Dunoon Presents Argyll Rally Classes Review
The Dunoon Presents… Argyll Rally was a tough test, particularly for the crews in amongst the various classes, many of whom would suffer from the worst of the weather conditions on Friday evening’s long 14.5 mile final stage.
Scott Gourlay was making his driving debut in the SRC in his own 205. With Roger Alcorn alongside it wasn’t a drama free event. The rear suspension would break on the Friday night and a rear brake disc shattered and parted company with the rest of the car on the Saturday morning. A temporary fix in service left them with 3 brakes for the final loop and they made it safely to the finish in 72nd overall.
After their monumental effort to make the start of the Jim Clark Reivers Graeme Sherry & Ewan Lees had to repeat that feat once again for the Argyll after their argument with a telegraph pole. Graeme’s scouring of Germany for Manta parts proved fruitless but thankfully he found a Cavalier Coupe in Dunfermline of all places. That left a mad dash to get the car ready in time but they made it and were rewarded with the C3 win.
After a whole 2 rallies Liam Richardson & Darren Kennedy had made the decision that it was time to upgrade the car, swapping their 306 for a GC8 Impreza. After a last minute dash to get everything ready they spent the whole event battling turbo boost problems. Despite all that they took 86th overall and the class win by less than a minute from the similar car of Mike Moates & Gary McDonald.
David McLeod & Eamonn Boyle would take both the H1 and Scottish historic win. David finding the Sunbeam to be absolutely ideal for these technical stages. The biggest issue was a wrong tyre choice on the Saturday morning but apart from that the car ran faultlessly all event.
Steve Bannister & Callum Atkinson endured a difficult Argyll. Unable to make time for a recce they were on the back foot from the start. Then they would puncture a tyre in the dark and rain of SS4, forcing a lengthy change. On Saturday they found the rear suspension to be too stiff, something that’s hard to adjust quickly on a historic Escort. Add in 2 chicane penalties and they finished a frustrated 83rd overall.
Keith & Mairi Riddick had started the event with a wrong tyre choice. That was sorted at the Friday night regroup but then the exhaust manifold burst in the long stage 4. The AMD service crew helped them out by welding the manifold back up overnight, keeping the grateful MG crew in the rally. They went on to take 40th overall at the finish.
Johnnie Mackay & Michael Cruickshank had started well in the wet conditions of Friday night, ending up 34th overall at the overnight halt. The drier conditions of Saturday exposed a down on power engine that was drinking an excessive amount of oil. Add to that a chicane penalty and the Fiesta ST slipped back to 49th by the end of the event.
35th overall, John Crawford & Josh Davidson were unimpressed with their own performance. John claiming he was driving “like a scared wee boy”, particularly in the wet and dark of the Friday night.
Gordon Murray & Steven Brown’s Friday night was ruined by a wrong tyre choice. The MK2 spinning the wheels all the way to 5th gear. Saturday was better but they were another crew to suffer a chicane penalty on their way to 47th overall.
Taking both the class and the Subaru Cup win Orrin McDonnell & Eoghan Anderson finally had their new engine up and running properly. The main issue for them was the rear left suspension staying up inside the wheel arch after a heavy landing. That was subtly bashed back down at the side of the road and they carried on. The orange Impreza 53rd at the finish.
Class Pro 2
Peter Stewart & Harry Marchbank took another Pro2 win. It was a tricky event for the front wheel drive 208 R4. The car struggling with the gravel being pulled out by the 4wd cars, causing Pete to use lines and cuts he wouldn’t normally take. This resulted in a few wild moments, including a massive tank slapper in a straight line. They ended up 19th overall and 3rd 2 wheel drive car home.
Images courtesy of West Coast Photos, Alan Scott Photography & Ewan Mackenzie Photography