Ar­gyll rally teams com­pete at Knock­hill

The Oban Times - - Sport -

THE NEW rally sea­son got un­der­way at a very sea­sonal Knock­hill Rac­ing Cir­cuit in Fife on Sun­day Jan­uary 10 with the open­ing round of the 2016 Scot­tish Tar­mac Rally Cham­pi­onship, The Grant Con­struc­tion Stages hosted by Bor­ders Ecosse Car Club.

The weather at Knock­hill is un­pre­dictable at the best of times and it didn’t dis­ap­point with heavy snow and dense fog wel­com­ing the crews out on to the stages. Knock­hill pro­vides a stern early test of ma­chin­ery (es­pe­cially wind­screen wipers and heaters) with var­i­ous lay­outs us­ing the perime­ter roads on the hill and the fa­mous cir­cuit it­self, more used to the at­ten­tion of Tour­ing Cars and Su­per­bikes.

There were two all-Ar­gyll crews in at­ten­dance with Don­ald Bow­ness and Ian Parker bring­ing the newly up­graded TDC Autocare Nova and Steven and Scott Pater­son head­ing off Mull for the week­end in their Corsa Kit Car.

Both crews had a day to for­get with Don­ald and Ian hav­ing a fairly hefty bump in the Nova on Stage 2 and, in the process, try­ing out their HANS devices and prov­ing they are worth their weight in gold. Fifty mph to a stand­still in barely more than the thick­ness of a gatepost. Both were a bit sore but oth­er­wise un­scathed and are look­ing for­ward to the next round al­ready.

Steven and Scott made it a cou­ple of stages fur­ther into the event but un­for­tu­nately also recorded a DNF on stage 4.

Mull’s Amanda Mor­ri­son, part­nered by Erle Stra­chan in his Mit­subishi Evo 6 man­aged to bring the car home in a cred­itable 24th over­all and 10th in Class 5.

The early lead in the STRC Cham­pi­onship has been taken by Gary and Gor­don Adam in their Ford Es­cort MkII with Alan Kirkaldy and Garry Muir putting in a mag­nif­i­cent per­for­mance to grab se­cond place, also in a 2WD Es­cort, with the ever- en­ter­tain­ing Stu­art Walker fin­ish­ing off the podium in his Skoda Fabia S2000 guided around the stages by Julie McGuire.

The next round of the cham­pi­onship is at In­gle­ston with the DCC Stages tak­ing place on April 2 with a full en­try al­most guar­an­teed. The Scot­tish Rally Cham­pi­onship kicks off in the forests sur­round­ing In­ver­ness in Fe­bru­ary with the Arnold Clark Jury’s Inn Snow­man Rally”

Steven and Scott Pater­son.

Erle Stra­chan and Amanda Mor­ri­son.

Don­ald Bow­ness and Ian Parker.

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