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Rally of Scotland - 15-17 Oct 10

Posted: November 10, 2010 12:09 PM - 10311 Hits

Round 11 - 2010 Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC)


Photo: Roy Dempster

Second overall for Mikkelsen on Rally of Scotland

Posted: November 10, 2010 12:09 PM

The fast and technical stages on Rally of Scotland provided the perfect backdrop for Norwegian rally ace Andreas Mikkelsen to prove his speed and maturity with a career best second overall in the Hankook Ford Fiesta S2000.

The 21 year old and co-driver Ole Fløene enjoyed an almost trouble-free run during the gruelling three day event in Scotland. “We hit a small deer on the first full day of competition but apart from that everything worked well.’’

New tyres developed by Hankook provided a massive boost for the team in the M-Sport prepared car and a puncture-free run enabled Andreas to concentrate on his driving.

“We have a new tyre from Hankook here and it made a lot of difference for us,’’ he said. “It has a softer sidewall on the tyre, which means we can run with the car stiffer, meaning we dont have to compromise the set-up of the car at all.’’

Testing earlier in the week provided the team with valuable set up data and Hankook UK motorsport manager Mike Patterson who is in charge of the IRC programme said this proved extremely valuable.

“Our involvement as sponsor of the Hankook Scottish Rally Championship means we know how tricky and challenging the stages are in Scotland so the focus was on providing Andreas with a tyre which could not only provide the grip he needed but also to avoid costly punctures,’’ said Mike.

“We’re delighted that we delivered on both counts and the reward was a thrilling battle at the front of the rally and the first podium finish for the team and Andreas who also set a fastest time on one of the high speed stages.’’

Mike said the fast but technical nature of the stages suited the driver and demonstrated the capabilities of the tyres perfectly.
“We started our IRC campaign with extremely good tyres and the ongoing development work is really paying off,’’ said Mike. “To be able to achieve second overall on such a prestigious championship is tremendous and we now look forward to our final outing of the year in Cyprus next month.

Dream result for Tom Cave in Scotland shattered

Posted: November 10, 2010 12:07 PM

Tom Cave's dream result of a potential fourth place overall on this year's Rally of Scotland was shattered on the final day, when the 18 year-old suffered a puncture on the first run through the Loch Ard test and then became stuck on a bank on the final stage, went Over Time Limit and hence, out of the rally.

The second and final day of the event began well, with Tom heading out of the morning service sixth on the road and in fifth place overall in his Proton Satria Neo S2000. The first stage of the day, Clashmore, went smoothly, with Tom setting the sixth-fastest stage time, just seven seconds behind team-mate Alister McRae, who was running under the SupeRally regulations.

A puncture he picked up in the stage didn't affect his performance greatly and this was changed on the road section on the way to the second stage, the first of two runs through the 29Km Loch Ard test.

However, 10Km into the stage, he picked up another puncture and with 20Km still to run, he and co-driver Craig Parry elected to pull over to change the flat tyre. Unfortunately, this time, the Proton's on-board jack refused to lift the car off the ground, regardless of what the crew tried. Therefore, they were faced with no choice other than to drive out of the stage on the flat tyre, at crawling speed to avoid causing damage to the car. As a result, they lost some 10 minutes, demoting them to ninth in the IRC standings.

Once they had cleared the stage, they were able to make their way to the remote service at Aberfoyle, where the Davies Motorsport technicians replaced all four tyres and the two spares. With the prospect of the stages being even rougher the second time through, Tom elected to take the hardest tyres available, sacrificing outright performance for additional puncture resistance.

The rain which had begun on the first run through Loch Ard had moved across to Clashmore and Tom began by pushing hard to try to regain as much of the lost time as possible. However, the conditions had become extremely tricky and almost caught him out, as he just got away with a large slide towards a ditch. Following the late scare, he decided to back off and ensure that he reached the finish ramp as the only Proton classified in the final standings.

However, there would be a final sting in the tail for the youngster. Despite aiming for a finish, he was caught out when the rear of the car stepped out and dropped a wheel into a ditch on the final stage, pitching it across the road and coming to rest nose-first into the opposite ditch. Unfortunately, there weren't enough spectators close to hand to help retrieve the car and the crew eventually went Over Time Limit and were out of the rally.

Speaking after the finish, Tom said;
"Today started really well but I'm devastated that it finished the way it did. The first stage for us was really good and the car felt great. Then it all started going wrong on the first run through Loch Ard. I felt the tyre go flat and knew that we would have to stop and change it, as we still had 20Km to go. But the jack just wouldn't lift the car, so we had to creep out of the stage and managed to get to service.

"Once the boys changed the tyres, we had a bit of a push on the second Clashmore run and again, the feeling was really good. But the rain had made it very tricky and we had a huge moment, so I decided to back right off to make sure we got to the finish.

"We were running the last stage very conservatively, hardly pushing at all when the rear end stepped out on me and the rear wheel dropped into the ditch and pitched us in, nose first. The car was beached on the bank and with no spectators to help us out, we were done for.

"Of course, I'm really annoyed with myself for putting it in the ditch so close to the end. But then at the same time, I think there are a lot of positives that we can take away from the weekend. I hope I've shown that we can be reasonably competitive in the Proton and I'm really pleased with the pace we set, particularly compared with Alister on the second day, when we had a couple of comparable stages.

"I think that looking at the big picture, from my perspective, it's been a good weekend and I hope that I showed what we are capable of in the Proton."

Tom's next event will be Wales Rally of Great Britain in November, the final round of the FIA World Rally Championship but he has yet to confirm what car he will be competing in.

WIDESPREAD PRAISE FOR 'WORLD CLASS' RACMSA RALLY OF SCOTLAND

Posted: October 21, 2010 4:19 PM

Last weekend’s RACMSA Rally of Scotland (15-17 October) has been hailed as one of the best rallies in the world by drivers, fans and organisers.

Scone Palace provided a magnificent moonlit backdrop to the prestigious event’s first two competitive stages on Friday evening. The dramatic high-speed action then switched to the spectacular forests of Perthshire and the Trossachs before the grand ceremonial finish at historic Stirling Castle on Sunday afternoon.

After three days of fiercely fought competition held under largely sunny skies, the high-profile event – the UK’s only round of the globetrotting Intercontinental Rally Challenge – was narrowly won by Juho Hanninen. Skoda Motorsport’s Finnish ace also clinched the 2010 IRC title with one round remaining on this year’s calendar.

“After seeing the stages I was saying ‘yes! yes! I really want to do this rally’,” enthused Hanninen. “The tracks are superb. Everything is so well organised. The pre-event reconnaissance, the marshals, the finish of the stages, the road sections, the officials, the service areas… it’s very professionally organised – world class. Without doubt Rally of Scotland is one of the very best we do.”

"The stages have been in incredible condition,” agreed 2009 IRC champion Kris Meeke who dropped back to finish third in Scotland after leading the early exchanges. “From a driving point of view it’s the best rally in the championship and certainly the best rally in the UK.”

Meeke’s comments were echoed by all of his fellow competitors as well as the Clerk of the Course, Iain Campbell.
“Everyone has been extremely complimentary,” he said. “It’s always especially rewarding to hear so many of the world’s top rally drivers being so full of praise. We didn’t just want to host a sporting event; we wanted to create a friendly one that also showcased the very best of Scotland. It was also encouraging to see full car parks and spectators enjoying the sunshine. I’d like to take the credit for the unseasonably good weather, too, but we can’t really take the glory for that… although we did move the rally forward by a month after 2009’s torrential rain. We must also thank the Forestry Commission for the excellent condition of the special stages and all the volunteers who helped to make this rally such tremendous success.”

Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer at EventScotland was delighted that the event delivered such a positive demonstration of the region’s many fortes. He said:
“The 2010 RACMSA Rally of Scotland was very well received by spectators and the many more that tuned in to watch the coverage on television via Eurosport around the world. The rally brought some of the world’s top drivers to the Perth and Stirling regions and the communities supported the event in numbers, with the weather being much more favourable than the inaugural year. Through the extensive TV coverage, Scotland has been showcased once again as ‘the perfect stage’ and the months of planning and supporting this event have been well worth it.”

By popular demand the RACMSA Rally of Scotland will be one of the highlights on 2011 IRC calendar when the event will run from 14-16 October.

Video Report: Daniel Barry & Martin Brady Rally of Scotland 2010

Posted: October 21, 2010 4:09 PM

PEUGEOT UK VIDEO REPORTS

Posted: October 21, 2010 4:02 PM

Day 1


Day 2

HÄNNINEN WINS FOR ŠKODA AS WILKS STARS IN SCOTLAND

Posted: October 21, 2010 3:51 PM

Škoda has won the RACMSA Rally of Scotland for the second year running, thanks to a superb drive by Juho Hänninen/Mikko Markkula in their Fabia S2000 Facelift. It was the Škoda Motorsport crew’s third win in this year’s Intercontinental Rally Challenge, and the result confirms Hänninen as IRC Drivers’ Champion – having never finished outside the top three all season. It also completes the IRC double for Škoda, who are IRC Manufacturers’ Champions.

Škoda UK Motorsport crew Guy Wilks/Phil Pugh retired from the lead of the event on Day 1, and the team repaired the transmission on Saturday evening to allow Guy to entertain the crowd with a stunning driving display on Day 2 – even though they would not be classified in the final results. Last year’s Rally of Scotland winners were the stars of the final day, setting fastest time on three of the four stages to emphasise what could have been, had their first mechanical-enforced retirement of 2010 not intervened.

For his outstanding performance in Scotland, Guy received the Colin McRae IRC Flat Out Trophy. He was presented with the award by Jimmy McRae, who is part of the three-man judging panel, which also includes Gilbert Roy (Eurosport) and Jean-Pierre Nicolas (IRC).

Hänninen began Day 2 with an 11.1 second lead, and took time out of second placed Andreas Mikkelsen (Ford Fiesta S2000) on each of the final day’s four stages to win by 25.5 seconds.

Guy Wilks:
“Day 1 was quite fraught. Retiring from the lead of my home event was a bigdisappointment. We had high hopes of a win here and laid down a marker on the first night at Scone Palace and on the opening forestry stages. Everything looked very good, but it just wasn’t to be. It was a case of what could have been.

“We decided very early on to come out and do Day 2, because there are a lot of spectators here, the rally was live on Eurosport, we wanted to continue to support the event and we enjoy driving over these fantastic stages. Škoda UK Motorsport did a great job to repair the car and it was perfect today. We obviously didn’t want to throw the car off the road, but we wanted to set some good times, show off the car and show the spirit of rallying.

“Even though we weren’t going to feature in the results, this has been one of the best day’s rallying I’ve ever had – topped off by winning the Colin McRae IRC Flat Out Trophy. That’s a great accolade and something very special to take away from this rally, especially as Jimmy McRae was part of the judging panel. It’s a great honour.

“For a number of years Phil has enabled me to set top stage times, and this award is for both of us. He was absolutely on the button today.

“The Scottish stages are spectacular to drive and a real credit to the organising committee. They have uncovered every rock to make sure the stages ran smooth – I didn’t win, congratulations to Juho on doing that, but it was still a great rally.”

PEUGEOT UK ENDS 2010 ON THE PODIUM IN SCOTLAND

Posted: October 21, 2010 3:47 PM


Photo: Roy Dempster


After two fantastic years with Peugeot UK, Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle ended their final IRC Rally with a podium position at last weekend’s RACMSA Rally of Scotland.

After three hard days of rallying, Kris and Paul crossed the time control after the final run through the Loch Ard stage, to bring to a close their time with Peugeot UK and end a very successful two years with the Peugeot UK Team.

The eleventh round of the 2010 Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) lived up to all expectations and produced one of the best rallies of the year and enabled the drivers to drive on some of the toughest stages in the world. The rally kicked off last Friday evening with two runs through the 3.37 kms Scone Palace stage and immediately the expected battle between Guy Wilks and Kris started. Guy set the fastest time on the first run and then the second run saw both drivers set identical times.

Friday night ended with Kris in second place just 1.7 seconds off the lead position.

Saturday saw a very early start for the drivers and the first cars into the 17.34 kms Craigvinean stage entered the forest in complete darkness. With previous experience of the stage Kris had a big advantage and he set the fastest time and leapt to the lead of the rally with an advantage of 4.0 seconds.

The next stage was one of Kris’s favourite stages of any rally, Drummond Hill, and it showed as he extended his lead to 19.8 seconds. Kris and Paul were clearly carrying on where they had left off from last year, setting a pace which the other drivers were finding difficult to match. The final stage of Saturday morning was the 17.68 kms Errochty stage and Kris and Paul were on a mission to maximise their lead. They knew that on the second running of the morning stages the other drivers would improve their times so it was important to gain as much time as possible.

Unfortunately just over 1.5 kms into the stage the car slid wide and the right-hand rear tyre was punctured. With nearly 16 kms still to go the boys had no choice but to drive to the end of the stage with a puncture. In doing so the tyre was destroyed and it badly damaged the rear bodywork of the car. The puncture was a cruel blow and dropped the Peugeot UK 207 S2000 down into fourth place, 38.4 seconds behind the leading car.

With a replacement tyre fitted after the end of the stage it was full speed back to the Perth Service Area to allow the Peugeot UK Technicians to do the necessary repairs. A fully repaired car left the Service Area fifteen minutes later and then the name of the game was maximum attack to get back with the leaders. The first afternoon stage was the second run through Craigvinean and Kris went for it.

He moved back into third position overall as the rally leader Guy Wilks experienced transmission problems which would see his day finished.

Kris and Paul then moved on to the second run through the Drummond Hill stage fired up and ready for battle. Just one kilometre into the stage however, Kris lost all the brakes on his 207 S2000 and had to drive the remaining fourteen kilometres without brakes. At the end of the stage, Kris and Paul tried to fix the problem which had been caused by a damaged rear flexible hose but were only able to restore partial braking to the front of the car. With hardly any brakes on the front and no rear brakes or handbrake they headed into the final stage of the day back in fourth place.

Even without fully functioning brakes Kris and Paul set the fourth fastest time and ended Day Two in fourth place 1m 46.4s off the lead. At the overnight service the brakes were repaired and Kris and Paul’s Peugeot 207 S2000 was ready to do battle again.

Sunday’s action was based in the Lomond and Trossachs National Park south-west of Perth. The first stage was the Clashmore stage and Kris attacked straight away and set a blistering pace. Now running further down the field due to the changes in the running order Kris had to follow in the tracks of the other cars. Near to the end of the stage Kris was confronted by a small tree across the road and had to slow to avoid it, thus dropping about 5 seconds. He exited the stage however, in third place.

The next stage was the longest of the rally, the 29.04 kms Loch Ard stage, made up of a mixture of flat-out sections over crests and tight hairpins. This would be the stage which could change the overall rally result so it was foot to the floor to see how fast the Peugeot UK 207 S2000 could go!

Kris and Paul set the second fastest time, just 3.2 seconds off the best but reported a big heat build up in the car especially under Paul’s seat. A suspected exhaust problem was thought to be the cause as the engine performance was also down.

A quick trip back to the remote service stop in Aberfoyle allowed the Peugeot UK team to check the car over and then it was back to Clashmore for the second run through the stage.

Kris and Paul drove as hard as possible and remained in third place overall as they left for the final stage, the second run through Loch Ard. The boys tried their best but more drama struck as they picked up another puncture and had to drive nearly twenty kilometres with a punctured left-hand rear tyre. They dropped time but still held on to a well deserved third place and more importantly six points which gave them third place overall in the 2010 IRC Drivers’ standings.

Peugeot UK will now concentrate on finding a replacement for Kris and Paul and looks forward to a new chapter in its rally history in the 2011 IRC.

Hanninen wins 2010 Rally of Scotland, Wilks awarded Colin McRae trophy

Posted: October 21, 2010 3:16 PM

Finland’s Juho Hanninen produced a champion’s drive to see off the opposition and win the 2010 RACMSA Rally of Scotland this afternoon (Sunday), although there was drama further behind on the final day of the event.

Hanninen took over first position on yesterday’s stages when British hopes, Peugeot’s Kris Meeke and his own Skoda team-mate Guy Wilks, hit problems having taken turns in the lead. From there the Finnish ace was never headed, although he had to work hard to keep Norway’s Andreas Mikkelsen at bay on today’s closing four stages.

Meeke, who lost more time today with a puncture, still took third position meaning a podium on his last outing for Peugeot. Furthermore, the result has guaranteed him third in the final 2010 IRC points standings.

In the end, Hanninen’s winning margin over Ford driver Mikkelsen was just 25.5s after 200km of competitive timed stages that started on Friday night at Scone Palace before moving into the spectacular forests of Perthshire and Stirlingshire over the weekend. In total, the event route amounted to more than 800km as it toured around the stunning Scottish countryside and was also broadcast live to millions of households around the world on leading sports TV channel Eurosport.

Hanninen’s victory, his third of the season, was the perfect way to celebrate having been recently crowned the 2010 IRC Champion. Having sprayed the victory champagne at Stirling Castle’s Ceremonial Finish, the 29-year-old commented:
“Even with Guy and Kris’s problems yesterday, I knew the rally was far from over – Andreas was driving very well and staying close behind. But on the penultimate stage today I decided to attack. I knew we still had to go through the Loch Ard stage again at the end which is very long and can cause some problems – I wanted some breathing space so I could just take it a little bit easier and it worked out. I’m very happy with this result because this is a fantastic rally.”

Mikkelsen, just 21, added:
“Going into today I really wanted to keep up a certain speed so Juho couldn’t go on cruise mode. But then he put in a really fast time on the penultimate stage and the gap was out to 20 seconds. Then I knew really I had no chance unless something really strange happened. But this is still a very big result for me and I’ve really enjoyed driving these stages – very fast with a lot of flat out sections over the crests and when you get those right it’s a very special feeling.”

Northern Irishman Meeke said:
“The rally sums up our season. We’ve been able to punch in the times but we’ve had a few slip-ups along the way and it happened again here in Scotland when we were in a strong position. We went at it from the beginning and got up to a 20 second lead but then the problems started. Third place and some silverware is still something. I must say that the stages have been in incredible condition. From a driving point of view, this is the best rally in the championship.”

Although Wilks was forced to retire from the event yesterday, he – along with Scottish hero Alister McRae – returned to action today under ‘Superally’ rules so as to at least put on a show for the public. And nor did he disappoint, the 2009 winner setting the pace on both runs through the fearsome 30km Loch Ard stage with some sensational driving and demonstrating what might have been had he enjoyed a trouble-free rally. Fittingly, his spirited performance earned him the event’s ‘Colin McRae IRC Flat Out Trophy’ – among the judges who voted for him was the late rallying legend McRae’s father Jimmy, himself a former great of the sport.

Meanwhile, the event’s exceptionally high rate of attrition continued today. Belgium’s Thierry Neuville, young Welsh star Tom Cave and Scotland’s Euan Thorburn all came within touching distance of fourth position outright but instead would end their respective rallies with crashes in Loch Ard. Fourth then looked to be comfortably going the way of Northern Irishman Jonathan Greer but on the second run through Loch Ard he stopped when his car’s suspension broke, gifting the spot to recently-crowned Scottish Rally Champion David Bogie. It meant the Dumfries driver achieved his pre-event ambition of finishing as the highest-placed competitor in ‘showroom standard’ Group N machinery but it was also unexpected as he’d started the day back in ninth after a puncture on yesterday’s closing stage had lost him more than five minutes.

Photos

Posted: October 21, 2010 3:15 PM

Posted: October 21, 2010 3:10 PM

PROTON: Rally of Scotland review

Posted: October 21, 2010 3:08 PM

The PROTON R3 Rally Team struggled to match the pace which carried them to second overall on the Rally of Scotland last season, with both factory cars hitting trouble on the Perth-based penultimate round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge. The third, semi-works car of 18-year-old Tom Cave was on-course to finish an untroubled fourth overall when the young Welshman collected two punctures on the final morning.

After the rain-hit Rally of Scotland last season, this year’s event turned out to be dry – and an absolute classic. The stunning Highland scenery played perfect host to a fascinating round of the IRC, with the Proton’s providing plenty of entertainment for the thousands of fans who had turned out to enjoy rallying at its very best.

Unfortunately for Alister McRae – the Scottish hero who most of the spectators had turned out to cheer – he suffered a freak electrical failure in the third stage. Going into the Craigvinean test, north of Perth, McRae had been ahead of this year’s Intercontinental Rally Challenge champion – and winner of two 2010 IRC rounds – Juho Hanninen (Skoda). McRae’s hopes of mixing it with the champion and his IRC colleagues were dashed when his Satria Neo S2000 was halted with an alternator problem. Alister did his best to fix the problem, but retired later in the day.

McRae’s team-mate Keith Cronin arrived on a high, having recently been crowned British Rally Champion for the second successive season. A puncture on the first stage stymied his attack first thing on Saturday morning and a problem with the intercom system in his co-driver’s crash helmet meant he couldn’t hear the vital pace notes for the next two stages. Having endured a tough morning, Keith was ready to put on the kind of charge he’d managed on the Barum Rally Zlin, his last event with Proton, when he set incredible times on the re-run of the opening loop.

Concerned by a steering problem in the afternoon’s first stage, Keith got out and looked under the bonnet. Unfortunately, he forgot to replace the bonnet retaining pins. As soon as he got up to speed, the bonnet flew up. His co-driver Barry McNulty got out to replace the bonnet and, in the process, dropped his timecards – the official documentation which allow the organisers to keep a check on the cars. Without the necessary paperwork to continue, Keith was, unfortunately, forced out of the rally.

Quotes:
Alister McRae said:
“It was great to get back out in the Scottish stages and to see the fans and the Saltires they were waving. I always get a real buzz when I’m competing on home territory. It was just a shame things didn’t go our way on this event. We really didn’t manage to get into our stride, which meant we weren’t able to show what we could do – and what the car is capable of. For sure, the PROTON has come on since we drove it last: the engine and the dampers are working very, very well. This car still has a great deal of potential and pace to come.”

Keith Cronin said:
“This was a very frustrating event for me. It was only my second time driving an S2000 car on gravel – and my entry on Rally of Scotland really didn’t last very long last year. I came here looking for experience and for time in the car and I haven’t really managed that. We weren’t able to get into the groove at all on Saturday morning, the puncture spoiled it in Craigvinean and then I just couldn’t hear what Barry was saying to me in the next two. On the whole, it’s been a tough event, but one where I have seen the potential of the car again.”

Chris Mellors (team principal) said:
“After the result we achieved [second overall] with Alister last year, we had high hopes for this event again this year, but those hopes were hit by a bizarre problem on the alternator – not something we’ve ever had a problem with before that. We simply haven’t been able to get into our stride on this event, we haven’t found the kind of rhythm which we need to challenge. That’s the same for Keith [Cronin]. Both drivers had a very good test with no problems, but we haven’t been able to recreate that pace on the event. Keith struggled with a puncture and some intercom problems in the morning, but then retired from the rally in fairly odd circumstances. The positive is the way the drivers felt about the car when they were running, both Alister and Keith are pleased with the developments which have come on the engine and the dampers. Tom [Cave] showed great pace and was on for a superb result, only to be foiled by punctures on the second day. Tom could have been fourth overall, which would have been an exceptional result for a driver of his age and experience in such exalted company.”

HANNINEN CONQUERS TREACHEROUS SCOTTISH STAGES

Posted: October 21, 2010 3:04 PM

Juho Hänninen claimed his third victory of the year in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge after beating Andreas Mikkelsen in arduous conditions on the RACMSA Rally of Scotland. The win earned him enough points to put him out of reach of any of his rivals for this year’s drivers’ title. He will be crowned officially after the next round, the FxPro Rally Cyprus.

Only nine drivers were classified at the finish as the fast pace of the rally took a brutal toll on the drivers and their machines. Guy Wilks returned to the fray after being forced out of Saturday’s last two stages by mechanical failure to record the fastest times in three of today’s four stages, a feat which was recognised when he was awarded the Colin McRae IRC Flat Out Trophy by Jimmy McRae.

Kris Meeke finished third for Peugeot although mechanical maladies had left him trailing by nearly two minutes as the day began. As Hänninen looked to consolidate his lead over Mikkelsen without taking too many risks, Meeke was determined to get on the podium by overhauling the third-placed 207 of Thierry Neuville. Mikkelsen, meanwhile, was torn between a desire to push for the win and a duty to claim his team’s first podium of the year.

Mikkelsen tested Hänninen’s resolve by remaining within striking distance throughout the morning, while Neuville dropped back with a puncture and then made a mistake on the first 29.04km loop around Loch Ard, rolling down a steep incline. Hänninen won the penultimate stage to put nearly 20 seconds of clear air between himself and Mikkelsen, persuading the young Norwegian to opt for duty over valour in the final test.

Local hero Alister McRae thrilled the home crowd with some impressive times in his Proton Satria Neo, but he was also ineligible for the final score having missed most of Saturday through an alternator failure. Team-mate Keith Cronin also restarted the event this morning but he slid wide, hit a stack of logs and broke a wishbone on the first stage. Tom Cave, the sole remaining Proton driver eligible for points, struggled with decreasing grip levels as the rain intensified and crashed nose-first in to a ditch on the last stage.

The three-way Group N battle between the Lancers of David Bogie, Euan Thornburn and Jonathan Greer that had raged throughout Saturday fizzled out as first Thorburn and then Greer ran off the road, both on the Loch Ard stages that were broadcast live on Eurosport. Their retirement enabled Daniel Barry to finish in the top 10, a well deserved achievement after the Irishman had struggled throughout the event with a litany of technical problems.

Burcu Çetinkaya became the first female driver to finish an IRC event in the points although her Peugeot Türkiye 207’s gearbox became recalcitrant in the final stage.

Both the remaining 2WD Cup entries finished in the overall points. Siim Plangi finished his second IRC outing of the year in fifth place, even though his Honda Civic Type R had dropped on to three cylinders briefly during the morning. Harry Hunt discovered that his Fiesta R2 had a cracked sump on the opening stage of the day but nursed it through to eighth overall. Hunt now shares the lead in the 2WD Cup drivers’ title with one round to go.

DRIVER QUOTES
Juho Hänninen (Finland), Škoda Fabia S2000, first overall:
“It was a fantastic finish to the season, a great weekend. It's been almost a perfect year and I'd like to thank the team for everything they've done. Yesterday morning I was about 30 seconds behind the boys and not feeling like a champion, but it was like I started the rally again. I set some good times and the boys were a bit unlucky with the problems they had, but for us that made it much better.”

Andreas Mikkelsen (Norway), Ford Fiesta S2000, second overall:
“This result means a lot for me. I came here hoping that we could make it to the podium; I’d never finished on the podium in the IRC before so that was the main target. We’re very pleased to finish second, and also happy with the progress we’re making with our tyres. We were trying out a new type of tyre and were very encouraged to see it perform so well.”

Kris Meeke (United Kingdom), Peugeot 207 S2000, third overall:
“This rally has sort of summed up our year. We’ve been able to punch it when circumstances have allowed us to. Today obviously we had another puncture but there was enough of a gap behind us for it not to be a problem. Third place allows us third in the championship – it’s been an incredible two years with Peugeot UK and to finish with a bit of silverware is some consolation for not winning the championship again.”

Results

Posted: October 21, 2010 2:56 PM

1 Juho Hänninen/Mikko Markkula (Škoda Fabia S2000) 2h01m07.4s
2 Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Fløene (Ford Fiesta S2000) +25.5s
3 Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle (Peugeot 207 S2000) +3m24.2s
4 David Bogie/Kevin Rae (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX) +12m01.3s
5 Karl Kruuda/Martin Järveoja (Suzuki Swift S1600) +14m07.6s
5 Siim Plangi/Marek Sarapuu (Honda Civic Type R) +14m39.0s
6 Eamonn Boland/MJ Morrissey Beaton (Ralliart Lancer Evo X) +16m38.8s
7 Burcu Çetinkaya/Çiçek Güney (Peugeot 207 S2000) +16m56.1s
8 Harry Hunt/Sebastian Marshall (Ford Fiesta R2) +21m39.5s
9 Daniel Barry/Martin Brady (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX) +23m46.5s

Leading IRC 2WD Cup finishers:
Siim Plangi/Marek Sarapuu (Honda Civic Type-R)

Sunday Start List - Cronin/McRae/Wilks all restarting

Posted: October 16, 2010 7:58 PM

Under "Competitors" on Event Website:

Twitter Feeds

Posted: October 15, 2010 5:53 PM




Start Lists for Friday & Saturday available

Posted: October 15, 2010 5:22 PM

Under "Competitors" on Event Website:

THE STAGES ARE SET FOR THIS WEEK’S RALLY OF SCOTLAND

Posted: October 12, 2010 5:21 PM

There are now just days to go until this weekend’s 2010 Royal Automobile Club Motor Sport Association Rally of Scotland (15-17 October). The UK’s round of the 2010 Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) is a major sporting event for Scotland and has attracted a high-class entry, including many of the world’s top drivers plus a host of local crews all hoping to make a name for themselves on the international stage.

The spectacular show is flagged away on Friday evening at Scone Palace near Perth, home of the historical Stone of Destiny and where former kings and queens of Scotland were crowned. The high-speed competition then switches to more traditional rally country – the legendary forest gravel tracks of Perthshire and Stirlingshire. Saturday’s challenging stages are in the Tay region mountains to the north-west of Perth, while the Trossachs provide a stunning backdrop to Sunday’s action before the mid-afternoon ceremonial finish at Stirling Castle.

The route totals more than 800km with some 200km of those made up of competitive special timed stages. Furthermore, a third of the event will be shown live around the world by leading sports TV broadcaster Eurosport which, from its headquarters in Paris, France will this week descend on the region with an army of satellite trucks, camera vehicles and helicopters to cover the action for an audience of millions.

“We have just driven over the entire rally route and the special stages are in really good condition. It’s going to be a fast and fabulous event for both the fans and competitors,” reports Iain Campbell, Rally of Scotland Clerk of the Course. “There were some concerns that we might have to revise the opening stage in the grounds of Scone Castle after an historic 16th century arch was destroyed by a contractor’s van, but I’m delighted to say that we’ve just been given clearance to run the section as originally planned.”

Campbell also predicts a fiercely fought and exciting contest.
“All the top names are coming to Scotland,” he says. “Both reigning IRC champion Kris Meeke (Northern Ireland) and 2010 IRC champion elect Juho Hanninen (Finland) are in the field along with last year’s Rally of Scotland winner Guy Wilks (England). There are lots of excellent Scottish crews, too. David Bogie (Dumfries) starts with high hopes fresh from winning back-to-back Scottish Rally Championships and Dave Weston Jr (Aberdeen) will be hoping to bounce back following a large accident in the last round of the World Rally Championship in France. No rally in Scotland would be complete without a member of the celebrated McRae family and I’m delighted that Alister McRae will be lining up among the stars, no doubt trying to go one better than the second place he achieved last year. As an event, we are also raising funds for Colin McRae Vision, the charity established in memory of our great local rallying world champion and hero.”

Tickets can still be purchased during the event, priced £10 for Friday’s opening action at Scone Palace or £20 for a day pass that includes access to all stages and service areas on either the Saturday or Sunday.* Admission for accompanied children aged 15 and under is FREE.

Furthermore, on the Sunday fans will also a National-seeded rally follow the main IRC contenders through both the Clashmore 1 & 2 and Loch Ard 2 stages (see details below).

Schedule, 2010 RACMSA Rally of Scotland


Friday 15 October
Central Service, Perth Airport
Ceremonial Start, Scone Palace, nr Perth, Starts 7.50pm
Special Stage 1, Scone Palace, nr Perth, Starts 8.10pm
SS2, Stage 2, Scone Palace, nr Perth, Starts 8.30pm

Saturday 16 October
Central Service
SS3, Craigvinean 1, nr Dunkeld, Starts 7.20am
SS4, Drummond Hill 1, nr Fortingall, Starts 8.45am
SS5, Errochty 1, nr Pitgowan, Starts 10.10am
Central Service, Perth Airport
SS6, Craigvinean 2, nr Dunkeld, Starts 1.50pm
SS7, Drummond Hill 2, nr Fortingall, Starts 3.15pm
SS8, Errochty 2, nr Pitgowan, Starts 4.40pm
Central Service, Perth Airport

Sunday 17 October
Central Service, Perth Airport
SS9, Clashmore 1, nr Cobleland (Loch Ard Forest), Starts 8.40am
SS10, Loch Ard 1, nr Milton (Loch Ard Forest), Starts 10.10am
SS11, Clashmore 2, nr Cobleland (Loch Ard Forest), Starts 11.40am
Service: Aberfoyle
SS12, Loch Ard 2, nr Milton (Loch Ard Forest), Starts 1.10pm
Ceremonial Finish, Stirling Castle, 3.00pm and National B at 4.30pm

Barry & Brady back on IRC trail.

Posted: October 11, 2010 7:21 PM

Irish Crew Daniel Barry and Martin Brady return to the IRC series to complete their 2010 campaign in the Scottish Highlands. The pairing have tackled a programme of selected rounds of this years IRC championship in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 but this will be their first foray onto gravel in the series. However loose surfaces are not unfamiliar to them as Daniel was the 2009 UK National series Group N Champion and the one make Mitsubishi series champion in 2009 and Junior champion of the hotly contested Evo Challenge in 2008. Meanwhile Martin too has had success as Evo Challenge UK champion in 2008 and 2009 while also partnering 2008 Irish Forestry champion Ray Breen to the Irish title.

With such experience under their belt they are cautiously optimistic of a solid result in Scotland but given the tough nature of the stages and the long trail of leg two with only one short remote service between 45km loops it is certain that a steady and controlled drive is the way to approach this rally. Martin commented
“I experienced this rally last year with Icelandic rally driver Daniel Siggurdarson and it is an excellent rally and superbly organised but the stages are ultra challenging. Long arduous with changing grip and plenty to catch you out so I know we need to approach with caution, but rallying by its very nature means you nearly always throw caution to the wind! But I know for certain it will be enjoyable both competing in Scotland and back on the IRC campaign”

Daniel and Martin will use the exciting new DMACK tyres and will be giving them their debut in IRC competition and on a 4wd Group N car. Daniel commented
“I’m looking forward to using the new DMG2 tyres they are a new product but they have an impressive catalogue of serious testing and development to date so I am confident in how well they will perform on the tricky Scottish stages.

KRIS MEEKE AND PAUL NAGLE – ONE AIM: TO WIN THEIR FINAL RALLY FOR PEUGEOT UK

Posted: October 11, 2010 7:13 PM

Peugeot UK’s Kris Meeke and co-driver Paul Nagle have just one aim in this year’s Rally Scotland, to finish their 2010 IRC campaign on the top step of the podium.

The RACMSA Rally Scotland will be the last rally in which the boys will compete for Peugeot UK, as next year they will leave the team to take up a new challenge in the World Rally Championship (WRC).

Last year’s inaugural Rally Scotland was dominated by Kris and Paul and this year they will be totally focused on putting on another good show for all their fans and bowing out of the IRC in style.

Kris and Paul’s Peugeot UK 207 S2000 will be in action over a total of twelve gravel stages covering 196.44 kilometres. The rally starts on Friday with two runs through the grounds of Scone Palace near Perth, a mixture of asphalt and gravel road sections, totalling 3.37 kilometres. This year’s stage is much longer than in 2009 so it will be important to set a good time to ensure a good result at the end of the rally.

Saturday sees the cars take on three stages located north-west of Perth including the 17.68 kilometre Errochty stage. The three stages will be run twice before the cars finish back at the Perth Service area, early Saturday evening.

The final day of the rally consists of four stages before the winner will be crowned at Stirling Castle on Sunday afternoon.

Follow the day-to-day progress of Peugeot UK and Kris Meeke in this year’s RACMSA Rally of Scotland rally via the team’s Twitter link www.twitter.com/Peugeotrally, video podcasts and web-based Rally Radio hosted on the Peugeot.co.uk web site and all main rally web sites and, for iPhone users, the Peugeot co-sponsored iRally App.

PROTON chasing another top result in Scotland

Posted: October 9, 2010 2:53 PM

The PROTON R3 Rally Team will return to the scene of its strongest outing to date: the penultimate round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, the Rally of Scotland, next week.

In preparation for the Perth-based event, PROTON drivers Alister McRae and Keith Cronin will conduct a day-long test in Scotland on Tuesday. With further development testing completed in Wales this week, Alister and Keith will focus their attentions on completing the vital final set-up work on their cars. The pre-event test is even more important than usual, in the absence of a shakedown stage. And it’s double important for Keith, given that the double British Rally Champion has never driven the Satria Neo S2000 on gravel previously.

Alister guided the factory PROTON to second place on last November’s event, reckoned by many to be among the wettest rallies on record. This time around, the forecast is for brighter weather, which should ensure the Perthshire and Stirlingshire roads offer more grip.

The event’s service park has moved from the centre of Stirling to Perth Airport, but on Sunday it’s the town of Aberfeldy which plays host to a 15-minute stop between the two loops of tests.

The ceremonial start venue, one of the most historic of the season, remains at Scone Palace, the place where Scottish kings were once crowned. And, of course, a one-time resting place for the Stone of Destiny, which was used in the coronation process.

Not only does the event start at Scone, it will also play host to the first two stages of the event, a tricky 3.37-kilometre dash around the beautiful Palace.

As on last year’s event, Eurosport will be broadcasting television pictures of PROTON live from the Errochty stage on Saturday and Loch Ard, which provides the finale to the rally, on Sunday.

Having started at a venue steeped in history, the rally ends at an equally famous place on Sunday, with the Stirling Castle set as the perfect backdrop to bring what will have been a memorable, entertaining and competitive round of the IRC to a close for the PROTON R3 Rally Team.

Quotes:
Alister McRae said:
“It’s always nice to compete at home, particularly coming back to Perth after such a strong result last season. The car has definitely improved through the year, with the work on the engine and dampers paying dividends with the Satria. I know I’m biased, but some of the stages on this event are absolutely fantastic and among the best in the world. The Loch Ard stage on Sunday was new for us all last year and it was great, a real flowing driver’s stage; I’m certainly looking forward to getting back into there again. Seeing the Saltire at the side of the road always gives you a big boost on your home event and this rally has good memories for me: it was my first IRC round for the PROTON team and PROTON’s best result of the season.”

Keith Cronin said:
“Having driven this car on the asphalt in the Czech Republic, I absolutely can’t wait to get into it on the gravel. I did this event last year, but beyond the pace notes I made, I didn’t really get far enough into the event to get much experience. It’s good to have a team-mate like Alister, I think he’ll probably have a good idea of what’s going on up here. In one way I’m starting again driving this car for the first time on gravel, but in another way I’m a step ahead from Barum Rally already, I’m more familiar with the car and with what’s going on inside the cockpit, just a bit more familiar with the workings of the machine. My approach will be the same as Barum, I’ll start out quite steady and see how we go. At the end of the event, I’d like to think we’re going to be aiming for a top-five result, but there’s a lot of strong competition out there.”

Chris Mellors (team principal) said:
“The car has moved on so much from where we were on this event last year, it’s really exciting to be going back to Scotland again, and we’re going back to try and improve on the result we achieved with Alister last season. The damper test earlier this week went really well. We’ve been able to take the car forward again in that area, which translates to more traction and stability. Everybody in the team is really up for this one, obviously we have good memories of last year and we’re all looking forward to going back. We’ve got two good drivers and we’re after the right result. We’ve got Tom [Cave] out with the PROTON as well, so it will be interesting to see how he gets on. Obviously, the other thing we’re hoping for is some better weather than last year, when it absolutely poured with rain. This doesn’t bother the drivers really, it’s equal for all of them, but a bit of sunshine makes for a better event for the fans and the marshals.”

WILKS AIMS FOR TRIPLE ŠKODA CELEBRATION IN SCOTLAND

Posted: October 7, 2010 9:06 PM

Guy Wilks is aiming to give Škoda three reasons to be very cheerful on this year’s RACMSA Rally of Scotland (15-17 October). Adding to Škoda already being crowned 2010 Intercontinental Rally Challenge Manufacturers’ Champion, the Škoda UK Motorsport driver hopes to defend his title by celebrating back-to-back Rally of Scotland wins, while Škoda Motorsport factory driver Juho Hänninen will become IRC Drivers’ Champion on his first rally in Scotland, as he arrives with an unassailable lead in the series.

Driving a Škoda Fabia S2000 for the first time, Guy, together with co-driver Phil Pugh, won Rally of Scotland last year in sensational style, and that victory led to the formation of the Škoda UK Motorsport team and a programme in this year’s IRC.

This year’s Rally of Scotland takes place a month earlier than last year’s event, so the event organisers hope that the weather will be better than the torrential rain that made conditions exceptionally wet and muddy 11 months ago. Come rain or shine, the undulating forest roads of Perthshire and Stirling are regarded as some of the best in international rallying, with fast and flowing high speed sections, blind crests and technical parts meandering through the stunning Scottish scenery.

Guy Wilks:
“I’m really looking forward to this year’s Rally of Scotland, because it’s going to be another classic event. It was great to win there last year, especially after such a close and exciting battle with Kris Meeke. This year Juho Hänninen will be there too, which will really make things interesting. Juho did the recce last year, so he knows the stages, and he arrives in Scotland full of confidence as IRC Drivers’ champion. I think it will be a very close battle for victory between the three of us, Juho, Kris and myself, and it will be flat-out from the word go.

“I’ve not done a gravel rally for over five months, and this will be my first since my accident in Sardinia, but that doesn’t worry me at all. Getting back to the form we showed on gravel before the accident is what’s important, and I’d like to think we’ll be able to achieve that on the opening stage.

“Škoda UK is bringing a lot of guests to Scotland to celebrate what has been a fantastic season, so I’ll be going all-out for victory again and aiming for the top step of the podium.”

The Rally of Scotland begins with a Ceremonial Start at 19.50 on Friday 15 October, from where competitors go straight into the opening 2.09 mile Scone Palace stage, which is done twice.

The rally resumes the following morning, with three challenging stages – Craigvinean (10.77 miles), Drummond Hill (9.37 miles) and Errochty (10.98 miles) – in Perthshire. After mid-day service at Perth Airport, these three stages are repeated in the afternoon, giving a Day 1 total stage distance of 66.45 miles.

The final day’s action takes place on Sunday 17 October, with two demanding stages in the Trossachs. The new 9.91 mile Clashmore stage will be attempted first, before the mighty Loch Ard test which, at 18.04 miles, is the longest of the event. After service at Aberfoyle in Stirlingshire, a repeat run of Clashmore and Loch Ard will provide a sting in the tail and bring Day 2’s competitive distance to 55.91 miles.

In total, this year’s Rally of Scotland will contain 12 special stages, totalling 122.36 miles – all of which will be timed to the nearest tenth of a second.

The Rally of Scotland will enjoy unprecedented live global television coverage, with Eurosport devoting 15 hours of air time to the event. Four stages – Errochty 1 and 2 (SS5 and 8) and Loch Ard 1 and 2 (SS10 and 12) – will be broadcast live at peak weekend viewing times (Saturday, 10.00-11.00 and 16.30-17.30; Sunday, 10.00-11.00 and 12.45-14:00). In addition, Eurosport will also show its Rally Magazine review programme at 22.00 on Tuesday 19 October.

Challenging weekend ahead for Tom Cave in Scotland

Posted: October 7, 2010 1:35 PM

Teenage rally driver Tom Cave is preparing himself for a challenging weekend of rallying next week, as he heads for Rally of Scotland, the penultimate round of this year's Intercontinental Rally Challenge. He will be back at the wheel of his works-specification Proton Satria Neo S2000 as he tackles the event for the second time, having finished eighth overall last year.

A busy summer of rallying has seen Tom compete in a number of cars and he is now looking forward to getting back in the Proton on gravel. It's been some three months since his last outing on the loose in the striking yellow and black Malaysian machine and next weekend is likely to be the first time he has driven the car in slippery conditions.

He spent a day testing in Wales last week, to try to establish a base set-up for the tricky roads he is expecting after last year's event. Even though this year's Rally of Scotland is running a month earlier and the long-range weather forecast suggests dry weather, the chances are the ground conditions will be damp and slippery.

"We had a very good test last week," Tom explains. "As it was my first time in the car on wet gravel, it was a bit of an eye-opener to start with but we carried out 75Km of running and I'm happy with the set-up we have now for Scotland.

"Not only were we trying suspension and tyre options, we were also looking for any issues that might crop up on the event. We suffered with the windscreen steaming up to start with, for example, but soon resolved that. It's exactly that kind of thing that we were looking for and to find a solution for, since if we came across that for the first time on the first stage, it could seriously jeopardise our chances of a good result."

So while this year's rally is earlier, the route is broadly similar to last year and Tom knows just how tricky it can be. That's why he is planning to study the in-car footage from the 2009 event, to learn the stages better and identify where he may encounter hazards.

"It's a very challenging event," he said, "but also, a very rewarding one. The first stage, at Scone Palace, for example, is very tricky. At first sight, it may seem like just a spectator stage but there's nothing Mickey-Mouse about it. We had a huge moment there last year and it's definitely a stage where the cliché 'You can't win the rally there but you can lose it' applies.

"Loch Ard will also be a big test. It's the longest stage of the rally and run twice on Sunday, the last day. It's a very technical stage and I'll be studying the in-car footage carefully to try to remember the rhythm and how it flows.

"I've got very fond memories of the event, despite the weather last year. It was a fantastic rally from a driver's point of view and of course, we had a brilliant result - eighth overall in the Fiesta. Of course, I'm hoping to get a better result this year in the Proton but we'll have to see what the competition is like."

The event begins with a double-running of the Scone Palace superspecial stage on the evening of Friday 15 October, in front of huge anticipated crowds in the centre of Perth.

The crews then tackle six stages to the north-west of Perth on Saturday, followed by four stages to the west of Perth on Sunday, including the two runs through Loch Ard. The finish ceremony of the rally will again be held at Stirling Castle, at 15.30 on Sunday 17 October.

Eurosport will be showing extensive live coverage of the event, including the two runs through Errochty on Saturday (10.00-11.00 and 16.30-17.30) and both runs through Loch Ard on Sunday (10.00-11.00 and 12.45-14.00).

Seeded Entry List available

Posted: October 7, 2010 10:32 AM

Seeded Entry List available under "Competitors" on Event Website:

RACMSA RALLY OF SCOTLAND PREVIEW

Posted: October 7, 2010 10:24 AM

THE CHALLENGE
Competitors in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge have negotiated a wide variety of terrain this season. From the ice-coated passes in the mountains above Monte Carlo to the rock-strewn gravel roads of Argentina, the battle for glory has been demanding and intense in equal measure with seven different drivers triumphing on the 10 events held so far.

RACMSA Rally of Scotland is the next stop on this thrilling global adventure and the prospects for an epic encounter are mouth watering with more than 10 pacesetting Super 2000 cars in action on the high-speed gravel forest roads around the event's base in Perth in the centre of the country.

And just to add to the spectacle, Eurosport, Europe's largest television sports channel and the IRC's official media partner, will be showing four stages of the event live as part of a package of television coverage that totals almost 15 hours.

Billed as the best in the world by leading competitors who took part on the inaugural Rally of Scotland in November 2009, the stages run through closed-forest roads in the counties of Perth and Kinross and Stirlingshire and provide a huge challenge for the drivers. Blind crests, climbs and descents, sharp drops, tight junctions, off-camber corners and tree-lined straights all feature on the competitive route, which covers almost 200 kilometres over 12 stages and is likely to be subjected to changeable weather conditions.

However, the opening two tests on the night of Friday 15 October are somewhat tamer by comparison. Based in the grounds of Scone Palace, the historical home of the Stone of Destiny, the stone that kings and queens of Scotland were crowned upon, the stage, which is run twice in quick succession, is made up of a mixture of asphalt and gravel sections over a distance of 3.37 kilometres. It will give fans the chance to see rally cars in action in close proximity to Perth. Because the stage has more than doubled in length since 2009, it could have a greater bearing on the final classification this year.

Following a short early-morning service halt at Perth Airport, the real action begins with three stages located north-west of Perth on Saturday 16 October. They are each run twice and include two runs through the 17.68-kilometre Errochty stage, which will be shown live on Eurosport. The stage climbs over Cragan Liath Mor through Tummel Forest and emerges by the shores of Loch Tummel. It begins with several twisty corners and hairpins before a very fast and flowing blast over the hill top. Punctures are a possibility in this stage due to the extensive logging work that takes place in the area.

Sunday's action is contained in the Lomond and Trossachs National Park south-west of Perth and begins with a new stage, Clashmore, which replaces Achray following recent access restrictions. The start is narrow and peppered with off-camber corners before it joins a new forest road, which takes in part of the infamous Loch Ard stage. With the final two-thirds of Clashmore using ultra-fast roads, drivers will need to be extremely brave and committed in order to set rapid times.

The rally concludes with the second of two runs through the Loch Ard Forest. The stage, which has been tweaked slightly for 2010 to include a new loop, is a mixture of flat-out sections over crests and tight hairpins. At 29.04 kilometres in length, it's the longest of the rally. With the stage set to decide the outcome of the rally, viewers of Eurosport, who will be able to watch both runs live, will get the opportunity to witness all the drama unfold as it happens.

As well as counting as a round of the main IRC, Rally of Scotland will mark the 11th event of the season for the IRC 2WD Cup for crews in two-wheel drive machinery.

Rally of Scotland marks the fifth time this year that the Colin McRae IRC Flat Out Trophy will be presented. The award is handed to the most spectacular driver who best embodies the spirit of the Scottish hero and rallying legend on rounds of the IRC. Its recipient is chosen by a panel consisting of IRC's Motorsport Development Manager Jean-Pierre Nicolas, Gilbert Roy, the Director of Editorial and Programme Development at Eurosport Events, and Jim McRae, Colin's father.

THE COMPETITORS
Despite Juho Hanninen's second place finish on the last IRC round in Sanremo, Italy, in late September, the Finn hadn't quite done enough to put the drivers' title beyond the reach of his Skoda Motorsport team-mate Jan Kopecky. Providing he won the last two events in Scotland and Cyprus and Hanninen faltered then he could be champion. However, with Skoda sending a single Fabia S2000 Facelift to Scotland for Hanninen, it means the 29-year-old will compete to officially win the 2010 IRC drivers' title.

Although Rally of Scotland will effectively become a high-speed lap of honour for the gifted Hanninen, he will be determined to show his pace on his favoured surface and add to his impressive wins in Argentina and Sardinia alongside co-driver Mikko Markkula.

Guy Wilks, the winner in Scotland last year, became an early title contender following a sequence of podium finishes in his Skoda UK Motorsport Fabia. However, a huge crash on Rally d'Italia-Sardegna in early June left him with a broken back and put him out of action for more than three months. The Darlington driver has since made a full recovery and will be looking to round out his second season in the IRC with victory.

Northern Ireland's Kris Meeke arrived in Scotland for the inaugural IRC event in 2009 as the IRC champion following a dominant first full season in the series. However, the Peugeot UK driver's title defence has been unsuccessful due to a spate of crashes and technical maladies. He has vowed to end his stint in the IRC with a win on his home event and make up for the disappointment of being stripped of first place on the rally last year due to a technical infringement.

Alister McRae, the younger brother of the late Colin McRae, inherited second place on Rally of Scotland 11 months ago and returns at the wheel of a factory-backed PROTON Satria Neo. The Lanark-born driver, who is set to attract a great deal of local support and media interest, is relishing taking part on his home rally and will be hoping to capitalise on the improvements made to the Satria Neo in recent months.

Keith Cronin, who recently captured his second British Rally Championship title, will rejoin the PROTON team in a second Satria Neo after a strong showing on Barum Czech Rally Zlin in late August when the Irishman recorded a succession of top 10 stage times. Welsh teenager Tom Cave will drive a third PROTON, albeit run by his own team rather than by the main MEM squad.

Andreas Mikkelsen, a former junior skiing champion in his native Norway, is a hugely capable driver and has shown plenty of pace in his M-Sport Ford Fiesta on rounds of the IRC this season. He will prepare for the event with an extensive test session and is a dark horse for honours.

Thierry Neuville has also shown promise in his first IRC campaign but lacks experience on gravel having only tackled four events on loose surfaces so far. However, the 22-year-old Team Peugeot Belgium-Luxembourg driver will be looking to make the most of team-mate Kris Meeke's knowledge of the event.

Other drivers in Super 2000 machinery include female pilot Burcu Cetinkaya, who works as a television presenter when she's not competing in her Peugeot Sport Turkey 207, and rally rookie Daniel Oliveira, who will travel from Brazil to drive his Stohl Racing 207.

Several Scottish drivers will be in action on the event including double national champion David Bogie and Dave Weston Jr, who contested the Geko Ypres Rally in Belgium back in June. Both have shown lots of potential during their early careers and will be firm contenders for traditional Group N class honours.

The IRC 2WD Cup is likely to be a close fight between Scot Colin R Smith, in a Honda Civic Type R, and England's Harry Hunt, who drives an M-Sport Ford Fiesta R2. Hunt beat Smith to IRC 2WD Cup success in Sardinia in June so Smith will be looking for revenge on home soil.

ŠKODA MOTORSPORT'S CREW HÄNNINEN-MARKKULA TO APPEAR AT RALLY OF SCOTLAND

Posted: October 7, 2010 10:22 AM

The new champions of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC), Juho Hänninen and Mikko Markkula of Škoda Motorsport factory team, are going to appear at the Rally of Scotland. Taking place in Perthshire and Stirling over October 15-17, the last-but-one event of this year's IRC series is a gravel race.

Hänninen and Markkula are going to get special support from Škoda's UK importer. Škoda UK Motorsport will appear in Scotland as well – Guy Wilks and Phil Pugh, who won this event last year, are going to drive a Škoda Fabia Super 2000.

Škoda Motorsport's other crew, Jan Kopecký and Petr Starý, are going to focus on the Italian championship for the rest of this season – the last-but-one event of this challenging competition takes place in the surroundings of Costa Smeralda, Sardinia over the second weekend of October 9-10. The Czechs are going to appear in the colours of Škoda Rally Team Italia, and their ambition is to get closer to third place in the overall championship standings, although their rivals, top-class Italian drivers, are indeed tough competition.

Says Michal Hrabánek, Head of Škoda Motorsport:
“The San Remo Rally saw our team complete the double – we have managed to win both the Drivers’ and the Manufacturers’ competitions in this year's IRC, which is no doubt a fantastic achievement for the Škoda brand. In this connection, I wish to thank our partners, i.e. Škoda importers worldwide. Our joint efforts were in line with Škoda Auto's goals throughout this motorsport project, and we are very pleased about how well we have been doing. In this context, our major partners include Škoda's importers in the UK, Belgium and Italy, and we will gladly support them in their respective markets by appearing at the upcoming rally events held in their countries – facing a tough competition in one of Europe's most respected championships, Jan Kopecký and Petr Starý will attempt to secure third place in the overall standings in Italy, and Juho Hänninen and Mikko Markkula are going to join their Škoda UK Motorsport colleagues, Guy Wilks and Phil Pugh, in Scotland. We appreciate the support we are getting from our UK importer who seems to be very keen to see us on the start line. I am sure we will find many synergies in both motorsport and business contexts, because the UK is one of the most successful markets for our new Fabia RS, a car that conveys clear associations with the Fabia Super 2000.”

Juho Hänninen:
“I am very happy that I and Mikko have won the IRC title well before the end of this year's season. I do my best to win wherever I appear, although I always realise that the competition is tough and that I have to carefully consider the conditions on the road.

I must be realistic as far as asphalt rallies are concerned, but I daresay I have made big progress on asphalt this year, mainly thanks to the huge support I am getting from the factory team. Now they have given me an opportunity to take part in this gravel rally in Scotland, i.e., on my favourite surface – it is going to be my first appearance there. I believe that my result this year will make it possible to take my racing career to the next level.”

STAR-STUDDED ENTRY LIST TAKING SHAPE FOR THIS MONTH'S RALLY OF SCOTLAND

Posted: October 7, 2010 10:20 AM

Home hero Alister McRae, newly-crowned Scottish and British champions David Bogie and Keith Cronin and Intercontinental Rally Challenge Champion-elect, Finland’s Juho Hanninen, are among the latest big names to confirm entries for what is shaping up to be a star-studded RACMSA Rally of Scotland in two weeks' time (15-17 October).

McRae, from Lanark and brother of the late Colin McRae, will spearhead the factory-supported Proton team’s effort – being joined by Irishman Cronin and young British talent Tom Cave in a trio of the Malaysian manufacturer’s Super 2000-specification Satria Neo models. Cronin captured a second straight British title only last weekend in Yorkshire. Meanwhile, it will be a rare outing for McRae in the IRC in 2010 as he has concentrated chiefly this year on winning the Asia-Pacific rally title.

Bogie, from Dumfries, will be eager to demonstrate to fans the pace that enabled him to achieve a second consecutive Scottish title earlier this month in his Group N ‘showroom’ specification Mitsubishi Lancer, while Hanninen’s entry – alongside British ace and last year’s Rally of Scotland winner Guy Wilks – means at least two factory Skoda Fabia S2000 Facelifts will be in action. Hanninen will arrive in Scotland virtually assured the prestigious Intercontinental Rally Challenge title following its latest round in Sanremo, Italy so will surely be looking to put on a ‘celebratory show’ for the crowds.

McRae commented:
“I haven't competed in front of the Scottish fans since last year's rally so it's obviously going to be very special for me to be there. It's a massive sporting event for the whole country to come and enjoy with a fantastic backdrop, great access for the public, superb organisation and some of the most demanding stages any rally driver will ever face.

“It’s going to be an awesome spectacle for the fans. There are going to be way more S2000 cars than in 2009 and they will all be going extremely quickly which will make repeating the third place I achieved last year very difficult. It’ll be important to push as hard as possible from the word ‘go’ to hopefully stay in touch as much as possible starting the final day and, from there, who knows what could happen. I know most of the stages well from my earlier career which could be an advantage, particularly if we get a bit of good old fashioned drizzle which is always a possibility at this time of year!”

Bogie, aged 23, being co-driven by Hawick’s Kevin Rae, said:
“Rally of Scotland was an excellent event in 2009 and this year’s will be even better with new stages and an increased number of top teams, cars and drivers. I’m going into the event with a fair bit of confidence having won the Scottish title and wanting to do well as it’s also my home international event.

“Being the top GpN finisher is my prime objective but I also see last year’s GpN winner Jonathan Greer is entered as well so it’s sure to be a big battle between us again. Whether we can match the S2000 cars I don’t know – they have a slight edge in performance but they are just so spectacular to see in action. People out on the stages will be able to hear them echoing through the trees from miles away, getting closer and closer. It’ll be an amazing atmosphere for the spectators.”

Other leading lights contesting Rally of Scotland include 2009 IRC Champion Kris Meeke – just confirmed to drive for the new official Mini team in next year’s World Rally Championship – and Aberdeen youngster Dave Weston Jnr who, prior to the Rally of Scotland, is in WRC action this very weekend in France.

Some ten different nationalities – Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Estonia, Finland, France, Great Britain, Ireland, Norway and Turkey – are represented on the Rally of Scotland’s list of entries received so far. Makes of car that will be fighting for outright victory in Scotland include Ford, Mitsubishi, Peugeot, Proton, Skoda and Subaru.

The event is the penultimate round of the high-profile IRC calendar which has played to hundreds of thousands of public during its tour of the globe, from Monte Carlo to South America and back to mainland Europe. The Rally of Scotland gets under way with two dramatic floodlit runs on the Friday evening (15 Oct) through the grounds of Scone Palace before moving into the forests of Perthshire and Stirlingshire for some high-speed, action-packed competitive timed stages on the Saturday and Sunday. The winner will be crowned in a Ceremonial Finish at Stirling Castle on the Sunday afternoon.

A growing number of entries are also being received for the National-seeded event that will be in action shortly after main IRC field on Sunday’s stages – adding even greater value for money entertainment for spectators.

Scotland entry deadline extended

Posted: October 1, 2010 9:53 AM

Entries for RACMSA Rally of Scotland will remain open until 5 October to give British championship crews planning to contest the event more time to finalise their plans.

Iain Campbell, the event Clerk of the Course, said he has received several enquiries from leading runners from the British championship, which concluded last weekend.

“We’ve had a great response for entries but we’ve decided to give those drivers yet to finalise their plans a little more time, so we have agreed to extend the deadline to 5 October,” said Campbell.

Campbell said the number of Super 2000 cars due to contest the gravel event has hit double figures. They include last year’s winner Guy Wilks, the first driver to enter the rally, and outgoing Intercontinental Rally Challenge champion Kris Meeke (pictured in action on the event in 2009).

Several traditional Group N cars will also be in action on the Perth-based event, which runs from 15-17 October and will feature four stages shown live on Eurosport.

Start, Finish and Service Park news

Posted: October 1, 2010 9:50 AM

Scone Palace will again play host to the Ceremonial Start and first two competitive stages for this year's event. There will be an autograph signing session with the top ten drivers and their crews, allowing fans to get up close to their favourites and have their rally memorabilia signed. A traditional Scottish pipe band will entertain the fans before the action gets underway with interviews with the crews on the ramp.

The traditional champagne ceremony will mark the end of the rally on Sunday 17 October and will take place at the majestic Stirling Castle. Spectators will be able to attend free of charge and will be entertained by a traditional Scottish pipe band as well as commentary and interviews with all the crews. There is no public parking at Stirling Castle so fans are advise to make use of the free park & ride service from Castleview to Stirling Castle Esplanade.

The Service Park will be located at Perth Airport and, with free of charge entry to spectators, it is the perfect chance for fans to get up close to the competing cars. Pre-event scrutineering on Thursday afternoon, trade stands, a food village, a couple of funfair rides and a pipe band on Saturday lunchtime will add to the occasion and atmosphere.

National B event

Posted: October 1, 2010 9:50 AM

There will be a National B category event running on Sunday 17 October. This is your chance to cheer on the amateur drivers who are competing on some of the same stages as the International drivers.

This event will follow behind the International event on both runnings of the Clashmore stage and the second running of Loch Ard. Competitors in the National B event will have their service at the Forestry Commission’s district office outside Aberfoyle at 10.42am and their finish ceremony at Stirling Castle at 16.34pm on Sunday 17 October.

Hanninen to celebrate 2010 IRC title in Scotland

Posted: October 1, 2010 7:03 AM

Juho Hanninen will celebrate his Intercontinental Rally Challenge title success on RACMSA Rally of Scotland after Skoda Motorsport decided not to enter his team-mate, Jan Kopecky, on the penultimate round of the series next month (15-17 October).

Hanninen's second place on last week's Rallye Sanremo put him within touching distance of the prestigious IRC drivers' title. However, Kopecky still maintained a mathematical chance of snatching the honours from the Finn on count back, providing he won the final two rounds and Hanninen faltered.

Although entries for Rally of Scotland will remain open until 5 October, Skoda has confirmed it will only send a single car to the Perth-based event for Hanninen, which will enable the 29-year-old to enjoy a high-speed lap of honour on the gravel contest.

"We are all happy with this result because Juho is definitely the right champion of this year's IRC," said Skoda team manager Pavel Hortek.

Hanninen won't be officially crowned champion until after the FxPro Cyprus Rally in November, when a formal presentation will be made to him and co-driver Mikko Markkula.

Rally Planner now available online!

Posted: September 22, 2010 3:11 PM

The Rally Planner is now available on the official Rally of Scotland website.

Visit the spectator section of the website to download the planner for important information including car park directions and opening times, mileage chart between spectator stage car parks and viewing recommendations at each stage.

New high speed Clashmore stage for October's Rally of Scotland

Posted: September 22, 2010 3:09 PM

There’s to be a dramatic twist to the final day’s action on this year’s RACMSA Rally of Scotland (15-17 October) with the creation of a new competitive timed special stage.

Sunday’s action will continue to include two runs through the mighty 30km Loch Ard test. However, this has been altered in lay-out slightly to help make way for the new stage, called Clashmore, which will more than keep fans and competing crews happy.

Clashmore is a new stage, replacing Achray, and at 16km in length, is more of a technical challenge than Achray.

Loch Ard itself has undergone a couple of changes with the addition of a new loop that climbs over the hill at the back of Drymen. The many crests in here will ensure that the crews have to concentrate right to the very last metre of Rally of Scotland.

Clashmore’s inclusion means a new location for Sunday’s remote service area for competing Intercontinental Rally Challenge crews at Aberfoyle’s Wool Centre. The service for the National B competitors, taking part in a Sunday-only rally that follows the main IRC event, will take place at the Forestry Commission’s district office outside Aberfoyle.

Scotland organisers in call for volunteers

Posted: September 16, 2010 2:11 PM

RACMSA Rally of Scotland organisers are calling on volunteers to help with the smooth running of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge event, which takes place from 15-17 October.

More than 750 volunteer marshals are required to support the Perth-based event and Clerk of the Course Iain Campbell explained the rally could not run without their assistance.

"Quite simply without the volunteer marshals we do not have an event," said Campbell. "We rely on their expertise to provide radio cover, to run the time controls, to man the stages, look after the service park and to set up each of our stunning venues. In return they get as close to the action as possible and take away the satisfaction of being part of a huge event."

Guy Wilks, who won the inaugural Rally of Scotland in 2009, is backing the recruitment drive. He said: "What rally marshals do is fantastic and there is no better example of this than on last year's Rally of Scotland. The marshals who stood out in the awful weather and did such a professional job with such good humour made a huge difference."

RACMSA RALLY OF SCOTLAND SET FOR LIVE TELEVISION COVERAGE ON EUROSPORT

Posted: September 16, 2010 12:42 PM

Eurosport Events, the promoter of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, is pleased to confirm extensive live television coverage of RACMSA Rally of Scotland, the penultimate round of the 2010 IRC season from 15-17 October.

The promoter's international media partner Eurosport, Europe's largest television sports channel, will broadcast live the two passes through the 17.68-kilometre Errochty stage at 11:00hrs-12:00hrs and 17:30hrs-18:30hrs CET on Saturday 16 October and the two runs through the Loch Ard stage, which measures 29.04 kilometres on Sunday 17 October at 11:00hrs-12:00hrs and 13:45hrs-15:00hrs CET.

In addition, Eurosport will also show its Rally Magazine review programme at 23:00hrs-24:00hrs CET on Tuesday 19 October. Eurosport's Asia-Pacific platform will show the second Errochty stage live plus slightly delayed coverage of other stage action.

Between its various platforms, Eurosport will devote approximately 15 hours of coverage to the event through its live coverage and replayed highlights thereby further underlining its commitment to the IRC and Rally of Scotland.

Géraldine Filiol, Managing Director of Eurosport Events, said:
"Producing rallying live is probably one of the most complex TV operations, but this is our ambition to continue giving viewers the opportunity to experience the excitement of the IRC directly as it happens. We started the IRC season with our landmark coverage of Rallye Automobile Monte-Carlo, and we are delighted to bring our innovative broadcast package back to Rally of Scotland. Once again we will build our coverage of the event around four live stages over the two days, including the impressive Loch Ard stage, which will mark the climax of this year's rally."

Guy Wilks, a regular in the IRC this season for Skoda UK Motorsport and the winner of the inaugural RACMSA Rally of Scotland in November 2009, said:
"Live television for rallying is very important. It's a very difficult thing to do because the cars are moving over a massive distance, not like on a circuit. It's obviously a major challenge to broadcast it live, paint a picture and tell a story. It's something that's been missing from rallying for a number of years so it's credit to Eurosport for taking up the challenge and doing a fantastic job."

Rally of Scotland will mark the third time this season that a round of the IRC has enjoyed extensive live airtime on Eurosport, following the network's groundbreaking coverage of Rallye Automobile Monte-Carlo in January. Four stages of Rally d'Italia-Sardegna in June were also shown live and a similar commitment has been made for FxPro Cyprus Rally, which is scheduled to bring the curtain down on the IRC season in early November.

Live TV Times

Posted: September 16, 2010 12:40 PM

Times are Irish / UK

Saturday 16 October
10:00hrs-11:00hrs (Eurosport): LIVE Errochty 1
16:30hrs-17;30hrs (Eurosport and Eurosport Asia-Pacific): LIVE Errochty 2

Sunday 17 October
10:00hrs-11:00hrs (Eurosport): LIVE Loch Ard 1
12:45hrs-14:00hrs CET (Eurosport): LIVE Loch Ard 2

One month to go until the RACMSA Rally of Scotland

Posted: September 16, 2010 12:36 PM

2009 winner Wilks lodges first entry!

Skoda UK has officially lodged the first entry for this year’s RACMSA Rally of Scotland (15-17 October) – for 2009 winners Guy Wilks and Phil Pugh.

Wilks and co-driver Pugh will again be out for victory in their Skoda Fabia Facelift S2000 as they seek to end their Intercontinental Rally Challenge season on a high. Scotland marks the IRC’s crucial penultimate round of 2010.

Scotland also has its first entry into the event with Barry Groundwater having registered for the National-seeded rally that he won in 2009 and which runs on the Sunday following the main IRC event. Groundwater, from Stonehaven near Aberdeen and a front-runner in the Scottish Rally Championship, will contest the event in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo.

Take advantage of free kids tickets!

With admission to all competitive timed stages – from Friday night’s opening action in the grounds of Scone Palace to Saturday’s and Sunday’s spectacular high-speed forest tests through Perthshire and Stirlingshire - free for children aged 15 and under, this year's event is not to be missed!

Wrap up, head outdoors, stand stage-side and watch some of the world’s leading rally drivers and cars in high-speed action against such stunning backdrops for a terrific adventure for parents, children and the wider public of all ages!

Details on Tickets etc:

Route changes for Rally of Scotland revealedoute changes for Rally of Scotland revealed

Posted: September 2, 2010 2:48 PM

The penultimate round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, October's RACMSA Rally of Scotland, has undergone a few changes with the addition of a new stage on the final day of the spectacular gravel event.

A new stage, Clashmore, has been introduced to replace Achray, which can no longer be used due to access issues, on day two of the event. As a result, the Loch Ard stage will be trimmed from 33.52 kilometres to 29.04 kilometres to accommodate the new test.

Furthermore, the finish at Stirling Castle on Sunday 17 October will also be 30 minutes earlier than scheduled at 15:04hrs local time, while the remote service on Sunday has been switched from Callander to Aberfoyle.

Clerk of the Course Iain Campbell said:
"The new stage is more of a technical challenge than we had before. The start is very narrow with off-camber corners before joining a new forest road that takes in part of the Loch Ard stage. The final two-thirds are very fast and the committed driver will make the most of this test."

More good news for fans on October's Rally of Scotland

Posted: August 26, 2010 9:23 AM

Spectators on this year’s RACMSA Rally of Scotland (15-17 October) will benefit from enhanced viewing experiences thanks to several more improvements being put in place on the event’s stages.

The rally is the penultimate round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC). Some of the world’s leading rally teams, cars and drivers – including Brits Guy Wilks, Kris Meeke and Scotland’s own Alister McRae – will be in action during the three-day event which promises to be one of Scotland’s premier sporting attractions of 2010.

The viewing experience for fans will be augmented in 2010 after confirmation of a number of new features on various timed sections that run through Perthshire and Stirlingshire. These include:

Scone Palace near Perth (stages 1&2, Fri 15 Oct) – new viewing area at the foot of Yew Tree Walk that will allow spectators to view cars heading around the perimeter of the race course towards the end of the stage Errochty, Perthshire (stages 5&8, Sat 16 Oct) – new unrestricted access to car parking by the stage start, plus the creation of a campsite for fans Loch Ard, Stirlingshire (stages 10&12, Sun 17 Oct) – two new viewing locations leading from the main spectator car park in addition to 2009’s wide open viewing area Sunday’s Ceremonial Finish at Stirling Castle – when the winner of the 2010 RACMSA Rally of Scotland will be crowned – will now take place at the earlier time of 3.04pm.

With free admission for children aged 15 and under, adult tickets for 2010’s RACMSA Rally of Scotland cost £10 to see the Ceremonial Start and opening two stages at Scone Palace (Fri 15 Oct) or £20 for a day pass which offers full access to all stages on either the Saturday or the Sunday. Alternatively a full-event ‘Alba Pass’ can also be purchased for £45 (in advance of the event only). All adult tickets include a complimentary souvenir official spectator programme worth £6.50.

Rally Guide / Regulations

Posted: August 6, 2010 7:53 PM

Rally Guide & Regulations available in the Competitors section:

MORE BANGS FOR YOUR BUCKS ON 2010 RACMSA RALLY OF SCOTLAND!

Posted: June 20, 2010 7:45 PM

Tickets for the 2010 RACMSA Rally of Scotland, 15-17 October, went on sale at midday on Friday 18 June.

Offering fans even better value for money than last year, ticket prices have been reduced and accompanied children aged 15 and under will be admitted free in 2010.

The cost of an adult three-day Alba Rally Pass has been reduced by ten per cent to £45 (compared to £50 in 2009). The ‘access all areas’ Alba Rally Pass provides fans with entrance and car parking at all the event’s Special Stages as well as the Perth Airport Service Park, the Ceremonial Start at Scone Palace and the Ceremonial Finish at Stirling Castle. Adding further value, every adult ticket includes a free official Rally of Scotland spectator programme worth £6.50.

This year the main action will be staged over the weekend with competitive Special Stages both on Saturday and Sunday rather than 2009’s Friday and Saturday format – a move that is likely to widen the event’s appeal.

Three-day Alba Rally Passes can only be purchased in advance; tickets for Scone Palace as well as the Special Stages on Saturday and Sunday can either be purchased in advance or at the entrance to official car parks, although these will be strictly subject to availability. Each car park operator will be working on behalf of a local charity and will receive a small donation from on-the-day ticket sales.

Rally of Scotland event organisers are also offering special hospitality opportunities for those requiring a more bespoke VIP experience. Guests are invited to historic Scone Palace on Friday, the fabulous Dunkeld House Hotel set in 280 acres of beautiful Perthshire countryside on Saturday and Forest Hills Hotel on the shores of Loch Ard on Sunday. With prices starting from £125 per adult (excluding VAT at 17.5%), this will be a day to remember!

More Details:

RALLY WINNERS ŠKODA CONFIRMED AS OFFICIAL VEHICLE SUPPLIER TO RACMSA RALLY OF SCOTLAND FOR SECOND YEAR RUNNING

Posted: June 20, 2010 7:26 PM

After a highly successful RACMSA Rally of Scotland campaign last year, during which it won the event and supplied all the support vehicles, Škoda is delighted to announce that it will continue to be Official Vehicle Supplier to the event (October 15-17) – and attempt to defend its title on this, the penultimate round of the 2010 Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC).

In their first rally for Škoda UK, Guy Wilks (Darlington, Co. Durham) and co-driver Phil Pugh (Tywyn, Gwynedd) won last year’s Rally of Scotland in their Škoda UK Motorsport Fabia S2000. The pair will return to the spectacularly fast and undulating Scottish special stages, held on closed Forestry Commission Scotland gravel roads in Stirling and Perth and Kinross, in the car in which they are challenging for the 2010 IRC title.

In addition, a fleet of four-wheel drive Škoda Yetis (small SUV) and Octavia Scouts (4x4 estate) will transport VIPs and rally officials from stage to stage, while Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is supplying vans to carry all the essential rally equipment around the route – such as the timing systems and control points.

A Yeti, supplied by local Škoda retailer Newmarket Garage (Falkirk Road, Bannockburn, Stirling) was on display outside Touch Estate during the Rally of Scotland official launch – and Škoda and Volkswagen vehicles will continued to be used in the build up to the event.

Robert Hazelwood, Director of Škoda UK, said:
“Our involvement with the RACMSA Rally of Scotland last year proved an extremely successful one, so we are delighted to support the event organisers by continuing as the Official Vehicle Supplier in 2010. This association will give rally fans an opportunity to see our four-wheel drive road vehicles, as well as our rally car, operate in the rugged environment they were designed for.”

Andrew Coe, Chief Executive of event organiser International Motor Sports, said:
"On behalf of the RACMSA Rally of Scotland, I am delighted to once again welcome Škoda UK to the Rally of Scotland family as Official Vehicle Supplier. Last year, Škoda UK provided us with the opportunity to use the newly launched Škoda Yeti, which proved to be perfectly suited to our requirements. It is reassuring that Škoda has recognised the value of its relationship with Rally of Scotland and is working with us again in 2010, bringing Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles along as well.

“Ours is a special event for Škoda UK as it was here that it enjoyed its very first victory on the Intercontinental Rally Challenge. We look forward to seeing the Škoda UK Fabia S2000 of Guy Wilks take on the challenge of the 2010 route in an attempt to defend his Scottish crown.”

New base for RACMSA Rally of Scotland

Posted: May 27, 2010 11:21 AM

RACMSA Rally of Scotland will be based in the city of Perth when it runs for a second time from 15-17 October.

The penultimate round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge operated from Stirling last season but will now be housed at Perth Airport, where the event headquarters and main service park will also be located.

As in 2009, the event will get underway with two stages in the grounds of Scone Palace in the outskirts of Perth on the evening of Friday 15 October. In addition to two passes through the Craigvinean stage, Saturday's opening leg will feature two runs through the Drummond Hill and Errochty tests, which were both used just once last year.

Sunday's route takes in two passes of the Achray and Loch Ard stages split by a remote service halt in Callander. Loch Ard is the rally's longest stage at 33.52 kilometres. The event's total competitive distance is 208.08 kilometres.

Stirling will still play an active role in the rally as the host of the ceremonial finish on the evening of Sunday 17 October.

Revised date for Rally of Scotland

Posted: February 11, 2010 2:15 PM

The penultimate round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, the RAC MSA Rally of Scotland, will start a day later than first scheduled.

Originally due to run from 14-16 October, the gravel event will now get underway on Friday 15 October with the finish timetabled for Sunday 17 October.

Although the locations for the ceremonial start, central service park and ceremonial finish have yet to be finalised, organisers are promising a similar competitive distance (approximately 210 kilometres) as last year, although there are moves afoot to reduce the overall length of the road sections, which totalled 600 kilometres when the event first ran in November 2009.

Andrew Coe, the Chief Executive of event organiser International Motor Sports, said:
"We are delighted to be returning to the stunning landscapes and historic venues of Scotland and are hoping that the slightly earlier date will mean more daylight hours for competitive rallying as well as providing the perfect showcase for Scotland's outstanding natural landscape."

2010 RACMSA Rally of Scotland – Dates confirmed!

Posted: February 11, 2010 10:58 AM

The dates of the 2010 Royal Automobile Club Motor Sports Association Rally of Scotland have now been confirmed as Friday 15 – Sunday 17 October.

Running a month earlier than in 2009, and on a Friday – Sunday format, this year’s event will again be decided by three days of competitive driving over timed Special Stages on closed Forestry Commission Scotland gravel roads in Stirling and Perth and Kinross. The route will also feature a ceremonial start, central service park and ceremonial finish.

Chief Executive of event organiser, International Motor Sports Ltd, Andrew Coe, comments:
“We are delighted to be returning to the stunning landscapes and historic venues of Scotland and are hoping that the slightly earlier date will mean more daylight hours for competitive rallying as well as providing the perfect showcase for Scotland’s outstanding natural landscape. With year one of the event under our belts, we are working with Event Scotland, Stirling and Perth and Kinross to deliver a world-class motorsport event which Scotland can be truly proud of.”

Details of the route and spectator ticket information will be announced in mid-Spring.

Event Website / Details

Posted: January 1, 2010 12:01 AM






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