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Speyside Stages - (Sat) 21 Apr 18

Posted: October 1, 2018 7:23 AM - 2661 Hits

Round 3 - 2018 Scottish Rally Championship

Video Clips

Posted: October 1, 2018 7:23 AM

In Car

Posted: October 1, 2018 7:22 AM

Fred Milne & Patrick Walsh (Subaru Impreza WRC S14) SS9


Posted: October 1, 2018 6:48 AM

David Bogie/John Rowan were untouchable on round two of the 2018 ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship, winning all ten stages of the McDonald & Munro Speyside Stages this weekend in Elgin (21st April).

Nearly 100 crews took the start of the event with the unseasonably warm and dry conditions presenting a sometimes dusty challenge in the forests, vastly different to the snow and ice of the opening round in Inverness.

The event boasted an incredibly competitive top ten, but there was something inevitable about five-time Scottish Champion Bogie’s victory on an event he has made his own.

Co-driven by John Rowan, the Skoda Fabia R5 pilot set the pace through the opening Cooper Park spectator stages before flexing his muscles in the following forest tests. Such was Bogie’s dominance, he defeated his rivals by over a minute to take a record ninth Speyside Stages victory ahead of the returning Jock Armstrong’s Subaru Impreza.

Fred Milne took his Impreza WRC to third place in the SRC standings thanks to the final overall podium spot going to an unregistered Rhys Yates.

“It’s been a great day all-round,” Bogie enthused.

“We won all ten stages which was a nice bonus. I’m notoriously bad through Cooper Park, it’s a stage I never usually enjoy so the two fastest times through there really pushed us on and we managed to get the ten from ten.

“It’s good to support the Scottish Rally Championship so we signed on for points. We’ll more than likely be out on the Scottish as it’s our home event and we’d love to be back next year to make it ten wins on the Speyside!”

Behind the rally leader, the battle was incredibly close.

John Wink and John Forrest’s Hyundai R5 and the returning Fiesta R5 of Garry Pearson and Paula Swinscoe would prove to be Bogie’s closest challengers early on and the top seven were all separated by just eight seconds after the first forest test.

As the day wore on both Wink and Pearson fell by the wayside, with the Fiesta R5’s of Mark McCulloch, Donnie MacDonald and Lawrence Whyte all chasing Armstrong and co-driver Cameron Fair who couldn’t live with Bogie, but got the better of the rest to take a well-deserved second place.

“I haven’t been near the car since the Galloway Hills, but kept fit and tried to forget about the rallying, so to come here and finish second without a proper test is great for our championship,” Armstrong admitted.

“We didn’t have any expectations today but knew we’d be there or thereabouts, but we improved drastically throughout the day. If we get some reliability and a bit of luck, fingers crossed we should be in championship contention this year.”

Milne was out in a WRC for just the third time on the Speyside and co-driven by Patrick Walsh, gradually began to creep up the leader board as his confidence grew.

Heading into the final stage of the day just two seconds behind McCulloch, he emerged one second ahead to take his first ever Scottish Championship podium with third.

“It’s been a brilliant day, absolutely wonderful,” Milne grinned.

“Patrick [Walsh] kept us right all day in this beast of a car, it’s absolutely brilliant.

“I’m kicking myself now though as I used the first half of the day as a mini-test to get myself bedded back into the car as it’s tricky through low-speed corners, but we plan to be out for the full year in it, especially after today. To get this podium is a total surprise, it’ll take a while to sink in.”

McCulloch and co-driver Michael Hendry were left disappointed at missing out on the podium by a mere second, but were buoyed by the good pace they showed on just their second outing in an R5.

Two spins in the final two stages and a damaged steering arm plagued his progress.

Whyte meanwhile was far happier, grabbing fifth at the finish as he gains valuable seat time in the potent Fiesta R5. MacDonald took sixth overall in the third of the Fiesta R5s, closing Andrew Gallacher’s championship lead to just one point in the process.

Bruce McCombie and Michael Coutts were first Mitsubishi crew home with seventh in their Evo IX, ahead of Snowman winners Gallacher and Jane Nicol who spent the day playing catch-up in their Focus WRC after two stalls and a spin in Cooper Park.

Martin Scott and Daniel Forsyth netted a fine ninth overall on Scott’s first outing in an Evo IX, with the similar car of Scott McCombie and Mark Fisher completing the top ten.

After dominating the Scottish 2WD Championship on round one, Greg McKnight made it two wins from two in his Ford Escort Mk2 after a fine run to 13th overall.

Duncan MacDonald and Neil Ross claimed second in their less powerful Escort, with Paul McErlean and Niall McKenna making it three Escorts on the podium with third.

Whyte impressed as he continues to gain vakuabe seat time - Image: Lindsay Photo Sport

Lawrence Whyte’s run to fifth place also saw him scoop up the SRC Challengers honours for drivers with no more than one top ten finish in the last decade.

The Fiesta R5 man beat Martin Scott to the honours, with Brian Watson claiming third on his gravel debut in a Subaru Impreza S11 WRC.

After the disappointment of rolling on the Snowman, Alasdair Currie bounced back with a win in the Juniors in his Ford Fiesta ST. Grant MacRae took second in a similar car with Tom Howie completing the podium in a Talbot Sunbeam.

John McIlwraith emerged victorious in the www.usedcarparts.co.uk Subaru Cup with an impressive run to 22nd overall. Harry Chalmers scored second with Mark Shaw in third.

The attention now switches to the RSAC Scottish Rally on Saturday 19th May. With the championship finely poised, the event promises to be as unpredictable as the opening two rounds of the season.

The 2018 ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship is partnered by Pirelli Motorsport, Reis Motorsport Insurance and KNC Groundworks Ltd.

The championship consists of seven forest events across Scotland, taking in over 300 competitive stage miles.

The next round of the SRC is the RSAC Scottish Rally on Saturday 19th May.

Keep up to date with all the latest news via the website, Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #SRC18.


Posted: October 1, 2018 6:46 AM

Seeded Entry List

Posted: April 20, 2018 3:44 AM


Posted: April 16, 2018 12:28 PM

After an extended sabbatical due to a severe winter weather front, the 2018 ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship (2018) returns next weekend for round two of the series, the McDonald & Munro Speyside Stages in Elgin.

The season kicked off with a thrilling battle for supremacy on the Snowman Rally, with six drivers already gracing the top of the timesheets in what is already shaping up to be a hugely unpredictable season.

Andrew Gallacher took his first ever rally victory in the changeable conditions behind the wheel of his Ford Focus WRC, edging Quintin Milne by a mere six seconds with Donnie MacDonald rounding out the podium in third.

Gallacher and co-driver Jane Nicol therefore head to Elgin as the target, with a whole host of drivers capable of knocking them off their perch.

Perhaps favourite for victory is 2016 Speyside Stages winner Garry Pearson and co-driver Paula Swinscoe. The Ford Fiesta R5 were forced to miss the season opener due to an injury to Pearson’s leg, but their pedigree on the Morayshire stages and in this car are well documented.

The Speyside two years ago kick-started Pearson’s title bid, but he hasn’t rallied in 12 months so may be understandably rusty when he heads into the two tarmac tests of Cooper Park.

However his title rival from 2016 is also back in the frame on the Speyside. Jock Armstrong makes a welcome return to the SRC in his Subaru Impreza with Cameron Fair alongside him. Armstrong hasn’t competed since his Galloway Hills victory last September so the first couple of stages may be an eye-opener for the 2015 and ’16 champion.

Donnie MacDonald and Andrew Falconer is another Fiesta R5 crew who may fancy their chances. MacDonald’s R5 is running in R5+ spec meaning it is running extra power thanks to a more powerful turbo, and this is sure to help him in the Morayshire forests.

Also in the R5 corner for just the second ever time are Mark McCulloch and Michael Hendry, who completed a very late deal to drive a Fiesta on the Snowman Rally. An engine misfire and power-steering problems put paid to a good result, but the duo’s equal fastest stage time on the first stage in Inverness means they can’t be ruled out of the equation.

Also in a Fiesta R5 is Lawrence Whyte who struggled in the icy conditions on round one, while John Wink and John Forrest bring their Hyundai to the party as dark horses for a really strong result on their home event. The Huntly driver finished sixth on the Snowman and is visibly learning the car with every passing event.

Reay MacKay netted a very strong fourth place in Inverness at the wheel of his Ford Focus WRC, and re-joins the fray for the Speyside after a confidence boosting result. Freddie Milne is also back with a Subaru Impreza WRC S12B beneath his right foot, eager to bag a strong finish after a disappointing Snowman Rally.

Michael Binnie and Claire Mole head the Mitsubishi Evo contingent with ground to make up after missing the Snowman, while their rivals for the Challengers title last year – Simon Hay and Calum Jaffray – line up their Evo VI keen to get one over their rivals.

Bruce McCombie and Michael Coutts will also wade into battle in their Mitsubishi, looking to improve on their seventh overall on the Snowman.

Alan Dickson made an impressive return to Scottish Championship action in Mark McCulloch’s old Evo IX, with inaugural Speyside winner Martin Forrest once again joining him ahead of round two.

Greg McKnight and Harry Marchbank put in one of the performances of the rally last time out in their Ford Escort Mk2, grabbing eighth overall on a day where four-wheel-drive was a big advantage.

The pair are odds-on to make it two Scottish 2WD wins from two on the Speyside Stages, but won’t have it easy with fellow Mk2 drivers Paddy Munro, Fraser MacNicol, Duncan MacDonald and Paul McErlean - who will travel from Ireland to take advantage of the Overseas Support scheme - all keen to catch him.

The front-wheel-drive contingent will also be eager to prove a point or two in Morayshire. Scott MacBeth is the pick of the bunch in his Citroen C2 MAX, having seen off an incredibly competitive field on this rally 12 months ago. Keith Riddick’s MG ZR and Neil Coalter’s rare Ford Puma are others to watch out for.

John Wink is the strong favourite for further Challengers success next weekend in his Hyundai i20 R5, but will be challenged all the way by Alan Dickson, Lawrence Whyte and Keith Morris.

The SRC Juniors is also hotly contested in 2018, with a number of drivers eager to win with a day’s tuition with Tapio Laukkanen and an entry into the Wales Rally GB National at stake.

With Finlay Retson not entered, Tom Howie heads the runners in his Talbot Sunbeam, with Niall Cowan Jr (MG ZR) and Scott Burness (Ford Fiesta ST) hot on his heels. Ally Currie also enters a Fiesta ST with ground to make-up after an unfortunate slow-speed accident on the Snowman.

Local man Brett McKenzie heads the www.usedcarparts.co.uk Subaru Cup ahead of the Speyside, but faces a big battle to stay there with an incredibly strong entry. John McIlwraith is an obvious favourite, as is Matthew Thomson, but Donald Brooker, Geoff Goudie and indeed McKenzie are sure to push him all the way.

The McDonald & Munro Speyside Stages is unique to the SRC, with the event’s first two stages held on the tarmac of the spectator-friendly Cooper Park test.

From there, the action heads into the Morayshire forests where some of the best gravel roads in Scotland lie. The drivers will have to conquer over 40 competitive miles of rallying before heading back to the ceremonial finish in Elgin.

The 2018 ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship is partnered by Pirelli Motorsport, Reis Motorsport Insurance and KNC Groundworks Ltd.

The championship consists of seven forest events across Scotland, taking in over 300 competitive stage miles.

Keep up to date with all the latest news via the website, Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #SRC18.

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Posted: March 16, 2018 2:03 PM

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Posted: March 16, 2018 2:03 PM

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