grampian Forest Rally on Saturday 11th August.
The 2018 ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship is partnered by Pirelli Motorsport, Reis Motorsport Insurance and KNC Groundworks Ltd.
The championship consists of seven forest events across Scotland, taking in over 300 competitive stage miles.