Dunoon Presents … Argyll Rally. Subaru Cup and Classes
While the big money cars at the top of the Argyll Rally grab all the headlines, the clubmen and women who form the backbone of the KNC Groundworks Scottish Rally Championship were embroiled in their own battles. Let’s see who came out on top.
Andrew Wood Motorsport Subaru Cup
The father & daughter crew of John & Meghan O’Kane recovered from an early time penalty and limped through the final stages with a seized wheel bearing to claim top honours ahead of the father & son crew of Mike & Michael Moates who were forced to change the brake discs on their Impreza overnight.
Jonathan MacDonald & Chris Wareham would take the C3 honours. Finding the closed roads a bit of a culture shock compared to their experience on the airfields of single venue events, they started relatively cautiously. Slowly building their pace all weekend they would defy the seeding commitee, finishing 39th from their start number of 90 on their 1st SRC event as a team.
Michael Renton & John Shepheard would dominate the C5 class by over 6 minutes. A clean run would see the red Impreza finish a solid 36th overall.
The only Historic crew to finish, George & Jacqueline Bryson were out for the 1st time in their beautiful BDG engined MK1 Escort. Some overheating issues on the 1st leg were dealt with by having the heaters on full blast on the Saturday. George taking some time to learn the ways of this much more powerful car as part of their prep for the Roger Albert Clark, the bi-annual historic marathon event which traverses most of the UK.
Linzi Henderson & Tom Hynd were the only other historic crew to start. Linzi borrowing her dads’ MK2 last minute after her Fiestas’ engine gave up pre-event. Unfortunately the Escort would also succumb, throwing a fan belt early on Saturday.
Out in his new Civic for the 1st time Fraser Smith was rapidly getting used to the extra power. Saturday in particular was going really well until a heavy landing ripped the sump guard off the car, damaging the subframe in the process. A bodge job in service using jubilee clips kept the Civic in the event and Fraser was able to nurse the car home to a class win, just over a minute up on friend and rival Niall Cowan Jnr.
Taking the class and the Bob Shepherd Junior win, Ewan Tindall & Andrew Roughead gained valuable mileage in their new Fiesta. 23rd overall they finished a minute up on Keith & Mairi Riddicks’ MG.
The Fiesta R200 of Ashleigh Morris took 3rd in class and 1st Lady driver on her first SRC event.
Class M5 was the sole domain of Johnnie Mackay & Emily Easton-Page. Absolutely flying early on the Fiesta ST crew were heading the juniors contest and mixing with the big Escorts. Unfortunately their rally would end in SS8, rolling out of the event.
Taking the class, top 2wd honours and 15th overall, Argyll was a dream start to the season for Mark McCulloch & Michael Hendry. Admitting to feeling a bit rusty on the Friday night the Hardie Escort crew inherited the 2wd lead when David Bogie retired in Glendaruel. They would hold that lead all the way to the finish, taking the top 2wd spot by a minute and 15 seconds.
2nd 2wd, Keith Robathan & Phil Sandham were making their debut in the ex-Gordon Murray Escort. Enjoying the new cars’ nimble handling compared to his previous BMW Keith would hold on to the class win despite a late charge by reigning 2wd champions Iain Wilson & Chris Williams. The JAS P Wilson car finishing just 5 seconds back from the Robathan Mk2 at the finish.
Ian Baumgart & Dave Robson would take the class M8 honours in Ians’ well campaigned Impreza. It was to be a typical neat and tidy Baumgart performance, staying out of trouble and finishing a minute up on the similar car of Graeme Sherry & Ewan Lees
Topping class M9 and the Albyn Garage Challengers Ian Forgan & Chris Lees would battle to 17th overall despite the cars’ best efforts. Turbo boost issues all weekend made the car difficult to drive, particularly uphill, and Ian was calling on all his front wheel drive experience to keep the car as close to full boost as possible. 17th overall was their reward after a tough event.
All images courtesy of Eddie Kelly Motorsport Photography