DARK SIDE OF THE MOON

Rally ace cen­sured over prank

The Galloway News - - FRONT PAGE - Stu­art Gille­spie

A Ste­wartry rally driver has been banned from com­pe­ti­tions for moon­ing dur­ing an event.

Two-time Scot­tish cham­pion Jock Arm­strong was also fined £1,000 for bar­ing his back­side on the Sol­way Coast Rally ear­lier this year.

The Cas­tle Dou­glas driver was vol­un­teer­ing as a mar­shal on one of the stages when he mooned at a pal tak­ing part in the event.

But he’s been left count­ing the cost after gov­ern­ing body the Motor Sports As­so­ci­a­tion got wind of the prank.

Jock said: “They said I was bring­ing the sport into dis­re­pute and I could have caused an ac­ci­dent.

“They told me they were ban­ning me for six months and fin­ing me £1,000 – I told them they were hav­ing a laugh.

“It’ll run un­til next year and it puts me out of the cham­pi­onship al­ready.

“They’ve pulled my pants down and smacked me on the back­side.”

Jock, who won the Scot­tish ti­tle in 2015 and 2016 in his Subaru Im­preza, was help­ing out on the Sol­way Car Club-or­gan­ised event in Au­gust.

He added: “I was mar­shalling on a stage near Kirk­gun­zeon. There

was one pho­tog­ra­pher and it was a non­spec­ta­tor stage. Niall Cowan from Dum­fries, who I spon­sor, was com­ing down the stage and he wasn’t hav­ing the best of days.

“I said I’d bare my back­side so the pho­tog­ra­pher took a pic­ture which got put up in the work­shop and on Face­book. It looks like I’m stand­ing right in front of the car but I’m about 40 me­tres away.

“The MSA has got hold of this and called me up for it. It had 20,000 views, there have been no neg­a­tive com­ments at all but the MSA has done this. It’s laugh­able.

“They said they mon­i­tor pages on so­cial me­dia, which means we’re pay­ing our fees and they have some­one sit­ting there look­ing at Face­book and flag­ging up if some­one is moon­ing.”

News of the penalty pro­voked out­rage among the ral­ly­ing com­mu­nity on Face­book.

Paula Swin­scoe, who was Jock’s co-driver for his cham­pi­onship wins, said: “Re­ally dis­ap­pointed in this de­ci­sion by the MSA – I’ve lost track of the num­ber of times I’ve been mooned at by fel­low com­peti­tors mid-stage and it’s al­ways taken as a joke.”

An­other per­son said: “Out­ra­geous, time for a clear out at the top, Jock has been an am­bas­sador for ral­ly­ing for years – can we not start a pe­ti­tion to get this re­versed?”

No one at the MSA was avail­able for com­ment.

Pic­ture: Ed­die Kelly Mo­tor­sport Photography

Rac­ing ban Jock Arm­strong in ac­tion.

Hap­pier mo­ment Jock Arm­strong after win­ning the Gal­loway Hills Rally last month

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