Armstrong Galloway Hills Rally Classes Round-up
Much like the overall KNC Groundworks Scottish Rally Championship title, the Armstrong Galloway Hills was the venue where several class titles could be decided.
Martyn Erskine & Kieran Hyslop endured a tough day in their 206. They burst a water pipe in stage 1 and snapped the throttle cable in stage 2. The middle loop and they would bend a bottom arm after Martyn ignored a no cut. After surviving all of that they pulled up at the stopline of the final stage to find the car was on fire. Quick work from the marshals extinguished the flames and the 206 would take a well deserved finish and class title.
After missing the last 2 rounds due to illness Alistair Brearley & Gerry Bryden were just happy to be back rallying. Alistair pleasantly surprised at how well the stages were holding up and their biggest delay was the Escort getting bogged down to a standstill on a rutted hairpin. A class win and 2nd Super Senior moves Alistair into the class points lead with 1 event remaining.
Needing a Subaru Cup win to take that title, C5 champions Mike Moates & Gary McDonald were confused when they dropped over 30 seconds to their cup rivals after 2 stages. They then discovered they hadn’t had the diffs on for any of the morning stages. With that solved they were back on the pace but the damage had been done. They took 2nd in the Cup but yet another C5 win.
Stuart Egglestone & Brian Hodgson had gone for a harder compound tyre than most of the other Escorts in the event but it was clearly a good call. The Pinto powered MK2 taking another Autoshop 2wd win and their 5th maximum points haul of the year in the H1 class. This leaves Stuart 2nd in the class points, just behind Sunbeam pilot David McLeod.
After only managing 400 yards on the Grampian Jim Robertson & Mike Curry were determined to do better on the Hills. They were troubled by a dodgy fuel pump on the 1st loop and a leaking radiator after a heavy landing on the 2nd. They nursed the car to the end, taking the H2 and the Haddo Energy Super Seniors win in the process.
Keith & Mairi Riddick were determined to do well in their home forests, Keith making sure to rev the glorious sounding MG even harder if he saw a group of spectators. The middle loop was when the main drama played out, breaking a front spring. Thankfully a kind soul running Bilsteins on their Escort lent them a spring to keep them going and they took another M2 win, setting up a showdown for the title on the final round.
John Crawford & Josh Davison would guide their MK2 to a 4th M4 win of the season, taking advantage of the fact that championship rival Paddy Munro wasn’t in attendance. Traditionally unimpressed with his own driving John was happier this time out, clearly enjoying the Galloway stages.
On only their 2nd visit to the SRC this year, Paul McErlean & Niall McKenna were testing out MRF tyres for the 1st time on the Escort. Happy with the new rubber they were running strongly, taking a 1st M5 win of the year. Now there are plans afoot to rebuild and upgrade the car before next season.
Scott Peacock & Craig Wallace had chosen the Hills to make their 4wd debut in Scott’s new Evo. A bit of a culture shock after years in the MG Scott was learning a lot about gear choice and how much extra speed you carry in an Evo. A slow puncture on the 2nd loop was the only real delay as they took the M6 win ahead of Subaru Cup winners Orrin McDonnell & Eoghan Anderson. The orange Impreza nevertheless wrapped up the M6 title.
Class Pro 2
Peter Stewart & Harry Marchbank came into the Hills knowing they wouldn’t be at the final due to other commitments and that the 208 was going to be up for sale. Unimpressed with himself over the opening loop Peter was more happy as the day went along but was unable to catch Egglestone’s Mk2 in the battle for top 2wd. They have done enough to take the Pro 2 title and are still in a strong position in the 2wd championship.