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Grampian Stages Rally - (Sat) 13 Aug 16
Posted: August 12, 2016 5:35 PM - 2262 Hits
Round 6 - 2016 Scottish Rally Championship
Aberdeenshire set for action-packed Coltel Grampian Stages
Posted: August 11, 2016 4:00 AM
Aberdeenshire based Coltel Grampian Stages is the penultimate round of the ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship (SRC) calendar and will host some of the best rally drivers in the country as they fight it out in the forests of Kincardineshire this Saturday (13th August). Almost 100 crews will head to the brand new event which is promoted by Stonehaven and District Motor Club this weekend and the rally will see an epic battle as many local favourites and championship contenders bid for the overall rally win.
The new-for-2016 event is based at the Milton of Crathes Art and Craft Village, some 15 miles west of Aberdeen on the A93 near Banchory. The event kicks off with pre event scrutiny and documentation on Friday 12th at the Milton of Crathes centre before the ceremonial start takes place under the gaze of the historical Crathes Castle on Saturday 13th at around 9am. Crews will then head into the forests to contest six stages, returning to the Milton of Crathes event field for a service halt twice during the day. The Castle will then welcome the winners back to the ceremonial finish where the victors will spray the champagne at around 3pm that afternoon.
Leading the field away at the number one seed will be local hero and 2015 BTRDA National Gravel rally champion David Weston Jnr from Aberdeen with Welshman Aled Davies alongside in their Subaru Impreza WRC. As winners of last year’s Grampian Rally which took place in the region, they are tipped as favourites for the win. MSA British Rally Championship contenders Euan Thorburn (Duns) and Paul Beaton (Inverness) will start at two in their potent Peugeot 208 R5, keen to get some mileage in the car after a troublesome start to the year.
Current SRC leaders Garry Pearson (Duns) and Robbie Mitchell (Duns) are third seed in their Fiesta R5. A win here on the Grampian will further extend their lead to rivals Jock Armstrong (Castle Douglas) and Paula Swinscoe (Withnell) who start just behind at number four in their familiar orange Subaru Impreza. Returning to the SRC in Aberdeen is John MacCrone (Tobermory) in a Fiesta R5 after electing to miss the Scottish Rally. Australian Rhianon Gelsomino will co-drive and the duo start at car 5.
Narrowing missing out on overall victory at several events this year, Mike Faulkner (Wigton) and Peter Foy (Bingley) head a gaggle of Mitsubishi’s at six, hoping to take their first SRC win of the season at the Grampian. Just behind him at seven, Mark McCulloch (Dumfries) and Michael Hendry (Archiestown) head to the event fresh from winning the Solway Coast rally last weekend. They are another crew looking for their first SRC event win of the year.
Local ace and event supporter Bruce McCombie (Banchory) and Michael Coutts (Torphins) are number eight seed in their McCombie Builders backed Mitsubishi E9 with Shaun Sinclair (Connell) bringing his Subaru Impreza S14 WRC to the event at car nine. Rounding off the top ten is another Mitsubishi E9 of Fred Milne (Banchory) and Chris Williams (Millom).
Not only will the event be the fifth round of the SRC, but it will also be the will be the penultimate scoring round of the Ecosse Challenge, a dedicated one-make contest for the popular Citroen C2. Series leader David Martin (Belford) heads the runners away with Neil Ewing alongside whilst Alex Pirie (Drummuir) and Frazer Skene (Keith) are just behind and hoping to improve on their fifth place in the championship. Whilst the crews may be a little way down the field, the action is equally as assured as the frontrunners.
Spectators will be well catered for at the event and the organising team have worked hard to ensure there is ample opportunity to enjoy the action both on and off the stages. As well as the ceremonial start and finish at Crathes Castle, spectators can view the cars at close quarters at the Milton Events Field as they come into service twice during the day. There will be a chance capture the action on four stages on the event with excellent vantage points.
Full spectator information and event entry list is available on the Grampian Stages website - Link below
GRAMPIAN STAGES POISED TO BE A CLASSIC
Posted: August 6, 2016 3:37 AM
After almost a two month break, the 2016 ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship returns on Saturday 13th August for round 5 of the season, the Coltel Grampain Stages rally.
The Grampian Stages, based in Banchory, Aberdeenshire, is the newest round on the SRC calendar, and will start and finish in the grounds of Crathes Castle.
The event has attracted a capacity of entry list of over 90 cars, including three R5 machines and two World Rally cars.
The stages are run in the Kincardineshire forests to the south-west of Aberdeen, on similar roads to those of the former Granite City rally, which witnessed one of the most thrilling battles in recent history between David Bogie (Fiesta R5+) and Dave Weston Jr (Impreza WRC).
The battle for the overall win this weekend has been spiced up by the entries of Weston Jr (Impreza WRC) and 2014 ARR Craib Scottish Rally Champion Euan Thorburn (Peugeot 208 T16 R5).
However Weston Jr and Thorburn would be foolish to think they’ll have it all their own way, with the SRC contingent looking to stamp their authority and few are a stronger force to be reckoned with than defending SRC champions Jock Armstrong and Paula Swinscoe in their Subaru Impreza.
After taking victory on round 2 in Jedburgh, the pair haven’t been able to stop a rampant Garry Pearson who has taken the last two wins on the Speyside and the Scottish.
Beating Pearson is a must if Jock is to take his second Scottish Championship title, but Armstrong is in fighting spirit.
Jock said: “We want to win on the Grampian and we have stepped up a level with the car, with Teg Sport helping us on the engine and mapping side, so it’s down to us now. It’s going to make the last round [Galloway Hills, Jock’s home event] interesting and memorable if the title is decided there.
“To retain our title is not going to be easy, but that’s why you do a championship. I like the competition and the buzz when winning in my older car.
“Garry has been going well and has been consistent, but it’s taken me a few years to get this title so we are determined to keep a hold of it.”
Duns pairing Garry Pearson and Robbie Mitchell are enjoying an incredible season in their Ford Fiesta R5.
Having only finished off the podium once in 2016, the duo are the ones to beat heading to the Grampian, and could provisionally clinch their maiden Scottish Rally Championship title in Aberdeenshire if they win the Grampian.
Garry said: “We’ve always thought about it [the championship] for sure but the only way we approach the rallies is event by event. We’ve two events remaining and in rallying anything can happen.
“We can’t wait to get back out on the stages, it sounds like they’re going to be in top form so we can’t wait!”
Garry’s Fiesta will return to the colour scheme it donned on the Borders and the Speyside after being painted white for the Scottish rally last time out. The Duns driver ran a poll on Twitter where the fans chose black over white.
Pearson added: “It’s great that the fans can have some input. I think the black certainly goes with our sponsors logos and sets us apart from the cars around us.”
Mike Faulkner and Peter Foy were arguably one of the unluckiest crews on the Scottish after missing out on Armstrong and Swinscoe’s second place by less than a second, but the Dumfries event marked a return to form for the pair who are extracting everything they can from their class 11 Mitsubishi.
After a slow start to the year, Mike is now back up to fourth in the championship and another podium if not a rally win will be the goal on the Grampian.
John MacCrone and Rhianon Gelsomino are in the cabin of the second of the two Fiesta R5’s entered in the Coltel Grampian Stages. The Tobermory driver missed the recent Scottish rally due to a lack of funding but is making a welcome return on round 5 of the championship.
John said: “It’s been nearly four months since we last sat in the Fiesta R5 so no doubt it’ll take a few miles to get back into it. Hopefully once the first stage is out of the way and we
blow off a few cobwebs we can carry on as we left off on the Speyside!”
The duo have been devoid of luck thus far in 2016, but came perilously close to a podium finish on the Speyside Stages, setting impressive stage times on their way to fourth overall. They could be a dark horse for a victory on the stages around Aberdeen.
MacCrone added: “It’s a very strong line up but we will be giving it our best to mix it with the top guys. You need to be on it from the word go, but our confidence is high after the last run [the Speyside] and as long as the feeling comes I’m sure we can take another step forward on the Grampian.”
Mark McCulloch and Michael Hendry head to Aberdeen in buoyant form after a fourth place finish on Mark’s home event. The Mitsubishi Evo IX crew are currently sitting third in the championship, but have a charging Faulkner and Foy right behind them so will have their work cut out to stay ahead after the Grampian.
Bruce McCombie and Michael Coutts have enjoyed their way to fifth in the 2016 standings, and are ones to watch this weekend with the Grampian being Bruce’s home event. McCombie is from the rally base of Banchory, meaning he can count on plenty of local support to give him a boost aboard his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX.
Bruce is striving to close the gap to the frontrunners and there’s no better place to do that than on his home event.
Stonehaven’s Barry Groundwater has been one of the most solid points scorers this year in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X.
With Elgin’s Neil Shanks back in the co-drivers’ seat after missing the Scottish due to other commitments, Groundwater will be looking for a strong points haul from his home rally.
Shaun Sinclair has had a difficult 2016 SRC campaign aboard his Subaru Impreza WRC, despite a podium finish on the Border Counties at the wheel of a Ford Focus RS WRC.
The ex-Petter Solberg machine which he has used on all but one of the year’s rallies has been dogged with various issues throughout the season, but Shaun saw the funny side on the Scottish reporting at the passage control exiting SS5: “You know you’ve made it when you start enjoying your breakdowns!”
The Connell driver will hope for a clean run on the Grampian.
Fred Milne and co-driver Chris Williams will be another crew to keep a close eye on in the Aberdeenshire forests, with this being Milne’s home rally.
Fred has shown flashes of incredible pace this year since returning to the SRC in April for the Speyside Stages. He bagged a solid ninth place finish in his ex-Barry Groundwater Mitsubishi before failing to finish the Scottish despite a great turn of speed.
Milne and Williams could be dark horses for a very strong result.
Scott McCombie and Mark Fisher are another one of the strong Mitsubishi contingent in the SRC, and find themselves equal ninth in the championship standings following an eighth place finish last time out on the Scottish.
With a few drivers missing from the Grampian entry list, Banchory’s very own McCombie will be looking to use his home advantage to better his season best result of seventh from the Snowman and come out on top of the epic battle within the SRC Challengers.
With Donnie MacDonald, Dale Robertson and Andrew Gallacher, who are all currently sitting in the top 10 of the championship, not competing this weekend, it opens the door for a few others to score big points.
Look out for John Wink/John Forrest, Alasdair Grahm/Laura Stuart, Ross MacDonald/Matthew Johnstone, Iain Wilson/Keith Riddick and Scott Mutch/Greg McDonald who are making their final 2016 SRC appearance. The rally promises to be a great one.
You can keep up to date with the SRC via the website www.scottishrallychampionship.co.uk or through Facebook and Twitter (@MSA_SRC).
Seeded Entry List
Posted: August 6, 2016 3:35 AM
Posted: July 29, 2016 9:06 AM
REGULATIONS AVAILBLE / Historical start and finish for Coltel Grampian Stages at Crathes Castle
Posted: July 13, 2016 3:51 AM
The Coltel Grampian Stages has released its regulations and online entry system this week and with it, news of a historic ceremonial start and finish venue for the field of around 100 crews anticipated to enter the rally. Crews will start the August 13th event under the turrets of Crathes Castle, Garden and Estate before heading into the nearby forests to contest 44 competitive stage miles and will return to the Natural Trust for Scotland 16th Century Tower House to spray the champagne at the rally finish later that day.
Just a stone’s throw from the rally base of the Milton Events Field at the Crathes Art and Craft Village and nestled in the Aberdeenshire countryside, Crathes Castle will play host to a rally for the very first time. This offers a unique opportunity for spectators to get up close and personal with the cars and competitors ahead of their day in the forests and then again later in the day to greet the lucky crews who have completed the route.
The Stonehaven and District Motor Club promoted event is the penultimate round of the popular ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship (SRC). The rally is also a round of the Ecosse Challenge and event organisers are expecting a bumper entry with many local crews eager to sample some of the best stages in the country which take place in the forests of Kincardineshire. Costs have been kept to a minimum with just 80 road miles connecting the entire event.
Friday 12th August sees the event documentation and scrutiny get underway at the Milton of Crathes centre from 3pm. On Saturday 13th, crews will be flagged away from the grounds of Crathes Castle at around 9.00am before tackling classic stages such as Drumtochty, Fetteresso and Durris. There will be two opportunities for service during the day at the Milton of Crathes centre before the ceremonial finish back at Crathes Castle at 3.00pm.
Event director Dave Weston is delighted to be able to start this new-for-2016 event under the watchful eye of such an historical building.
“It’s hard to beat a backdrop like this and there is no better way to start and finish the Coltel Grampian Stages than under the gaze of Crathes Castle” he says. “We have been working hard behind the scenes to provide a compact and cost effective event in some of the best stages in the country so this is really the icing on the cake for the event. It’s a real honour and we would like to thank Madeline Ward, Events Coordinator of Crathes Castle and the Natural Trust for Scotland for allowing us to take advantage of this wonderful setting.”
Madeline Ward, Events Coordinator at the Castle is looking forward to welcoming the rally
“Crathes is delighted to be hosting the ceremonial start and finish of the Coltel Grampian Stages Rally and we’d like to extend a really big thank you to Dave and the team for bringing the rally to Crathes” she says. “We’re keen to trial events that attract new visitors to Crathes – visitors on 13th August will certainly be astounded by the sights and sounds of up to 100 rally cars making their way to the Castle!”
Event regulations and online entry system is now available on the brand new Coltel Grampian Stages website - Link below
On Line Entry / Regulations
Posted: July 5, 2016 4:34 AM
The Coltel Grampian Stages gathers pace
Posted: June 15, 2016 9:05 AM
The newest event in the ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship (SRC) calendar, the Coltel Grampian Stages has just revealed its brand new website ahead of the 13th August event and along with it, further details of the Stonehaven and District Motor Club promoted event.
The new-for-2016 event is the penultimate round of the 2016 Scottish Rally Championship and will be based at the Milton of Crathes Art and Craft Village, some 15 miles west of Aberdeen on the A93. The event kicks off pre event scrutiny and documentation on Friday 12th at the Milton of Crathes centre. The event will consist of six stages, providing 44 competitive miles in the forests of Kincardineshire and a competitor-friendly 80 road miles on Saturday 13th before crews return to the event base for the finish ceremony and prize giving later that day.
With a motorsport history spanning more than 50 years, Stonehaven and District Motor Club are delighted to be appointed as the organising club for the 2016 Coltel Grampian Stages, and they believe they have created a cost effective event which will appeal to competitors of all abilities. “We truly believe we have some of the best forests in Scotland at our disposal and the team has worked hard to ensure we can provide a compact format to keep the costs down, whilst utilizing classic Scottish stages” says Event Director, Dave Weston.
Organisers have also created a number of initiatives to help in the running of the event, which includes a dedicated Marshals training night at the beginning of August. “Of course, a safe rally is paramount and at the forefront of our minds, so Stonehaven and District Motor Club will be running a training evening on the 2nd August at the Aberdeen Altens Hotel for anyone interested in getting involved, to get the know the basics before getting up close to the action on 13th August” continues Weston.
Not only will the event be the sixth round of the SRC, but it will also be the will be the penultimate scoring round of the Ecosse Challenge, a dedicated one-make contest for the popular Citroen C2.
Event regulations will be released and entries open on the Grampian Stages website on Monday 27th June.
Rally Guide available
Posted: June 4, 2016 4:16 AM
The 2016 Coltel Grampian Stages is revealed as new rally in Scottish calendar
Posted: December 18, 2015 7:47 AM
As the ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship (SRC) reveal their calendar this week, a new event appears on the seven round series, in the shape of the Coltel Communications Grampian Stages which will be held on Saturday 13th August 2016. Based in the city of Aberdeen, the newly formed event will be the penultimate round of the SRC and will provide over 40 stage miles in the forests of Kincardineshire and will be promoted by Stonehaven and District Motor Club.
The event will be sponsored by communications group Coltel, who are a leading provider of integrated business communications, information technology and testing services in the North East. A name now synonymous with rallying in Aberdeenshire, Coltel Communications are a well-established company who has a diverse range of clients and are proud to be associated with an exciting new event in the Scottish rallying calendar.
The new-for-2016 rally will be spearheaded by Event Director Dave Weston who along his team, were responsible for winning the Chairman?s Cup for best event in the 2015 ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship. Not only will the event be the sixth round of the SRC, but it will also be the will be the penultimate scoring round of the Ecosse Challenge, a dedicated one-make contest for the popular Citroen C2.
Weston said "With some of the best stages in Scotland available to us, we simply had to ensure competitors could enjoy the Kincardine and Deeside Forests in 2016 and together with our fantastic organising team, have devised the Coltel Grampian Stages which will be a great addition to the SRC and Ecosse Challenge calendar."
"With features such as a spectator super special stage and a cost effective format, we hope to attract a quality entry to Aberdeen next summer and we are looking forward to creating a popular event for both competitors and spectators alike" he said.
More details surrounding the event format will be released in the coming months and you can keep up to date with all the latest news on the event Facebook and Twitter feeds.
Posted: December 18, 2015 7:46 AM