Mac’s Scot­tish


The build up to the Scot­tish Pre-65 was much as usual. While scru­ti­neer­ing was hap­pen­ing on the Thurs­day the start at Kin­lochleven was lit­er­ally un­der a cloud. The rains came down for a while but at least the snow that had been in the air in 2016 was not putting in an ap­pear­ance. Ma­chine ex­am­i­na­tion passed by as did sign­ing on with lit­tle prob­lem, and for the spec­ta­tors the ap­pear­ance of Gary Mac­don­ald on an im­mac­u­late BSA Ban­tam was in­ter­est­ing to say the least – more of which later. No less than seven pre­vi­ous event win­ners were in the en­try list, in­clud­ing six time cham­pion Dave Thorpe rid­ing along­side his son Dan.


At 10.00am on Satur­day, the Pipers played Stu­art Edgar and Billy Bishop away, with even num­bers away on the Mamore Road loop while the odds took to the road sec­tion start­ing at Cnoc a Linnhe with its five haz­ards.

Sec­tion one was a nice opener to the day, the last in the group be­ing the most fear­some, and boy, did it see some marks lost. Even last year’s win­ner Dan Clark had prob­lems, and it was some time be­fore Rob Bowyer at­tacked it at high speed on the Tri­umph Twin and cleaned it in style to rap­tur­ous ap­plause. Much later Dan Thorpe took a dif­fer­ent ap­proach in his at­tack and made a su­perb clean. Not only did Dan clean this sec­tion, but he was on his way to a per­fect zero score on day one mean­ing that was the Bob Adamson Tro­phy won.

Other po­ten­tial event win­ners were hav­ing a few prob­lems. James Noble had lost a sin­gle dab which kept him well in con­tention though and Gary Mac­don­ald saw four marks go adrift. This would nor­mally mean an event win would be very dif­fi­cult to achieve from that po­si­tion. Rid­ing round with Gary was Calum Murphy and he was one mark fur­ther back on five. No less than three rid­ers com­pleted the day on a loss of six marks which in­cluded James Har­land, Paul Heys and Paul Dennis. Seven of Fri­day’s top ten were rid­ing on the even-num­ber route so they had com­pleted the Up­per Mamore stretch to Callert be­fore tack­ling the road-based stretch.

Over on the other side of the Loch, Lee Granby was in trou­ble at Coire Sgoilte where his rigid Nor­ton had de­vel­oped gear box prob­lems re­quir­ing some con­sid­er­able work. Al­though he had to re­tire on the day, he was back out on Satur­day.

At Ca­mas Na Muic it was the lower sec­tion that caused as many prob­lems as the top sub. The last twist and exit are usu­ally in­nocu­ous but it stopped quite a few, in­clud­ing Richard Allen, who was fived, as the ob­server spot­ted a quick stop. As rid­ers signed off at the end of day one there were four­teen rid­ers on sin­gle fig­ure scores, and amongst them were four pre­vi­ous event win­ners so there was still much to play for.


With the weather pick­ing up and the sun com­ing out the start area moved over to Kin­lochleven School and the Pipers played away the early num­bers headed by Barry Bur­ton (91) and Peter Lockwood (92). The odd num­bers went over to the rein­tro­duced Loch Eilde Burn whilst the evens had Cnoc a Linnhe to deal with.

With Dan Thorpe on the road loop he lost marks here, and then a cou­ple more on Pipe­line which started to put a dif­fer­ent com­plex­ion on the leader board. Pipe­line saw Dave Thorpe roll back a few years with a typ­i­cal ride which saw him maybe ten sec­onds slower than many of the oth­ers over the two con­tin­u­ous subs, but with only one dab it was a fan­tas­tic ef­fort. Last year’s win­ner Dan Clark had not had such a good Fri­day but he was back on the case on the se­cond day with his one-dab ride lift­ing him to a Spe­cial First Class award and the Bob Pater­son Tro­phy for the best over 350cc rider. It was close for ‘Clarkey’ how­ever as he took the award by virtue of 56 sec­tion cleans, one bet­ter than Stu­art Rock­ett with whom he had tied on nine marks lost. James Har­land, another Tri­umph Twin rider, had a loss of just one mark also on day two. This lifted Har­land to fourth place in yet another very con­sis­tent ride.

James Noble went from one mark lost to six by the end of the trial but he would re­main in con­tention through­out. It is not all about the top few how­ever and SSDT Chair­man Mark Whitham was hav­ing a bat­tle to see the fin­ish. His Match­less in­sisted on throw­ing its chain off the rear sprocket nu­mer­ous times. It needed a small army of spec­ta­tors to ex­tract the ma­chine from Ca­mas Na Muic’s top sub, but that en­abled Mark to sort it out and make the fin­ish. By com­par­i­son all seemed to be go­ing to plan for lo­cal ace Gary Mac­don­ald. He looked to be in per­fect con­trol through the new haz­ards at Lower Cameron Hill. He car­ried on that way for the en­tire day, clean­ing Pipe­line with com­par­a­tive ease as he came home with a clean ride to bring his cu­mu­la­tive score to just four marks lost. That put him in front of Fri­day’s top two rid­ers Dan Thorpe and James Noble to take a maiden win. In his pre-event in­ter­views he had said he was hop­ing for a good re­sult even though he felt win­ning was per­haps go­ing to be tough. He was in a gen­uine ‘how did that hap­pen?’ mood as he re­ceived the Chal­lenge Tro­phy from James Da­bill who was the Guest of Hon­our at the pre­sen­ta­tion.

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