McDonald & Munro Speyside Stages Overall Review
Bogie secures historic victory on the McDonald & Munro Speyside Stages
The 2022 running of the McDonald & Munro Speyside Stages will be remembered as the year Doonhamer David Bogie took an incredible 10th win on the Elgin based event.
Co-driven by the experienced Irishman Barney Mitchell the MINI WRC pilot trailed the leaders early on with a mysterious fault cutting the engine mid stage. That was traced to a fueling issue and they charged from behind to take the win by 20 seconds at the finish.
Leading for most of the day Jock Armstrong from Castle Douglas & Tobermory’s Cammy Fair took their 2nd consecutive 2nd place of the season. Jock experimenting with new diff and suspension settings and was delighted that they made his beloved Impreza even better to drive.
Cornhill’s Michael Binnie & Claire Mole from Duns backed up their Snowman win with a solid 3rd place. Michael, pleasantly surprised to be as competitive as he was, really enjoyed a day long battle with the Fiesta Rally2 cars of Freddie Milne/Patrick Walsh and David Henderson/Chris Lees. Milne/Walsh dropped back to 5th overall after picking up a puncture and the Evo crew held on to the final podium place by just 4 seconds after a late charge over the final 2 stages from Henderson/Lees.
After blowing the engine on stage 1 of the Snowman, Castle Douglas’s Angus Lawrie had pulled off a superhuman effort to get a new one installed for the Speyside. With regular Annan co-driver Paul Gribben alongside, the Evo was embroiled in a battle with the similar car of team-mates and Challengers rivals William Paterson & Tom Hynd until the latter crew slipped back with a rear transmission issue later in the day. Angus & Paul built on their pace all day and finished a fine 10th overall to take a well-earned win in the Albyn Garage Challengers category.
20th overall and Autoshop 2wd winners by over 2 minutes, the Penrith crew of Stuart Egglestone & Brian Hodgson were making their SRC debut in their historic spec Escort RS1800. Despite finding a 4-speed gearbox wasn’t really enough on these fast stages they nevertheless were involved in a day long battle with the more modern 2.5 litre Escort of Tore’s Thomas Gray until the latter’s propshaft cried enough on the penultimate stage.
Making amends for a terrible Snowman where they were OTL before the start, local man Scott Mutch was pleased to take the 5 Star Deliveries Subaru Cup win, with Greg McDonald alongside, ahead of round 1 winners Jordan Anderson & Clare Mackenzie, who endured a difficult day with a slipping clutch from the off and loose rear end. To do it on their home event in front of their friends & family was a bonus.
Top Moates Offshore Junior and a highly impressive 30th overall went to Robert Proudlock from Dumfries in his Vauxhall Adam. Continuing the battle with Justin Gunning’s Fiesta R2 from the 1st round, the two young chargers were separated by just 1 second after 5 stages before Justin and new co-driver Keith Fair’s event came to a premature end in a Gartly ditch. With the calming influence of Onich’s Steven Brown alongside Robert was absolutely delighted with his day out in the woods.
After being unimpressed with her own performance on the Snowman Inverurie’s Aileen Forrest was back on form on the Speyside. Navigated by husband John, Aileen would take the honours in the fiercely contested Ladies battle. With Snowman winner Ashleigh Morris retiring with clutch failure Aileen also moves into the Ladies points lead.
Taking the Haddo Energy Super Seniors honours by just under a minute, Thornhill’s Jim Robertson was another driver to bounce back after a disappointing Snowman. With the BDG Escort’s engine still sick Jim & co-driver Mike Curry had reverted back to the old faithful Pinto-engined car. Despite issues with the distributor Jim won the battle of the Jim’s, finishing ahead of fellow Mk2 pilot Jim McDowall.
After 2 rounds the top of the point standings is finely poised: Michael Binnie & David Bogie are tied for 1st with Jock Armstrong 1 point behind. Meanwhile Claire Mole leads the co-drivers standings by just 1 point from Cammy Fair.
Attention now turns to the first of 2 closed road tarmac rounds with the return of the Jim Clark Reivers Rally based in Duns taking place on Sunday 29th May.
Images courtesy of Alan Scott Photography & Ewan Mackenzie Photography