Voyonic Grampian Forest Rally Classes Review
The combination of great stage conditions and the hot weather on the Voyonic Grampian Forest Rally meant the various crews in the classes were able to push their cars as hard as they could, let’s see who came out on top.
Robert Tonge had James Hudson in the co-driver’s seat for the 1st time in the highlighter yellow MG. After a soild run on the Scottish he backed that up here with a C1 win and an excellent 50th overall.
Despite making sure all the windows were fully sealed before the event Chris Baillie & Brian Foggo quickly discovered that a 205 isn’t the best equipped for keeping the dust out. Both driver & co-driver coated in a fairly impressive layer of dust by the end of the day. The 205 taking 53rd overall and the C2 win.
With both the Manta of Graeme Sherry & Ewan Lees and the Astra of Craig Smith & Charles Mackenzie retiring early on it was left to the Kadett of John Brownie & Daniel Christie to uphold C3 honours. The Opel finishing 49th overall on John’s home event.
Mike Moates & Gary McDonald were delighted to have a clean run on their home event, describing it as “if Carlsberg did rally weekends”. The Impreza crew finishing 28th and also taking the top spot in the 5 Star Vehicle Deliveries Subaru Cup.
Stuart Egglestone & Brian Hodgson were delayed in stage 1 with a slow rear puncture on the Mk2, they were also worried that they didn’t have hard enough tyres with them. Stuart changing his driving style after 1st service and was happy that it seemed to work. The Pinto powered Escort taking 2nd in the 2wd standings at the finish.
3rd 2 wheel drive, Steve Bannister & Callum Atkinson had found the Escort to be a handful on the looser sections of the stages. The famous white and red Escort taking both the H2 class win and top points in the Haddo Energy Super Seniors after Gordon Murray & Michael Cruickshank crashed out.
Keith & Mairi Riddick would take the M2 win by over a minute at the finish. The MG driver a bit distracted by some strange noises from the car’s suspension early on despite the car driving ok. The car sounding absolutely glorious out in the woods on it’s way to 25th overall.
23rd overall and 4th 2wd, John Crawford & Josh Davison were still surprisingly underwhelmed by their own performance. John in particular unimpressed with his own driving especially on the faster sections.
Gordon Murray & Michael Cruickshank dominated the M5 class for most of the day, until an accident in the final stage put them out. That left Brian Ross & Jamie Mactavish to take the class & 24th overall. Despite a few moments Brian was very happy to get some miles in the car after retiring very early last time out on the Speyside.
Orrin McDonnell & Eoghan Anderson enjoyed an interesting day. An brief off on the 1st loop removed the bumper but the big issue was the brake linkage coming apart on the second loop. Once that was sorted they would launch a late charge to try and catch Subaru Cup leaders Moates & McDonald. They couldn’t quite make it but were compensated with the M6 win.
11th overall & 5th in the SRC Mark McCulloch & Michael Hendry were out with new suspension settings on the Proton after some testing work at Jock Armstrong’s quarry. The car vastly improved from the Scottish they were lucky to get away with a scary moment at the Fetteresso bridge, performing a Tony Hawk style 50-50 grind along the bridge parapet, thankfully surviving to take the M7 win.
Class Pro 2
Taking both the Pro 2 and Autoshop 2wd win Peter Stewart & Harry Marchbank were happy to get a win over the MK2s after playing 2nd fiddle last time out in their home forests. These stages suiting the 208 very well and they were enjoying the stages. The biggest delay was when they caught a Mitsubishi on the 2nd loop and were lost in the dust for about 3 miles.