Motor Sport News - - Top 50: Defining Moments -

Re­demp­tion was the word of the day as the Mull Rally came to a close.

In 2015, home favourite John Maccrone, one of Scot­land’s hottest ral­ly­ing prop­er­ties, crashed on the event. The ac­ci­dent claimed the life of his co-driver Andy Mort, and those around him feared for the fu­ture of a driver who, ear­lier that year, had shown devastating pace on Rally Ger­many, in the World Rally Cham­pi­onship.

But Maccrone re­turned, ban­ished the demons with strong re­sults in the Scot­tish cham­pi­onship and re­peated his 2013 Mull success, with the same co-driver Stu­art Loudon guid­ing him.

It wasn’t an easy event. Drive­shaft is­sues and a charg­ing nine-time pre­vi­ous win­ner in Cal­lum Duffy made it tough, but Maccrone showed the kind of men­tal for­ti­tude re­served for the greats, re­main­ing calm and stroking the Fi­esta home.

On the cel­e­bra­tion walk the next day, Maccrone poured champagne on the car’s sticker which read ‘Andy Mort’. It was a som­bre and fit­ting ded­i­ca­tion to a fallen part­ner.

The win was for Andy. JB


Dan Rooke had im­pressed in his very first sea­son of ral­ly­cross in 2015, where he claimed the Su­per­na­tional Ral­ly­cross Cham­pi­onship ti­tle at his first at­tempt driv­ing a con­verted au­tocross car.

But that was noth­ing on what the 19-year-old achieved in 2016.

His Su­per­na­tional per­for­mance at­tracted the at­ten­tion of mul­ti­ple cham­pion Pat Do­ran, who elected to loan the rising star’s fam­ily team a Citroen DS 3 for a cam­paign in the Su­per­car divi­sion of the MSA Bri­tish Ral­ly­cross Cham­pi­onship.

Sec­ond at round one, Rooke then claimed an em­phatic vic­tory in round two at Ly­d­den Hill. A third suc­ces­sive podium at Pem­brey’s double-header in May was fol­lowed by back-to-back vic­to­ries at Maas­meche­len in Bel­gium and Ly­d­den Hill. Sec­ond place at the se­ries’ penul­ti­mate round was enough to etch Rooke’s name on the Bri­tish RX tro­phy as the youngest ever cham­pion.

The car broke at the sea­son finale, but it mat­tered lit­tle. The step to Su­per­car from the lower cat­e­gories is con­sid­ered a large one, but pre­sum­ably Rooke wasn’t aware of that this year. HR

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