By Fiona Gourlay
The event based at Aberfoyle with stages in Loch Ard Forest has two stages 10 miles long and one stage 18 miles with the finish being at Stirling Castle. This was the first outing for the now power steered Cheviot Trees sponsored opal manta driven by Gary Wilson. I was looking forward to the event as I had not competed in a forest rally for 3 years. Thanks to Mick Horne at Mill garage who fixed the back shocker as it had broken just before leaving for the event.
We got to Aberfoyle in time for scrutineering. We got though with no hitches but had fun putting on the roof decals.
It was a disappointing entry with only 23 cars running .We were the only 2 wheel rear wheel drive car there. There was 4 other 2 wheel drive car and the rest 4 wheel drive.
The Sunday morning was a bit damp but not raining. We were looking forward to the start and ready to go:-
The first stage Clashmore was a bit scary until Gary got used to the new set up on the car, but was great fun. Having started 23rd we were up to 19th. The second stage a repeat of the first saw us in the ditch but thanks to spectators we were only 12 sec slower and up to 16th overall. Gary now had more control of the car. He was now ready to drive quicker as we went into the 3rd and final 18 mile long Loch Ard stage. We finished it in 12th position. We then made the 30 miles to Stirling castle and were in 12th overall position having had a great day.
The other local competitor in the national was co driver David O’Brien in a Ford Escort RS Cosworth driven by Gordon Smith from Aberdeen they finished in 9th position. The event was won by Reay MacKay and Robert MacDonald Subaru Impreza WRC.
The international event was won by Juho Hänninen and Mikko Markkula from Finland in ther Škoda Fabia S2000 . Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle in their Peugeot 207 S2000 were third and Hawicks navigator Kevin Rae driven by David Bogie in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX were 4th O/A.