Round 2 Classes Round-up
Lochlan McIver & Cameron Morrison were starting their 2nd ever event in the 1.2 litre engined Fiesta, the car sporting a really nice new colour scheme. The adventures began at scrutineering with a coolant leak, and they quickly discovered that they had no hand brake. Despite the small issues they were really loving the stages, trying to use the brakes as little as possible and keep up the momentum. They were absolutely delighted with their 1st finish in 68th overall.
It was also the 2nd ever rally for Owen Macleod in his 205 having contested the Snowman. With Callum Williams alongside Owen was another really enjoying the stages, particularly the chance to run near the front on the Friday night. 59th overall and the class win was a good result, especially as there were growing concerns over the engine as the event wore on. Owen suspecting it needs a new head gasket before it’s next outing.
After retiring on round 1, the Speyside was a big improvement for Allan McDowall & Mark Casey in their MK1 Escort. It wasn’t all plain sailing, a tyre parting company with a rim in Aultmore and damaging a brake caliper in the process. The gearbox was also giving bother, but they survived to take 39th overall and the class win by almost 5 minutes. With the tarmac rounds coming up, Allan has a little surprise up his sleeve which could make the 2wd battles even more interesting…
Taking their 2nd class & Groundwater Lift Trucks Subaru Cup wins of the year John McIlwraith & Heather Grisedale’s good season continued. Despite promising himself he would behave in Cooper Park John still couldn’t resist the handbrake, resulting in a spin at the hairpin. They were also finding it harder to get the tyres working on the shorter stages but kept it all together to take 19th overall at the finish.
Stuart Egglestone & Brian Hodgson had found historic spec spotlights weren’t the best for these fast stages in the dark. Stuart confessing to a few comfort lifts on the long straights. Once the daylight came, they were on the top 2wd pace as always, battling with good friend John Crawford and top junior competitor Robert Proudlock’s rapid Opel Adam. The historic Escort beat the modern R2 car by just 1 second at the end of 11 stages.
Donald Peacock & Mairi Riddick made it honours even in the class with Grant Inglis & Gavin Chisholm. The black and yellow Escort beat the blue car by just 30 seconds this time out. It was a solid and trouble-free run for Donald & Mairi, the only real issue was a puncture on one of the road sections, although they were unimpressed with how long it took them to change the tyre.
Making a return to the gravel after a few years away, Civic crew Ryan Ingram & Calum MacDougall were getting back into the rhythm of the forests. Friday night was hard work, a puncture on the road section to stage 1 wasn’t a great start and they quickly discovered the map light wasn’t working. On Saturday they built their pace all day, the Civic sounding as great as ever out on the stages.
Taking the M2 win by almost 3 minutes and top Moates Offshore Juniors honours Robert Proudlock & Steven Brown’s excellent 2023 season continued. Still learning about their new R2 spec Opel Adam they spent the day tweaking the car setup and finding more speed. 21st overall, just 1 second behind Stuart Egglestone & Brian Hodgson was another excellent performance. The 1600 car is developing into a genuine top 2wd contender in the SRC.
Meghan & John O’Kane made amends for their round 1 retirement, taking their 1st M3 win of the season. The 1st half of the event they were embroiled in a titanic battle with fellow Fiesta crew Andy & Glen MacDonald, the 2 cars separated by just 6 seconds after the 2 night stages. Things remained close until the MacDonald’s were forced out with suspension issues in stage 7. Meghan is getting faster and faster as she adapts to the new 2 litre engine and swapping times with Ladies champion Aileen Forrest’s Evo 9 on the way to 47th overall.
M4 produced the closest class battle of the event, Paddy Munro & David O’Brien winning out at the end of 11 stages by just 1 second from Dougal Brown & Lewis Rochford. The 2 Escorts swapped times on almost every stage until stage 8 where the Orange MK2 suffered a puncture and dropped 23 seconds. That spurred on a fightback that brought them back to within 1 second of the blue car by the finish. For their part Paddy & David were on it all event, the car transformed this season with its new engine.
After their Snowman ended very early John Easson Award Winner Johnnie Mackay & co-driver Ian Parker had a much more successful Speyside. A couple of glitches on the Friday left them without anti-lag and the full complement of lights for the dark stages but the Saturday was much better. After years of front wheel drive rallying Johnnie was loving the 4 wheel drive on the loose, particularly because you can go very sideways. 26th overall was a very good result on their 1st proper run on the gravel in the Evo.
Taking their 2nd Autoshop 2wd win of the year, it was another solid event for reigning 2wd champions Peter Stewart & Harry Marchbank. Peter even went as far as saying it was the best event they’ve had since moving into the 208, particularly on the Saturday afternoon. 15th overall was a strong result, the fwd car finishing in amongst the top 4wd cars once again.
images courtesy of AF Motorsport Media
Final results are available via flyingfinish.co.uk