Fascinating Battles in Prospect for 2023 Part 4
Several other KNC Groundworks Scottish Rally Championships will kick off their season on the A.M.Phillip Trucktech Snowman Rally.
The Subaru Cup, now supported by Groundwater Lift Trucks is looking like it’s entering its strongest year yet in 2023.
Reigning Champions Mike Moates (Ellon) & Gary McDonald (Aberdeen) are back to defend their 2022 title. The car is being treated to a rebuild and upgrade session over the winter and should be as fit as ever on the Snowman.
Lining up to take them on John McIlwraith (Canonbie) & Heather Grisedale (Workington) return to the SRC after several years of rallying down south. John’s Impreza has always been quick and will definitely be one of the cars to watch in the Cup, John having won the title once before in 2018.
Orrin McDonnell (Staffin) pushed Moates all the way to the final round in 2022. For this season Clare Fraser (Inverness) steps into the navigator’s seat of the Orange Impreza, regular co-driver Eoghan Anderson taking a year out to relax and rebuild the finances. As always with Orrin it’s a last-minute dash to get the car ready in time but he assures everyone he’ll make round 1.
Jordan Anderson (Inverness) & Ian MacDougall (Tobermory) are hoping to both challenge for the Cup and try and annoy the Evos in the Albyn Garage Challengers category. The car is in the best shape it’s been after more than one rebuild over 2022 and Jordan will be pushing hard as he always does.
One of the biggest characters in Scottish rallying, Brian Watson (Kinneff) will make his Subaru Cup debut with Elgin’s Sean Donnelly in the hotseat. Concentrating on tarmac rallying in recent times Brian is excited to return to the woods in something completely different to what he’s driven before. His appearances in the Cup will be worth it for the Facebook reports alone.
Also in the mix, Contin’s Martin Crombie has Terry Mallin (Bothwell) co-driving in the Impreza he debuted on last year’s Speyside. Thomas Rapson (Helmsdale) & Michael Sutherland (Thurso) proved to be strong contenders on their appearances last year while locals Liam Richardson & Darren Kennedy are out for a full campaign for the 1st time.
The Haddo Energy Super Seniors returns for its 2nd season. Reigning champion Alistair Brearley (Galashiels) and regular co-driver Gerry Bryden (Sorn) are back out in the title winning Mk2 but are ineligible to win the award for a second time.
Penpont’s Jim Robertson & Mike Curry (Thornhill) will be hoping for some better luck after rebuilding the BDG engine of Jim’s Mk2 after its troubles on last year’s RAC Rally. Up around 100 horsepower over last year’s Pinto both the car and Jim looked really sharp at a recent test in the Galloway forests.
Super Seniors creator Ernie Lee (Udny) is back with wife Patricia in their glorious sounding BMW 325i. 2022 was a tricky year for them, missing a couple of events due to illness, but they adapted well to their new engine and will be looking to continue that progress in 2023.
Inverurie’s Aileen Forrest returns to defend her Ladies title with husband John by her side. Aileen’s purple Evo is back together after its visit to a Grampian river in the Fetteresso Forest and amazingly looks even tidier than before. After some off-season tuition from Tom Cave Aileen is full of confidence going into the new season and delighted to have her beloved car back in fighting shape.
Meghan O’Kane’s (Kyle of Lochalsh) pace in the 2nd half of 2022 kept her in with a shout of the Ladies title going into the final round. The Fiesta has been refreshed over the winter, the big headline being a new, more powerful engine. With both the Ladies and the Moates Offshore juniors to fight for it’s going to be an interesting year for the Fiesta pilot.
Nikki Addison lines up for her home event in her trusty 106 with Elgin’s John Shepheard navigating for the 1st time. Nikki showed a lot of pace on the tarmac in 2022 and is a little nervous for both the return to the woods and to being in front of her home crowd. At the same time she’s excited to be back behind the wheel.