Fascinating Battles in Prospect for 2023 Part 3 – 2WDs
The 2023 A.M.Phillip Trucktech Snowman Rally entry list features a very strong Autoshop 2 wheel drive presence, one of the strongest in recent times.
One of the big headlines are the late entries of the Autoshop 208s of Peter & Richard Stewart (Dumfries). The 2-wheel drive championship supporters are bringing two new state of the art Rally 4 cars back for another season.
That means Peter & co-driver Harry Marchbank (Dumfries) will be rekindling their 2022 rivalry with Penrith’s Stuart Egglestone & Brian Hodgson. Stuart & Brian will be making the long trip to the Highlands for the 1st time. The fittest Pinto in the world leads the hordes of Mk2 Escorts into the Snowman stages.
Top locals Keir Beaton & Iain Thorburn return in Keir’s Mk2 that they took to a star drive win on the 2020 Snowman. Keir is a little worried about re-adapting to 2-wheel drive after a season in an Impreza but looking forward to the challenge.
As always, the venerable Ford Escort is the most represented car in the 2-wheel drive ranks. Lanark’s John Crawford & Josh Davison rounded out 2022 with a fantastic run at last year’s Carlisle Stages.
M4 rivals Paddy Munro (Kyle of Lochalsh) & David O’Brien (Duns) are back in the crossflow powered Escort, a crew to watch if conditions get slippery.
Former 2-wheel drive champions Dougal Brown (Forres) & Lewis Rochford (Keith) are back for a full campaign. The car has been fully rewired by Dougal over the closed season after they discovered some issues in 2022.
Andy Horne (Inverness), Allan McDowall (Ayr) and David Hardie (Dumfries) are making SRC comebacks in Escorts. Andy is out in the ex-Thomas Gray Mk2 with Emily Easton-Page (Aberdeen) in the hotseat. Meanwhile, Allan steps into a recently acquired Mk1 with Northern Historic supremo Mark Casey (York) alongside and Hardie is back in the Escort he first drove at last year’s Galloway Hills, joined as always by John McCulloch.
Grant Inglis (Stepps) returns in a historic spec Mk2, Thurso resident James Brims is back in the ex-McCulloch Escort and Brian Ross (Elgin) & Mark Fisher (Workington) line up in Brian’s 2.5 litre engined car. Donald Peacock (Castle Douglas) has Mairi Riddick (Dumfries) in the hotseat of his Historic Escort while Elgin brothers Sandy & Ian Arbuthnott are campaigning the Mk2 they debuted at the end of last year.
Bucking the Escort trend local driver Steven Wood is back in his unique RWD Fiesta. Steven is looking for a better day after a big accident in Lochletter in 2022.
Moving away from Fords, another local driver Kenny Wood lines up in his Vauxhall engined BMW E30. He’s joined in the BMW ranks by David Wilson (Alness) in his Orange Compact. David is looking for more luck after teething problems last season. Also in a Compact is Keith Seager (Hamilton) & Mark Runciman (Glasgow), returning to the SRC after several years away in their clubman specification car.
3 Sunbeams are on the entry list. Alister MacArthur (Lochgilphead) & Chris Robertson are back in their class M4 Sunbeam after a couple of years break. The similar car of Roo Campbell (Glenmoriston) & Shaina Archibald (Inverness) has been fettled and upgraded over the winter, the big headline being a new engine. Roo is looking forward to taming the car with its new powerplant.
David McLeod (Mauchline) & Kilmarnock’s Eamonn Boyle’s very tidy historic Sunbeam has also had a new engine installed over the winter, David reportedly very happy with its performance.
Moving into the Front wheel drive ranks Craig Smith (St. Boswells) & Charles Mackenzie (Killearn) are back for some more giant killing in their clubman spec Astra. Craig is very good in slippy conditions, making up for the lack of power with 100% commitment.
Dumfriesshire brothers Scott & David Sloan bring the high revving 208 they have campaigned at BRC level in the past to its first Snowman. Also in an R2, Stranraer crew Martyn Erskine & Kieran Hyslop have swapped their 206 for the ex-Jim Robertson Citroen C2.
Top Moates Offshore Juniors Robert Proudlock (Dumfries) & Justin Gunning (Lanark) are also both in R2s. Proudlock in the Adam he debuted at the Carlisle Stages while Gunning remains behind the wheel of a Fiesta.
Looking to get in amongst the R2s local crew Peter Beaton & Dean Ross always push their Civic hard, quite often to breaking point.
Local driver Edward Noble makes his 2nd rally start in his Fiesta after sampling the Speyside Stages in 2022. The car has undergone a lot of work after the Speyside outing threw up several issues.
Also making their SRC debut are Livingston based Lochlan McIver & Cameron Morrison in a clubmen spec Mk6 Fiesta. The Snowman will be a baptism of fire for both car and crew.