JOHN MACCRONE WINS MULL
WHEN: OCTOBER 19
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
WHEN: ALL SEASON WHERE: EVERYWHERE
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