Beatson’s Jim Clark Reivers Rally Overall & Categories Review – Motorsport UK Scottish Rally Championship

28th June 2024

Beatson’s Jim Clark Reivers Rally Overall & Categories Review

The Asset Alliance Group Scottish Rally Championship has garnered a reputation for producing incredible final stage drama over the last year and the 2024 Beatson’s Jim Clark Reivers Rally continued that trend.

The weather also played its’ part, rain showers crossing the landscape all day, making driving conditions incredibly tricky.

Fastest on the 1st stage, despite a massive sideways moment, David Henderson & Chris Williams would lead the rally all the way to the final stage. The Fiesta crew were under pressure the entire way by last year’s Reivers winners Euan Thorburn & Paul Beaton.

Running 1st on the road, Thorburn & Beaton were 4th fastest on the opener but were getting quicker with every passing stage. They quickly climbed to 2nd and closed to within 3.6 seconds of the Fiesta after stage 5.

Stage 6 saw another twist, the Polo was delayed briefly in a chicane and dropped 6 seconds to the Fiesta to head into the final stage 8.9 seconds down on 1st place.

What followed was a classic SRC final stage shootout. Euan & Paul throwing caution to the wind, utilising all of Euan’s local knowledge to set an incredible fastest time by 12.9 seconds and grab another Reivers win by just 4 seconds. Both driver & co-driver wide eyed at the end of the final test.

For their part Henderson & Williams were not hanging about either, 2nd quickest over the last stage and the Fiesta arrived at the finish missing the rear wing. Considering David’s relative lack of seat time in recent times 2nd overall was an incredible result.

The battle for 3rd was equally dramatic, with 4 crews battling hard. Rory Young & Allan Cathers held the place in the morning, just ahead of Hugh Brunton & Drew Sturrock. Mark McCulloch & Michael Hendry were shadowing the Fabia, the Proton under the close attention of the Fiesta of Finlay Retson & Keir Beaton.

SS6 was again the venue for drama, both Young & Cathers and Brunton & Sturrock retiring at the exact same spot after arguments with a chicane.

That left McCulloch & Hendry to fight it out with Retson & Beaton. The Proton crew survived a massive 6th gear moment but kept a hold of 3rd place, beating the Fiesta by just 0.2 of a second and taking a 2nd Reivers podium in the last 3 years.

Out to test their Mk2 Escort before they launch an assault on Donegal, David Bogie & John Rowan took top honours in the G&M Mechanical Services 2 Wheel Drives. It wasn’t easy, out on slicks when the rain was at its’ heaviest and they were kept honest all day by their fellow MK2 crew: Greg McKnight & Harry Marchbank. Bogie & Rowan ending their day in an impressive 9th overall despite the incredibly slippery conditions.

Albyn Garage

Just 1 place behind the 6-times champion, Johnnie Mackay & Rachel Matheson took an excellent Albyn Garage Challengers win. Delivering the pace we’ve known they were capable of they battled with the Mk2 of Gordon Morrison & Ian Parker for top Challenger from the start. Despite the car taking a couple of knocks the Evo crew won out grabbing an excellent 10th overall into the bargain.

Making their 1st SRC start, Rob Cotton & Ethan Kidd immediately made a splash, taking the Groundwater Lift Trucks Subaru Cup win. They took a little time to get used to their recently rebuilt car, fighting the brakes on the opening loop. They really sped up in the afternoon and grabbed an excellent 25th overall by the end of the day.

Had Energy

Taking their 2nd consecutive win in the Haddo Energy Super Seniors, Gordon Murray & Peter Carstairs stuck the big Escort into 35th overall. The car was looking a little 2nd hand by the end of the day, Gordon’s door sporting the outline of a hay bale at the finish after an argument with a chicane. Both Gordon & Peter commenting on how much they’re enjoying their rallying this season.

Another to make it 2 out of 2, Aileen Forrest took another Ladies win along with a solid 58th overall. With husband John having the time of his life behind the wheel of an MG3, Aileen had drafted in supersub navigator Paul Gribben to guide her round. The combo worked well, Paul full of praise for his pilot as she produced one of her best drives so far in the SRC.

Moates Offshore

Aileen’s big ladies rival, Meghan O’Kane lost out in the Ladies battle but did triumph in the Moates Offshore Juniors. After their tough Speyside Meghan & dad John had done a power of work, sorting issues with the Fiesta’s diff. That meant Meghan was way more confident and was starting to push the new car. 1 wing mirror was sacrificed on a chicane early on but they kept the car looking nice on the way to 65th overall.

images courtesy of AF Motorsport Media