Official Press Release 02/07/06 - Source
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..:: August and the Heat is on
Now that August is upon us the weeks to the Gleaner Speyside rally has now became days, July’s heat-wave having dried and firmed up the forest roads, and this weeks rain was a welcome sight to dampen the dust. With the rally using the forest roads in Moray and Aberdeenshire as well as the now customary Cooper Park Stage, competitors will be battling to become the 10th winner of the Speyside Stages Rally.
This years Scottish Rally Championship is being hotly contested and after round five, the Jim Clark Riever’s Rally in July, we see Aberdeen’s Dave Weston edge into a lead from the chasing pack. Weston in a Ford Focus WRC has shown a steady pace with victories in the last three rounds, he now has a nine-point lead from Dumfries’s David Hughes. Hughes, co-driven by Invergarry’s Louise Sutherland, is in a Lancer Evo 8.5. Alan Dickson and last year’s winner Barry Johnson following in fourth place. These three have a mere six points separating them. Although these four are the main contenders for the overall championship at present, the following group of drivers will need to be carefully watched as they have the ability and the machinery to win the Elgin based event. The crews include former Speyside winner Jim Carty in a Subaru Impreza, Greenock’s Andy Kelly in a Lancer Evo 8 and Alistair Thorburn from Duns in another Impreza.
Amongst the two-wheel drive competitors are local brothers Sandy and Ian Arbuthnott in the Vauxhall powered Mark 2 Escort, hoping for a good placing after the disappointment of the Jim Clark Riever’s Rally where a heavy landing after a “yump” saw their rear differential destroyed.
The Speyside Rally is always well contested, but because of the friendliness of the event and the quality of the stages there are always the competitors who come for the “craic”. The 2006 Gleaner Speyside Stages Rally again proves this with a surprise entry from a former Scottish Championship crew. Aberdeen’s Ken Wood and co-driver Peter Brown from Galashiels decided that the event would be a suitable one-off for “twa auld guys”. Ken has spent months/years restoring a Triumph Dolomite Sprint and the pair thought that it deserved an outing now that it was finished, so off in the post went an entry with a covering note that the combined age of the trio was 147. With the car being of 1973 vintage that meant that the crew have a share of 114 years and no one admitting to being the senior member. They pair competed regularly between 1972 and 1990, starting most of the Scottish events in that time. They will be mostly remembered for some awesome performances in a Rover SD1 3.5 and latterly in the Metro 6R4, both cars liveried in the colours of Golden Wonder Crisps. Indeed it was this crew who gave the Clubman Specification 6R4 its maiden win in competition in 1986 on the Valentine Stages Rally.
The Gleaner Speyside Stages Rally takes place on Saturday the 19th August with the start being from the TA Centre, Edgar Road, Elgin at 9.30am and the first competitive stage in the Cooper Park at 9.35 am. Scrutineering for the event takes place on the evening of Friday the 18th and is open to the public to come along and see the cars.
Source of Press Release - www.speyside-stages.co.uk 02/07/2006
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