By George Rutherford
This year I was enrolled for management car duties as son David and Garry Russell in their Nova and it was interesting to hear the various comments regarding the weather and the cancellation of the Grizedale Stages.
Above: David Rutherford & Garry Russell
Most amusing was the tale of a local competitor who was hiring a car for both events – he told the organisers and the rest of us his car was stuck at the Garage it was being hired from but told the hirer’s that the event was cancelled – they in turn had the car on the trailer ready to travel to Castle Douglas so they told the specialist petrol co the event was cancelled causing a lot of grief when the petrol didn’t turn up – moral always tell the truth!
Anyway scrutineering went well and after signing on off we went to the first of the slightly slippy stages which by the time we got to them they had been polished so two stages down two big spins and off to servicing then on to Dalbeattie passing through yet another speed trap. This stage was generally accepted as being the slippiest and another spin showed that the demon tweeks to the tyres with tyre cutters were not really very effective another quick service and off to the final two stages which were covered with more spins and a lot of lessons on how to drive a rally car on snow and ice learnt. Times were not great but at least the car wasn’t damaged.
Above: Challenging Conditions
The greatest sight was the smiles on the faces of all the competitors much like the previous weekend’s Roger Clark Rally competitors and it is interesting that the retirement rate was probably an all time low amazing considering the conditions.
Above: Jock Armstrong & Kirsty Riddick
Yet again Jock Armstrong and Kirsty Riddick showed the world that on snow and Ice they are a real force to be recon’d with but the sight that most stirred us all was Bernard Rooney’s Stratos it was truly magnificent. Jock was his usual ebullient self at prize giving having a Hummer Limo waiting outside to ferry all who wanted to go to his local for the after rally party. No wonder the event is held in such esteem by those who rally in the traditional style.
(Photos © Barry Lindsay / Spadeadam Motor Club)