Galloway Hills Rally - (Sat) 14 Sep 19

Posted: September 13, 2019 9:47 AM - 2445 Hits

Round 7 - 2019 Scottish Rally Championship
Round 5 - 2019 British Rally Championship

Live Results - 75 Mile - BRC (Galloway Hills 2019)
Live Results - 45 Mile - SRC (Galloway Hills 2019)
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Scottish and British Rally Championship battle heads for Armstrong Galloway Hills Rally

Posted: September 11, 2019 10:22 AM

Some of the best drivers in the British and Scottish Rally Championships will head to Dumfries and Galloway this weekend as the ever-popular Armstrong Galloway Hills Rally blasts into the region on Saturday (14th September).

Organised by Solway, Machars and East Ayrshire Car Clubs, this year’s rally will mark a new coming for the event as for the first time in the events 46th year history, it forms the final round of the British Rally Championship which will see a new champion crowned at the event’s finish ramp, as well as the returning KNC Groundworks Scottish Rally Championship.

This also means a new format for the rally, which has also moved south of its traditional Castle Douglas base to Dalbeattie and a brand-new home at Jas P Wilson’s newly built facility. To house both British and Scottish Rally Championship contenders, there will be two separate routes for each series, with the BRC contenders battling out for the title honours over nine stages and 75 miles. The SRC crews have a more traditional format, with five stages and 44 miles on offer.

Reigning British Rally Champion Matt Edwards will lead the 75-mile rally away from Dalbeattie early on Saturday morning for a double run of the iconic stage of the same name just under a mile away in his Ford Fiesta R5. Already crowned as the co-driver champion, Patrick Walsh will co-drive as the pairing enter a classic fight for the title with Hyundai i20 R5 pilot Tom Cave and Dale Bowen.

An all-welsh showdown for the BRC honours will be played out across stages but behind them, a gaggle a of crews will be eager to make their mark on the leader board. Many of which, have taken advantage of a range of competitor incentives, all made possible by a grant from Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Major Festivals and Events Strategy 2018-2021. This valuable contribution has been used to encourage competitors to head to the region for the event.

Jonny Greer makes the trip over from Carryduff in Northern Ireland in his Fiesta R5, with Welshman Dai Roberts alongside. Greer has traditionally been a strong supporter of the rally and will be looking to secure a good result as he makes the switch back to gravel after a season on the Tar. He also heads a strong Irish and Northern Irish contingent who line the 75-mile event entry list.

Former Junior BRC contender James Wilson has adapted to life in four-wheel-drive and brings his PCRS Hyundai i20 R5 over from Armagh with Arthur Kierans alongside. Alex Laffey, team-mate to Edwards in the M-Sport Ford camp, will be aiming to get back on form after a run of bad luck in his Fiesta R5. Scotsman Stuart Louden will co-drive.

Over 20 crews will tackle the gruelling event, including the Junior BRC contenders, with the victors spraying the champagne in at Threave Garden and Estate at around 18:00 later that day.

Dumfries ace and five-time SRC Champion David Bogie will make a welcome return to the event, behind the wheel of a stunning Mini WRC for the very first time. Having driven R5 machinery for much of the year, Bogie and co-driver John Rowan will lead the 45-mile event away which houses many of the Scottish Championship contenders.

However, he will undoubtedly be pushed all the way by local legend and nine-time event winner Jock Armstrong from Castle Douglas. Despite his Subaru Impreza having a power deficit to Bogie’s Mini, Armstrong has superior local knowledge and will be aiming to make it ten wins on an event he sponsors for the 20th year.

Rory Young from Dumfries and Allan Cathers return to the gravel after a season away in their Ford Fiesta R5 with popular national crew Stephen Petch and Michael Wilkinson bringing their Ford Fiesta WRC from North East England. Huntly’s John Wink with Neil Shanks alongside aim to round off their SRC season well in their Hyundai i20 R5.

Reigning SRC champions Andrew Gallagher and Jane Nicol contest their first event after securing the title on this event 12 months ago, piloting a borrowed Fiesta R5.

Shane McGirr and Liam McIntyre are another to make the trip across the Irish Sea in their Toyota Starlet, leading the two-wheel-drive contingent, but will be followed closely by Iain Wilson and Chris Williams in their Ford Escort Mk2.

Spectators will be well catered for and will get ample opportunity to watch the action from both the British and Scottish Championship crews – free of charge.

All pre-event checks on Friday 13th August and Rally Headquarters takes place at Jas P Wilson in Dalbeattie. The site will also house the ceremonial start for both events from 8:00am on Saturday morning before fans can watch the action unfold in the nearby forests.

Just a stone throw from the start, the Dalbeattie test offers the first chance to glimpse the cars in the forests from 8:00am, plus the added bonus of the stage running twice in quick succession.

Other opportunities to watch come at Cairn Edward from 10:30am, with the stunning natural amphitheatre of Black Loch providing stunning views of the cars for several minutes, starting at 14:00. The Raiders Road stage rounds off the event from 14:30 with the crews in both events heading back to the stunning Threave Garden and Estate in Castle Douglas for the finish ceremonies, which will also be hosting a "Burgers and Beer" event during the celebrations.

Scottish Rally Championship crews in the 45-mile event will cross the finish ramp to spray the champagne at around 16:00 before the crowning of the 2019 British Rally Champion and finish of the 75-mile event takes place from around 18:15.


Posted: September 11, 2019 10:15 AM

The KNC Groundworks Ltd Scottish Rally Championship (SRC) speeds into its final round, the Armstrong Galloway Hills Rally on Saturday (14th August) with a number of titles still up for grabs.

The SRC Junior title one such fight with SRC John Horton Star Driver Award finalist Jude MacDonald top of the pile in his Skoda Fabia R2 with co-driver Michael Cruikshank.

On his first season rallying in the forests, MacDonald has been a revelation. Retiring from the Border Counties Rally, MacDonald has won the Juniors on every single round since, putting him in the box seat to claim the title and the day of driving tuition and practice that comes with it, as well as the Class 3 honours.

New Class 6 and Ladies champion Linzi Henderson is the only one that can stop him, scoring a second place finish on all five rounds in her Ford Fiesta R2T. But the odds are stacked against her, with MacDonald only needing to claim four points to take the title.

“Seeing that finish line is what we really need to do. Even if there’s no doors left, a wheel missing or whatever I’ll be getting that car over the line," MacDonald joked.

“If you’d have told me I’d be anywhere near the top 20 [overall this year] I would’ve been like ‘yeah funny one.’ It’s not just what I expected in the slightest after the year we had beforehand where the car’s engine exploded and no seat-time or time on gravel.

“It’s gone far and beyond anything we could’ve expected. It would be absolutely unreal for me to be fair [to win the Junior title]. When I was back in the Juniors in the Citigo I never thought I’d get this far never mind start a gravel rally so it’s almost a dream come true to be able to win something on gravel."

Iain Wilson and Chris Williams are in a similar position. A second place and a clutch failure on the Speyside was not the ideal start to the season, but three wins on the bounce since has lifted them into a commanding position in the Scottish 2WD Championship. The series has been as thrilling as ever, as Paul McErlean, Gordon Murray, Duncan MacDonald and later Mark McCulloch all battled tooth and nail in the stages.

Pedaling his Ford Escort Mk2 affectionately known as 'Bella', Wilson only has to finish inside the points to take the title, but has an awkward dilemma as the Galloway Hills is his local rally. The event kicks off at his Jas P Wilson firm's headquarters, so has home support to count upon.

"I've been thinking more about the rally venue at our place rather than the driving!" Wilson commented.

"With the championship in mind, we know we more or less just have to finish but I've never approached a rally to just tootle round and I'll not be starting now. Of course we would love to win the 2WD's again on our home event but we won't go chasing anything if it turns out that way, we've just too much to lose.

"The Escort battle this year has been the best fun I've ever found in my time in rallying and all the other crews in the fight are such a great bunch of lads. It feels like we'd all help each other out if we had a problem and that's so refreshing these days.

"It would be a dream come true to win this title in an Escort. I've managed to win my class in the SRC with front-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive so rear-wheel-drive would make the perfect hattrick."

A glance at the current points table shows Ian Baumgart at the top of the Challengers battle, but with dropped scores considered its Thomas Gray and co-driver Harry Marchbank that head to Dalbeattie in the strongest position.

The new-for-2019 Evo IX crew have scooped impressive victories on the Speyside, Argyll and Grampian Forest rallies with a close second place on the Border Counties Rally complimenting their tally. Baumgart and Alan Dickson have been models of consistency but both ultimately trail Gray by 11 points heading into the season finale.

"We'll be trying [to win] again as usual but it'll just be a case of trying to screw the nuts early on especially. It's easy to get excited and if you get too excited it can go the wrong way," Gray admitted.

"There's still a lot of pace to be made up yet but we're not far away from where we should be with the car. The car is still on a 32mm restrictor, it's still Group N really. We're battling with people we should be so I'm quite happy with where we are.

"It has been good to have a battle [for the Challengers], it makes it more interesting rather than just an overall finish. Obviously it's good to be in the top 10 but having something to chase certainly helps."

Both the winner of the Scottish 2WD Championship and the Challengers title will receive a free entry into a round of the 2020 SRC.

There's a very different look and feel to the battle at the front of the SRC this weekend. With the championship sewn up on the previous round, Euan Thorburn and Paul Beaton won't make the trip to Dalbeattie, opening the door for plenty of pretenders who are keen to round out their season with a win.

Multiple Scottish champion David Bogie returns with John Rowan though after two strong performances in a Skoda Fabia R5 in the spring, but the pair will make an exciting switch to a Mini John Cooper Works WRC. If Bogie can learn the car quickly he is a hot favourite for victory having won this rally last year.

When it comes to winning Galloway Hills rallies though, nobody can touch Jock Armstrong who has taken a record-breaking nine wins on home turf. The Subaru Impreza man has Cameron Fair back in the hotseat this weekend and is looking for a first SRC win since this event in 2017.

John Wink took his first SRC podium on the Galloway Hills Rally last year, and took his second on the Grampian Forest Rally last month. Armed with a Hyundai i20 R5 once again, Wink and co-driver Neil Shanks would dearly love another rostrum finish to round out the year.

Michael Binnie and Claire Mole have had another quietly impressive year in their Mitsubishi Evo IX. It's hard to believe they haven't taken an SRC podium together yet, but the duo are chasing a sensational second place in the championship such has been their consistent speed.

Ian Bainbridge hasn't been seen in the SRC since the Border Counties Rally, but is back out for the Galloway Hills Rally with co-driver Giles Dykes. Trading his Subaru for a Skoda Fabia R5, Bainbridge is learning the R5 ropes ahead of a full-season attack in 2020.

Outgoing champions Andrew Gallacher and Jane Nicol make a welcome return to action, switching from the Ford Focus WRC to a Fiesta R5+. With significantly less pressure on their shoulders than this time 12 months ago, Gallacher is out for a one-off drive on what he now considers his home event.

Rory Young and Allan Cathers also return to action in a Ford Fiesta R5 and are a real dark horse for success. Sadly neither Young nor Gallacher will be eligible to score championship points.

The Galloway Hills Rally consists of 43.5 superb stage miles and just 93 liasion miles making it a supremely compact route.

The event is the final round of both the KNC Groundworks Ltd Scottish Rally Championship and the British Rally Championship, but the SRC crews will tackle four of the five tests ahead of the BRC runners.

It all gets underway at Jas P Wilson, Dalbeattie at 9.30am with the first car due to finish in Castle Douglas at around 3:35pm.

The KNC Groundworks Ltd Scottish Rally Championship is supported by Royal Aero, Pirelli Motorsport, Moates Offshore Ltd, Albyn Garage Ltd, RAVENOL and Reis Motorsport Insurance.

Keep up to date with all the latest news via the championship's official website, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #SRC19.

Run to the Hills: BRC title fight is on!

Posted: September 11, 2019 10:08 AM

After five pulsating rounds, the British Rally Championship will be decided on the final event of the season — the Armstrong Galloway Hills Rally in southern Scotland this weekend (14 September).

Two drivers have a mathematical chance of clinching Britain’s premier rallying title, and all that stands between the two protagonists are nine stages, equating to 75 gravel miles through the picturesque Galloway forests.

In one corner, defending champion Matt Edwards and in the other, young-charger Tom Cave. Edwards has had a near perfect start to his title defence, with only a retirement on the Pirelli Rally the only blot on his copy book. The M-Sport star has raised his game again in 2019 and comes to Scotland with Cambrian, Ypres and Ulster Rally wins and an impressive 93-point haul.

The Pirelli-backed Ford Fiesta R5 driver has already helped co-driver Patrick Walsh to his title, and now the Welshman enters his third Showdown in a row. Edwards will need to take a cautious approach – as a seventh or better will seal a second straight BRC title, a feat last achieved by Keith Cronin in 2010. Easier said than done in the challenging forestry tracks.

Sparring partner Cave has had a roller-coaster of a season in the BRC top-flight. A last stage triple puncture retirement on the Cambrian Rally failed to ignite the Welshman’s year. However, a fired-up Cave came out fighting in his Michelin-shod Hyundai i20 R5 with back-to-back BRC wins on the West Cork and Pirelli rallies and a second in Ypres – putting him equal on points with Edwards heading to the Ulster Rally.

Sadly, for Cave and navigator Dale Bowen, a rare error saw them crash out of the event in the closing stages of the event – leaving them with only option for the Scottish BRC round – to drive for the rally win.
With both drivers still to play their points paying Joker – 30 points are up for grabs, with one driver to become the 2019 British Champion.

Matt Edwards – Ford Fiesta R5 – M-Sport

“The feeling is really good coming into the final round and the whole team have really helped me get to this stage. We have done the ‘easy’ part, now we have to work hard to secure the championship.
“I will be driving in the middle of the road, I won’t be taking any risks or big cuts and the car will be filled with lots of spares to get me to the finish – I can’t take any risks.

“I don’t feel any more pressure than I did last year. It will be exciting for the everyone watching as I guarantee Tom and I will have different game plans. The stages are excellent, and it will be a great battle providing an exciting end to the championship for all involved.”

Tom Cave – Hyundai i20 R5 – PCRS Rallysport

“We have to go for it and take the win. I know Matt will be taking it easy and won’t be fighting for every tenth as it’s his to lose, but it will be difficult for him to drive at 50-60% rather than fully focused 100%. The package I have around me is very good, the Hyundai worked well on the last gravel event on the Pirelli Rally and I have gone well on Scottish stages previously. You can say the championship is 50/50 but in reality it is less than that, but anything is possible, and I am up for the challenge and giving it my all.
“I did the event in 2009 but we only did one stage as the gearbox went. Scotland as a whole has some brilliant stages and are very fast but very technical. I have gone well in the past on the Scottish Rally which has similar stages in character so I am looking forward to getting back there and getting into the title fight.”


Elsewhere in the BRC1 category, Local hopes will be pinned on Alex Laffey (Carnoustie) and Stuart Loudon (Glasgow) in their Ford Fiesta R5. The Scottish pairing took their first BRC podium together earlier in the year and would love to repeat the feat on home soil. Challenging them and the title protagonists will be several crews all eager to take their first podium of the year.

Jonny Greer and Dai Roberts are reunited as Greer’s usual co-driver Kirsty Riddick is running and overseeing the final round of the championship. Greer has been in the hunt for a podium all season and would love to end 2019 on the rostrum.

Fellow Northern Irishman Alan Carmichael returns to the series with Claire Williams sat alongside. Carmicheal continues to learn the car and gravel stages but could spring a surprise in his right-hand-drive Hyundai i20 R5 this weekend. Joining him in the PCRS fold will be another two Hyundai’s in the hands of series returnee Enda McCormack and Billy Coleman Award winner James Wilson who will be wanting to show his raw pace in the top flight of the BRC.

Money, Money, Money - €60,000 up for grabs in Scotland

While the overall Junior BRC title has already been sewn up by Josh McErlean last time out on the Ulster Rally, the focus now in the exciting front-wheel-drive category switches to the Ford Fiesta Trophy.

The €60,000 prize from M-Sport and Pirelli is still up for grabs and three drivers will go toe-to-toe for the voucher which will be put forward to a Junior World Rally Championship campaign in 2020.

James Williams heads into season finale in fine form, having taken the outright R2 win in Belgium and a solid second in class on the Ulster Rally. Ruairi Bell has quietly gone about his business this season but has been there or there about, and with every round has built his speed as he challenges closer to the front. Bell is tied on points with Williams and it will be a case of whoever finishes first out of these two will win the lucrative prize fund.

However, if either should falter, Scotsman Finlay Retson will be ready to pounce. The Blairgowrie driver may be 17 points adrift, but if retirements creep in and Retson finishes in the top two a seismic shift could yet occur with the prize pot heading to Scotland.

Elsewhere, William Creighton (Peugeot 208 R2), Marty Gallagher (Ford Fiesta R2T) and Jordan Hone (Opel ADAM R2) will all be searching their first JBRC win, while Rupert Flynn will be hoping to put the icing on his Cadet Cup title in his Ford Fiesta R2.

Seeded Entry List

Posted: August 26, 2019 7:27 AM

Armstrong Galloway Hills Rally (75 miles) - BRC
101 Matt Edwards/Patrick Walsh (Ford Fiesta R5) [BRC1]
102 Tom Cave/Dale Bowen (Hyundai i20 R5) [BRC1]
103 Jonathan Greer/Dai Roberts (Ford Fiesta R5) [BRC1]
104 James Wilson/Arthur Kierans (Hyundai i20 R5) [BRC1]
105 Alex Laffey/Stuart Loudon (Ford Fiesta R5) [BRC1]
106 Ian Bainbridge/Giles Dykes (Skoda Fabia R5) [NRC6]
107 Alan Carmichael/Claire Williams (Hyundai i20 R5) [BRC1]
108 Enda McCormack/Colin Fitzgerald (Hyundai i20 R5) [BRC1]
109 William Creighton/Liam Regan (Peugeot 208) [JBRC]
110 James Williams/Tom Woodburn (Ford Fiesta) [JBRC]
111 Marty Gallagher/Dean O Sullivan (Ford Fiesta R2T) [JBRC]
112 Jordan Hone/Paul Hone (Opel Adam R2) [JBRC]
113 Fraser Mulholland/Geoff Patterson (Mitsubishi Evo 9) [NRC6]
114 Richard Dickson/Roger Alcorn (Subaru Impreza) [NRC6]
115 Angus Lawrie/Paul Gribben (Citroen C2 R2 Max) [NRC2]
116 Keith Riddick/Mairi Riddick (MG ZR) [NRC2]
117 Ruairi Bell/Darren Garrod (Ford Fiesta Eco boost R2T) [JBRC]
118 Finlay Retson/Richard Crozier (Ford Fiesta R2T) [JBRC]
119 Duncan Campbell/Shannon Turnbull (Subaru Impreza) [NRC6]
120 Grant Inglis/Robert Gray (Ford Escort Mk2) [NRC4]
121 Linzi Henderson/Tom Hynd (Ford Fiesta R2t) [NRC3]
122 Ernie Lee/Patricia Milligan (BMW 325i) [NRC5]

Armstrong Galloway Hills Rally (45 miles) - SRC
1 David Bogie/John Rowan (Mini JCW WRC) [11]
2 Jock Armstrong/Cameron Fair (Subaru Impreza) [10]
3 Rory Young/Allan Cathers (Ford Fiesta R5) [11]
4 Stephen Petch/Michael Wilkinson (Ford Fiesta WRC) [11]
5 John Wink/Neil Shanks (Hyundai i20 R5) [11]
6 Andrew Gallacher/Jane Nicol (Ford Fiesta R5+) [11]
7 Michael Binnie/Claire Mole (Mitsubishi Evo 9) [9]
8 Scott Beattie/Paula Swinscoe (Mitsubishi Evo 7) [10]
9 Thomas Gray/Harry Marchbank (Mitsubishi Evo 9) [9]
10 Joe Hegarty/David Turkington (Mitsubishi Evo 10) [10]
11 Alan Dickson/Martin Forrest (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [10]
12 Keith Morris/Terry Mallin (Mitisbushi Evo 9) [10]
14 Ian Baumgart/Sinclair Young (Subaru Impreza) [9]
15 Shane McGirr/Liam McIntyre (Toyota Starlet) [7]
16 Iain Wilson/Chris Williams (Ford Escort Mk2) [8]
17 Mark McCulloch/Michael Hendry (Ford Escort Mk 2) [7]
18 Duncan MacDonald/Neil Ross (Ford Escort Mk2) [7]
19 Paul Mcerlean/Niall Mckenna (Ford Escort Mk2) [7]
20 Gordon Murray/David O'Brien (Ford Escort MK2) [8]
21 Stuart Egglestone/Brian Hodgson (Ford Escort MK 2) [5]
22 John Rintoul/Ross Hynd (Skoda Fabia) [10]
24 Kevin Crawford/Andrew Stevenson (Mitsubishi Evo 9) [10]
25 Simon Hay/Mark Fisher (Mitsubishi Evo 6) [9]
26 Robert Harkness/Michael Curry (Mitsubishi Evo 7) [10]
27 Paddy Munro/Keir Beaton (Ford Escort MK2) [4]
28 Robert Adamson/Jamie Mactavish (Ford Escort Mk2) [7]
29 Raymond Doyle/Kevin Duggan (Toyota Corolla) [3]
30 Bobby Mitchell/Craig Wallace (Ford Fiesta ST) [6]
31 John Lowe/Dave Robson (Ford Escort) [5]
32 Andrew Robinson/Graham Wilcox (Ford Escort) [5]
33 David Brown/Steve Bielby (Ford Escort Mk2) [5]
34 Dave Forrest/Charlie Carter (Ford Escort Mk2) [5]
35 Tom Coughtrie/Ian Fraser (Mitsubishi Galant VR4) [5]
36 Jude MacDonald/Michael Cruickshank (Skoda Fabia R2) [3]
37 Matthew Calderwood/Phil Sandham (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 7) [9]
38 Max Redpath/Callum Redpath (Subaru Impreza) [9]
39 Jan Budge/Bruce Lindsay (Subaru Impreza) [9]
40 Paul Mckenna/Ethan Colgan (Mitsubishi Evo 6) [9]
41 Mervyn Wilson/Darragh Sheridan (Ford Escort) [2]
42 A Douglas Watt/Ian Parker (Ford Escort Mk2) [4]
43 Jamie McIntyre/Damian Greenall (Ford Escort MK 2) [8]
44 Iain Haining/Mark Roberts (BMW E30) [8]
45 Ross McFadzean/Shona Hale (Subaru Impreza) [9]
46 Brian Little/Adam Semple (Ford Escort G3) [4]
47 John okane/Meghan okane (Ford Escort MK2) [4]
48 Mike Moates/Gary Mcdonald (Subaru Impreza) [9]
49 Paul Collins/Robert Wood (Subaru Impreza) [9]
50 Billy Thomson/Ian Windress (Ford Fiesta) [10]
52 Alistair Brearley/Paul Barbet (Ford Escort RS) [7]
53 Scott Peacock/Robin Neil (MG ZR) [1]
54 William Pollock/Helen Brown (Ford Escort Mk1) [7]
55 Niall Cowan Jnr/Callum Shanks (MG ZR) [3]
56 Chris Lawson/Richard Wardle (Vauxhall Corsa) [3]
57 Andy Kelly/Roy Campbell (Ford Mk1 Escort) [5]
58 Jim Stephenson/Sam Spencer (Talbot Sunbeam Ti) [5]
59 Christopher Rankin/Alex Knight (BMW 318 compact) [7]
60 Hector Macinnes/Jenny O kane (Subaru Impreza WRX STi) [9]
61 Niall Cowan Snr/Clare Mackenzie (MG ZR) [3]
62 Donald Peacock/Albert Connelly (Peugeot 205 Gti) [2]
63 Rhuaridh Campbell/Michael Moates (Chrysler Sunbeam) [7]
64 David Mcleod/Eamonn Boyle (Chrysler Sunbeam) [7]
65 Caroline Carslaw/Charley Sayer-Payne (Ford Fiesta R2) [3]
66 Fraser Smith/Steven Brown (Honda Civic) [3]
67 Johnnie Mackay/Emily Easton-Page (Ford Fiesta ST) [6]
68 Darren Graham McDonald/Susan Shanks (Subaru Impreza gc8) [9]
69 Paul Rawson/Paul Wild (Ford Escort Mk1) [5]
70 Ian Milne/Dawn Milne (Ford Escort Mk2) [5]
71 Nikki Addison/Rachel Matheson (Peugeot 106 GTI) [3]
72 Bryan Gourlay/Scott Gourlay (Peugeot 205 GTI) [2]
73 Aileen Forrest/John Forrest (Mitsubishi Evo 5) [9]
74 Barry Meeke/TBA (Nissan Micra) [1]

Armstrong Galloway Hills Rally launches new-look 2019 event

Posted: August 16, 2019 10:02 AM

The Armstrong Galloway Hills Rally has launched the 46th edition of the popular South-West of Scotland event today (14th August) with further details on the British Rally Championship and KNC Groundworks Scottish Rally Championship qualifier which will take place on Saturday 14th September.

Sponsored for the 20th year by The Armstrong Group, the event will for the first time since 1999 move away from its traditional rally base of Castle Douglas to the iconic town of Dalbeattie, a name synonymous with the sport across the decades.

The move just a couple of miles down the Urr Valley to Dalbeattie will see all pre-event checks, Rally Headquarters and ceremonial start being based at Jas P Wilson’s newly extended campus, ensuring a compact format to the weekend’s proceedings. The shift also opens the classic Dalbeattie stage to the event, which will be tackled by crews for the first time in five years.

Organised as a collaboration between Solway, Machars and East Ayrshire Car Clubs the now traditional final round of the Scottish Rally Championship has, for the first time, been joined by the prestigious British Rally Championship which has led to a brand-new format for the event in 2019.

Leaving the ceremonial start at around 9.30am, crews in the Scottish Rally Championship, Border Challenge and HRCR Motoscope Northern Historic Gravel Rally Championship will tackle five classic stages, kicking off with the adjacent Dalbeattie test, totalling 44 miles in the Dumfries and Galloway Forests. After a tough day in the forests, the finish celebrations will take place at around 15:30 with the winners getting the chance to spray the champagne.

British Rally Championship crews will have a tougher challenge ahead, after a chance to make their own notes in the forests during the pre-event recce on Friday 13th September, a total of nine stages and 75 miles form their route on Saturday. Also utilising classic forest tests in the region, they will have an early wake up with an 8.00am start in Dalbeattie before they get the chance to celebrate a finish, which will see the crowning of the new British Champion, from around 18:00.

Traditionally the rally has brought a large contingent of crews across the Irish Sea and Europe, all eager to sample classic Scottish rallying tests in the region, which has been possible thanks to the Galloway Hills Rally being the proud recipient of a grant from Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Major Festivals and Events Strategy 2018-2021. This valuable contribution is used to encourage competitors to enter with 2019 offering a wide range of incentives for crews.

Since 2014, the rally has awarded over £30,000 in Competitor Incentives, thanks to a travel subsidy and Entry Refund Draws, both of which continue this year thanks to the ongoing support of Dumfries and Galloway Council. The offering is unique and is the only UK rally to provide such an incentive, reinforcing the Galloway Hills Rally’s commitment to being 100% competitor focused.

Crews in the National B event which houses Scottish Rally Championship crews can take advantage of free ferry crossings from Belfast with event partners Stena Line. This will be limited to the first eight crews who apply for the travel bursary.

For competitors in both the National A and B events, the #InItToWinIt competition returns, meaning for every ten entries received, one crew will be drawn at random to receive an entry fee discount of £250, up to the total value of £2,000. Those entering early, therefore, have the greatest opportunity to win.

The Galloway Hills Rally was the winner of SRC Chairman’s Cup for Best Event in 2017, and Clerk of the Course of the rally Michael Riddick believes this year is one of the most exciting opportunities for the event and the region.

“It really is an honour to be hosting the final round of the British Rally Championship for the first time and bringing some of the best drivers in the business to the region is exciting for motorsport fans in Scotland,” he says.

“But it really wouldn’t be the Galloway Hills Rally without the Scottish Rally Championship and our other series along too and having both side by side is superb for us. We have been working very hard to offer an event that crews in all championship will want to do, but also those who want to visit the region and sample our unrivalled stages too. The format we have devised allows both the 45 and 75 mile events to get priority, whilst creating a compact route for both events.

We are very proud of the rally and our small but experienced team every year, and we are sure that 2019 will offer competitors and fans a fantastic day rallying in Dumfries and Galloway” he says.

“We are indebted to the support of our sponsors the Armstrong Group and of course to Dumfries and Galloway Council for their invaluable grant which helps us attract competitors from all corners of the country and Ireland. There is sure to be some great action on the stages for everyone to enjoy, and we are looking forward to welcoming you all to our new rally base at Jas P Wilson in Dalbeattie”.

The Armstrong Galloway Hills Rally event regulations are now available to download and entries are now open on the event website. This also includes route information and details on this year’s competitor incentives. View at

Spectator information, including times for access to Jas P Wilson in Dalbeattie on Friday and Saturday, will be available in the coming weeks at

You can catch up with all the latest news from the event on its social media feeds:

On Line Entry / Regulations / Event & Club Websites

Posted: August 16, 2019 9:59 AM

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