Dunoon Presents Argyll Rally Overall Review – Motorsport UK Scottish Rally Championship

25th June 2023

Dunoon Presents Argyll Rally Overall Review

Rory Young & Allan Cathers took their 1st ever KNC Groundworks Scottish Rally Championship win by 27 seconds at the end of a day and a half of action.

Inheriting the lead after David Henderson & Chris Lees retired on the Saturday morning, Rory & Allan were then involved in a battle with Mark McCulloch & Michael Hendrys’ Proton Satria Evo. The 2 crews swapped times on the opening loop of Saturday and headed into service separated by 16 seconds.

The Citroen crew then extended the gap to 27 seconds by the finish taking 3rd overall in the event, ending up just 8 seconds away from the Fiesta of Neil Roskell & Andrew Roughead in 2nd. Rory reckoned it was a thinking man’s rally rather than just rewarding the brave.

McCulloch & Hendry had adjusted the car’s suspension setup after the 3rd stage on Friday night and were much happier with the car despite a big moment in 5. The Saturday morning, they were able to match times with the Rally 2 car on every stage before backing off slightly in the afternoon to guarantee an excellent 2nd in the SRC.  Mark & Michael were absolutely delighted that their home engineered car was able to run the Rally 2 car so close on the tarmac. The hard work over the last 2 years is paying off.

Michael Binnie & Claire Mole got their season back on track after their Jim Clark retirement with a 2nd podium of the season. Michael was unimpressed with his own performance on the Friday night but the times were pretty competitive. On Saturday they found themselves in a bit of a no-man’s land and made sure of a podium finish with a fast but safe drive. Michael & Claire are excited at hopefully being back out in the Fiesta at the Scottish next time out.

Top Autoshop two-wheel-drive honours were split. Ian Parker taking the navigator’s win alongside Gordon Morrison in the ex-Greg McKnight Ford Escort despite modifying the front end on something solid on the Saturday.

In the drivers, David Hardie’s bad run of luck in 2023 finally improved, taking his 1st finish of the year and his 1st maximum 2wd points with John McCulloch alongside as usual. A good result after retiring from the lead last time out.

Jordan Anderson and Harry Stubbs took both the Albyn Garage Challengers and Groundwater Lift Trucks Subaru Cup win along with an excellent 22nd overall. The clubman spec Impreza crew turning heads with their pace, particularly in the wet of Friday night.  On the Saturday they had to keep the head as Johnnie Mackay and Michael Cruickshank were closing in fast as the conditions dried up, but they did enough to take the Challengers win.

One year on from her last Ladies win, Ashleigh Morris was back on top in Argyll. With the uber-experienced Steve Harris in the hotseat pushing her along, the Fiesta R200 pilot produced her strongest SRC performance yet, mixing it with some much more powerful machinery in 43rd overall. Steve was very happy with how well Ashleigh listened to his advice and encouragement on these difficult stages.

Only 15 seconds behind Morris, Meghan O’Kane took 2nd in the Ladies and top honours in the Moates Offshore Juniors. Back in her Fiesta after sampling her Dad’s Impreza on the Jim Clark she was finally starting to love her own car with its new 2-litre engine. Dad John was very impressed with her driving once again and both were very grateful to Johnnie Mackay for the loan of some suspension parts before the event.

images courtesy of AF Motorsport Media