Some close shaves in the STRC

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There were only two Mid Argyll crews competing in the Scottish Tarmac Rally Championship (STRC) Pendragon stages at Warcop training camp in Cumbria on Sunday August 26.

They were Donald Bowness and navigator Paul Gribben in their Vauxhall Nova and Jamie Miller and Ian McCulloch in their Citroen C2R2Max. Both crews compete in the 1600 class.

This was Jamie’s second outing in the car. In what was a wet and slippery day, only the first stage was completed in slightly drier conditions which made tyre choice difficult.

Stage two was better, after a change of tyres. There were several incidents on stages throughout the day which caused delays. Jamie and Ian stopped to help on stage three when a car rolled. This caused them to lose a lot of time but priority was to ensure the other competitors were safe.

By stage seven, the ‘red mist’ had set in on Jamie and he had a battle with a mk 2 Escort.

Jamie said: ‘This is a good event, but the class in front have a phenomenal pace to compete against, although I still enjoyed it.’

Jamie’s next event is Leuchars, Fife, in November which will be the final round of the STRC. He is also looking at doing the MSN circuit event in December at Knockhill.

Donald and Paul also had a few close calls. On stage two they went through a fence in slippery conditions costing them around 35 seconds.

Back to service, it was a change of tyres. The new tyre choice proved to be working well back on stage and they began climbing their position and setting impressive times.

On stage seven, their car stopped within inches of a concrete block.

At the end of a long day rallying, Jamie and Ian finished 46th overall and 14th in class, while Donald and Paul finished 7th overall with 1st in class and 1st FWD car setting a fourth fastest stage time.

Donald said these were his best results so far since he started his hobby. He is now planning to have a break from competing for the rest of year to give the car a well deserved rest and some TLC.