SSVRC Summer Stages 2023
Beautiful blue skies greeted the crews at Crail for round three of the RSM Hire Scottish Single Venue Rally Championship, where the East Neuk of Fife played host to the Summer Stages Rally.
For once, Des Campbell did not take maximum points, that honour fell to the striking Lotus Exige of Greg Inglis. It was a terrific drive from Inglis who not only took the spoils in the SSVRC but he won the overall rally too! The aforementioned Campbell did, however, bag a decent haul of points, and a fine drive was rewarded with second place. Des had a conundrum though – he was testing a new component and wanted to get up to a really fast pace, but he was also mindful that he is doing the upcoming Argyll Rally, but, despite that, he was delighted with his performance. His navigator Cammy Dunn took maximum points in the Championship.
Ben McDowell had a great day bagging third place in the BMW. Ben had a new navigator for the day, Kier Beaton, who was standing in for regular nav Alison Horne who was making her driving debut on the event. McDowall is really getting to grips with the big car now and his flamboyant exits from the corners were a joy to watch.
Father and daughter duo John and Meghan O’Kane were delighted to get such a good finish in the Subaru, their best result in 16 starts at the venue, despite an oil leak and no anti-lag! Graeme and Jim Rintoul must be two of the most consistent performers in Scottish rallying, always sure to finish and always well up the order in their 2l Fiesta.
Drew Barker, with Shona Hale alongside, enjoyed their day despite being held up by another car early in the day. A short visit to a field and a two-wheel moment at a chicane were the Fife pairs’ only other issues, and they finished just ahead of Neil McAllister and Stephen Lang in their 206.
Cammy Williamson enjoyed his day despite an overheating issue (the car, not him). Sitting with Cammy for this event was his sister Eilidh who was competing in her first-ever rally. Mark Runciman had nothing to report which is perhaps just as well as he had to drive the BMW home after the event.
Alison Horne was driving on her first event in a 2l Clio; she certainly did not disgrace herself, and probably had the biggest smile in the Service Area! Robin and Vanessa Hamilton had their pristine Mk1 Escort out for the second time, and no problems resulted in another solid finish.
Colin and Pauline Black’s only issue during the day was tyre choice. Bobby MacDonald who had Martin McCabe alongside, had a frustrating day. Bobby just couldn’t get a good feel for the car, which transpired to be an issue with the suspension, but the pair found their true pace on the final two stages of the day and came away smiling.
Eamonn Boyle was out again in his 205 along with James Watson, but sadly the car broke the throttle cable on SS1 resulting in a low finishing position. James and Ian Wilson had a fraught day when the alternator packed in, but the Fifers still managed to get to the end.
The event proved to be a challenge for the organisers and the competitors, but as the sun continued to shine, most came away smiling.