By Caroline Lodge
The following weekend I headed over the border to compete on the Scottish with Rachel Clark, in the ‘Rally to Raise’ Micra. Rachel and I have had a lot of adventures together over the years but have never rallied together, so I was hoping that it went OK.
Rachel had worked hard to gain sponsorship and in fact if we had any more stickers we would have needed a bigger car. We made room for our ‘2 specials’, we had a marriage proposal displayed on the wings, and also a tribute to our pal, Cath Simpson who had sadly died the previous week. She was a devoted rally fan, organiser and supporter. Cath was as superstar and if more people had even a fraction of her enthusiasm, dedication and drive, motorclubs and motorsport would be going from strength to strength. RIP Cath we miss you. Whilst waiting for scrutineering we were reprimanded for gate crashing the Landrover 50th anniversary photo-shoot! Well why try to do a photo-shoot in the middle of the entry to the car park and the scrutineering bays? We did as we were told but then snook around the back hoping that the bright blue and yellow of our car would show though the gaps between the Landies.
Armed with a supply of Fruit Pastels and Lucazade, we set off. We were doing 5 stages of the event, Windy Hill, Ae West, a quick service then Heathhall, Shaw Hill and Loch Grannoch. Rachel and I quickly got into a rhythm and were enjoying the stages, though I must say she is one of the noisiest drivers I’ve sat with, she makes a variety of strange noises and mutters to herself all the way round. After SS1 we saw that the car behind us car 83, was not that far behind after a 6mile stage, SS2 was just under 14 miles so we told him to jump ahead in arrivals, unfortunately we did better than him in that stage as we passed the badly damaged Polo about 1/3 rd of the way in. Car 80 – the crew in front of us were struggling too, 2 drivers in 1 car, they even got lost on the way to the ceremonial start, later we helped them with their timing and lead them to some of the stages. Not bad for 2 blondes in probably the lowest powered car in the event. Unfortunately they came to grief on SS5 with a busted drive shaft.
The marriage proposal was for one of the photographers, whom we had asked to make sure he got some shots of us in stage and at the finish. We know he saw us in stage, and we saw his face when he saw what was written on the car. However he didn’t appear at the finish, after we had stopped on the final road section to bedeck the car with balloons and ribbons. We still don’t know what his answer to the proposal was. Still, we made some money for the charities from it, having him say ‘I will’ was not part of the contract!
It was a great event and we had a lot of fun, we gained a class second and won the trophy for the highest placed crew with a lady driver. Rachel’s trophy was a bit dodgy, being round and nearly 2 foot long it actually resembled a French stick, but I feel that the organisers wanted it to appear more phallic than a loaf of bread. (Have a look at the photos on Facebook to see what I mean).