Carlisle Stages Rally Classes Round-up
With the Carlisle Stages Rally running the 2wd cars at the front in reverse seeding order, it gave the competitors with lower spec cars a chance to run on much cleaner roads.
Elgin’s Robert Tonge & Sean Newlands were one of the crews to benefit the most, running right at the front. Relishing the opportunity to pick their own lines rather than following others the MG crew enjoyed their run to 34th overall and Robert’s 4th maximum points haul of the season. This result confirming Robert as the C1 champions for 2022.
After a pre-event discussion with fellow C3 competitor Graeme Sherry, Melrose’s Craig Smith & Killearn’s Charles Mackenzie were trying a different engine setup on their Astra. They found the car was running much better than it had before and had an excellent run to 23rd overall despite finding the stages to be very slippy. Behind the Astra Mk2 pilot Alistair Brearley from Galashiels did enough to take the C3 title with a 2nd place finish, along with taking the Haddo Energy Super Seniors championship.
Daviot’s Jordan Anderson & Michael Cruickshank from Crieff were under strict orders to take things easy after Jordan and his Dad Stewart had burned the midnight oil sorting the Impreza’s engine after a blown turbo on the Scottish Rally. Did they follow those orders? Not really, a fantastic drive to 12th overall showed the pace Jordan is capable of when the car runs properly. Michael very impressed with Jordan on their 1st event as a team.
With the Penrith crew of Stuart Egglestone & Brian Hodgson retiring in stage 4 it was left to Mauchline’s David McLeod & Eamonn Boyle from Kilmarnock to uphold H1 honours. There were a couple of scares early on with a big spin and almost running out of fuel on the road section to service. After that they settled down to finish 29th overall and guarantee David the H1 title.
After a tough year, Penpont’s Jim Robertson was finally rewarded with a good run and a decent result. With Dumfries’ Colin Maxwell in the hotseat Jim guided his Mk2 to the H2 win and 22nd overall. With Steve Bannister & Callum Atkinson retiring early on with clutch problems it was left to the Legacy crew of Ballater’s Donald Brooker & Tony Booth from Inverbervie to wrap up the H2 championship.
Haugh of Urr siblings Keith & Mairi Riddick were the sole survivors in M2. Good for Keith’s bid to take the title but he was unimpressed with his own performance, particularly on the opening loop. Finding himself in the wrong gears on various occasions he stepped up his game after service and the MG took a solid 19th overall. Now the car will be up for sale as Keith & Mairi prepare to try something new.
7th overall and top Autoshop 2wd, Lanark’s John Crawford & Josh Davison produced their best drive this year in the glorious sounding Escort. Taking the class win by over 3 minutes it was a dominant display from the M4 driver champion.
With the class champions Orrin McDonnell & Eoghan Anderson retiring early on it was left to the Castle Douglas/Kirriemuir pairing of Scott Peacock & Craig Wallace to represent M6. Still learning his new car Scott had been concerned in the morning when he felt the car was down on power in the fast stages. Unable to determine if that was true or just the slippy conditions they managed 15th overall at the finish as Scott continues to adapt to 4wd.
Jock Armstrong & Cammy Fair took the SRC and M7 win but the championship title would go to the Dumfries/Aberlour team of Mark McCulloch & Michael Hendry. A good reward for their 1st season in the Evo-powered Proton Satria, highlight of the year being an excellent SRC podium on the car’s tarmac debut on the Jim Clark Reivers. It’ll be a car to watch next year as the development work continues.
The class win would go to John Wink & Neil Shanks in their Hyundai i20. However, despite retiring with an early off-road excursion the title went to Arbroath’s Hugh Brunton & Brechin’s Drew Sturrock. Hugh & Drew developing massively in terms of pace in 2022, particularly in the latter half of the season. There are exciting times ahead with a new car coming for the 2023 season.