Rally crews flying at Machrihanish

Mach1 Rally podium. Photograph: Gavin Brown.

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Months of frustration and boredom exploded on to the runways and perimeter roads at Machrihanish when the 2021 Marshall Construction Scottish Tarmac Championship opened for business on the weekend of July 10/11, writes John Fife.

Organised by Dunfermline Car Club, this year’s long-awaited Mach1 Stages was a non-spectator event and featured four 10-mile and four 1-mile stages on the Saturday and four 13-mile stages on the Sunday.

Given the array of talent and new cars, accurate pre-event predictions were few and far between.

The rally was won for the third time by the number one seeds Alistair and Colin Inglis, despite the fact that they were having only their second run out in a new RHD Ford Fiesta R5.

They were followed home by two more Fiesta R5s, those of Gordon Morrison and Calum MacPherson and Tom Blackwood and Gordon Winning completing a Ford Fiesta R5 podium lockout.

Results: 1 Alistair Inglis/Colin Inglis (Ford Fiesta R5) 97:49; 2 Gordon Morrison/Calum MacPherson (Ford Fiesta R5) +00:22; 3 Tom Blackwood/Gordon Winning (Ford Fiesta R5) +01:31; 4 Ian Forgan/Chris Lees (Ford Fiesta R5) +01:43; 5 Bruce Edwards/Jim Smith (Darrian GTR) +03:15; 6 Kyle Adam/Steven Brown (Ford Escort Mk2) +04:15; 7 John Bradley/Ryan Crozier (Ford Mk2 Escort) +04:51; 8 Gerry Fitzelle/Mark Mason (Ford Escort Mk2) +05:36; 9 Alistair Dalgliesh/David Dalgliesh (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo9) +05:42; 10 Joe McQuillan/Shannon Turnbull (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo9) +06:10.

Class Winners: Cameron Craig/Terry Mallin (Peugeot 205); Jamie Miller/Ian McCulloch (Citroen C2-R2 Max); Bradley/Crozier; Edwards/Smith; Inglis/Inglis.

Second in class 2, Citroen C2, were brothers Robbie and Keith McTaggart, with Campbeltown-based Robbie behind the wheel.

Tarbert’s Keith said: ‘We had a slow start on Saturday due to a few electrical problems with the car which lost us time over the first four stages.

‘After rectifying the problem we were very competitive in the last four stages of the day.

‘Sunday was much the same story as we managed to keep pace with the class competition or do slightly better, resulting in a very strong second in class.’

The brothers are grateful to their sponsors; Campbeltown Motor Company, Corner House Tarbert and Cairndow Mechanical Services.

The 2021 Junior 1000 Ecosse Challenge also got underway at the Machrihanish event when the excited crews lined up at the start line.

As the crews completed an excellent day’s sport, the top step of the podium was filled by Archie Swinscoe and Barry Young – but who was going to be second?

By one second, Tom Johnstone managed to push Owen Paterson down to the third step before crews lined up at the end for the socially distanced photo.

Junior 1000 Results: 1 Archie Swinscoe/Barry Young (Skoda Citigo) 57:08; 2 Tom Johnstone/Ian McRae (Skoda Citigo) +01:53; 3 Owen Paterson/Callum Shanks (Peugeot 107) +01:54; 4 Letisha Conn/Emma Morrison (Skoda Citigo) +02.03; 5 Erica Winning/Ellya Gold (Nissan Micra) +10:51; 6 Rian Walker/Stuart McBride (Skoda Citigo) +40:50; 7 Max Speed/Alan Gilbert (Peugeot 107) F/F.

Visit www.jaggybunnet.co.uk for a detailed report on all the stages plus more rally news from around the country.