October 8th, 2014
SRC titles decided.
Last week’s Colin McRae Stages was the scene that decided both the overall 2014 SRC title and the Junior SRC title, with SOSCC drivers being directly involved in both battles.
For David Bogie, it spelled the end of a five year dominance of the series, where his historic ‘five years in a row’ title will be hard to emulate by anyone, as rallying goes through the current phase of self seeking and external examination on safety grounds and of course the ever present cost restraints, which no doubt accounted for probably the lowest entry on this formally over subscribed rally, the starters numbering in the seventies compared to 120- plus in past years.
David posted this on Facebook earlier this week:
“Not the best way to end the McRae Stages for me. Ran over a rock on SS5 and bent the steering. Without the spare part to replace at service we re-tracked the car for the last one with all to play for. Unfortunately the steering didn’t last, throwing the car off the road and finishing the rally and chances of the championship for us. Big well done to Euan and Paul. Been brilliant battles all year, that was the reason why I came back for another SRC! Thanks for everyone’s support once again and to all in our team. Now time to convert the car back into R5 spec for the Galloway Hills before having a go at Rally GB!”.
Behind this positive message is genuine dissapointment for David who had hoped at least to get to the finish and with only a two second deficit to Euan Thorburn going into the last stage, a casual observer couldn’t have been blamed for thinking he could pull off a last minute charge to snatch victory. In the above Facebook message, David does elude to the fact that he had steering problems and in fact he had no power steering until he pulled onto that last stage start line where he managed to force some life into it. Not to mention the fact that the steering was badly damaged on that earlier impact with a rock and they hadn’t been able to repair it before the last stage. Euan couldn’t have known about the Fiesta’s mechanical issues but David and Kevin certainly knew they were up against it and bravely fired the R5+ into the stage, putting as much pressure as possible on to Thorburn as they could, with the faint hope of him making a mistake trying to stay ahead.
The pair are however very grateful that if they had to break a steering arm and go off, that it should happen in the latter part of stage six where it is tight, twisty and therefore slower and not earlier in the stage where it was wide open with the car going flat out for long periods. David and Kevin know that a loss of steering there could potentially have thrown them into the biggest accident of their rallying careers to date. As it is, despite appearances from pictures published, the car does need quite a bit of fettling but thankfully not a new shell and it will be in R5 form for the Galloway Hills.
Looking on the more positive side as David hints at above, the main priority of going for the R5+ Fiesta was to compete on Rally GB and see how he fared against international competition in similar machinery, not to aid his campaign to take another SRC title. The Focus was already a winner and could potentially have helped him win the SRC for a sixth time, but the SOSCC pair are now looking further afield, as they have absolutely nothing to prove here in Scotland. We salute ther teamwork, skill and application in what they have acheived to date and should now put all our support behind them as they venture into the bigger arena. Rally GB’s only weeks away. The very best of luck to both of them.
Meanwhile, back at the McRae Stages. Greg McKnight, co-driven by his faithful dad Chris, was going for it big style in a Mk II that they’ve been working hard with all year to get it’s performance up to expectations and gladly, it all came together on Saturday, when they finished 17th overall and second in class, to grab the SRC Junior Title with both hands. Drenched in champagne, the Penpont pair were obviously delighted with this and Greg is already formulating his plan to do the SRC all over again in 2015, with the added potential for some tarmac events and even, hopefully, some Irish rallies !. As Greg said this week, “somebody’s going to be busy”. This is a great achievement for Greg who has always shown the promise to mix it with the best. It’s great that he and Chris were able to bring an SRC title back to SOSCC and I’m sure David and Kevin will agree.
Jim Robertson and Colin Maxwell were determined to amass some more class points on the McRae but in what Colin described as an ‘early bath’ scenario, they met with one MF of a big log on stage one that rearranged the geometry of the back end, the photographic evidence of this incident showing a C2R2 with a very much shorter wheelbase (at least on the nearside) than Citroen ever intended!. I’m not sure if they’ll be out on the Galloway Hills but check the entry list.
Another McKnight has made a late reappearance on the forest rally scene in the shape of Mark, who with Helen Brown on the notes, finished 31st overall and 3rd in class in yet another MK II Escort. It would certainly appear that Mark’s lost nothing of his pace and is really loving being back out in the forests, driving a rally car instead of a forwarder/harvester, or whatever those big hudgies that cut trees down and strip off their branches are called!. I suspect there’ll be plenty more appearances of this driver/car combo to come. There certainly should be and it would be a shame if there wasnt !.