Ramblings….

By David Love

Well, I’m back to ramble on a bit more and it’s all Helen’s fault! When I told her at the club night that I was hoping to write some rubbish for the newsletter she actually looked pleased, that’s when I realised how desperate she was for something to put in the newsletter.

I never realised that the MSA was in the furniture removal business until they pulled the rug from under the feet of the BRC organisers by cancelling the championship for 2015. It would appear that very little thought was given to the consequences of cancelling it. It is not just undermining the hard work nurturing sponsors and supporters put in by all the organisers over the years but it also has a big impact on the host towns. Even though the BRC was ailing the financial boost it generated for local businesses was still substantial and much needed in the present economic climate, therefore it is not just the sport that suffers the local community is also affected. There is also the worry that the championship will not return and if it does will it be greeted with apathy. The MSA may only have one chance to get it right and on past performance I’m not holding my breath.

What about The Pirelli I hear you ask, well one of you must be asking that! The rally has existed in one form or another since 1975 and has even weathered 2 cancellations due to foot and mouth. Do you think the MSA could finish it off? Not if Brian Kinghorn has anything to do with it! For those of you that don’t know Brian is the Chairman of the organising committee and the main contact for sponsors and suppliers to the rally. He’s been involved in the rally for more years than he would no doubt care to remember and is determined not to go down without a fight. He told me that his first reaction on hearing of the championships cancellation was that “We’d had a good run and maybe it was time to call it a day” then he got angry and decided that it wasn’t up to the MSA to decide when our rally was finished. He’s been working hard behind the scenes and hopefully will soon be able to confirm details of the 2015 Pirelli Rally. In the meantime enjoy a photo of Malcolm Wilson, winner of the 1980 event at Carlisle Airport .

Malcolm Wilson BW

Malcolm Wilson – Escort Mk2

Reading David Coleman’s article in last month’s newsletter brought back more memories of the good old days that had been lost in the mists of time. I can still picture him in the rear view mirror of the Audi sliding from side to side. That’s what happens when you have leather seats and no seat belts. It’s good to know that I was instrumental in introducing him to hobby that has given him so much pleasure. Motorsport depends on long time enthusiasts like David to keep the sport alive, people who are in it for enjoyment rather than for out and out glory. They may put a lot of money into it but more importantly they put their heart into it. Of course coming to Spadeadam Motor Club meant he was off to the best possible start.

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My First 25 Years Of Rallying

By David Coleman

I thought I would put finger to keyboard and share some memories with you on my motorsport life so far…..

I started my love of Rallying in 1985 standing on my old school bridge that crossed Wigton rd in Carlisle and watching the last of the Gp.B cars heading from Carlisle into the lake district on the RAC rally.

After leaving school in 1988 I started my first job through my late dad at B&Q in Carlisle on an apprenticeship. One of my colleagues was a keen rally fan and took me under his wings telling me about the golden days of the sport and introduced me to Spadeadam MC and the meetings held at the sportsman in Laversdale.
My memory is a little shaded so some of the following may be slightly incorrect (20 years of painting cars seems to have broken the grey matter!).

I was introduced to marshalling through Spadeadam, on Moresby pits (Fellside stages?) where we had the clocks on the flying finish , Brett Mitton’s Chevette was one of the cars I remember to do well that day. We also did clocks at the Setmurthy stage which I think was part of the Lakeland stages, now the Malcolm Wilson rally where Dougie Watson-Clark was in his newly built Sierra Cosworth.

Jim Dent – Moresby Pit

We spectated at the Scottish rally later that year, a very hot dusty, midge bitten day that was worth it purely for the sound of the 3 door Sierra’s wastegates chattering through the forest, surely that sound should return to the BRC ! It was then I chose my rallying hero, and still to this day I have so much admiration for Jimmy McRae who after speaking to him briefly on 2 occasions seems so down to earth and friendly. Continue reading

Test On The Rest

By Eric Ritchie

Sometimes, life is just so difficult that it is hard to come to terms with the trauma and stress of it all………………….. !!!

Such was the weekend I spent on Scotland’s iconic hill climb the ‘Rest and be Thankful’. This fantastic stretch of road was first used as a hill climb in 1949, the year before I was born! In its time it has hosted drivers of the calibre of Sir Jackie Stewart and the late Jim Clark. Raymond Mays, the elder statesman of British Motor sport held the record for the fastest time over the 1.6km (1 mile) sprint course with a time of 68 seconds, and that was well over 40 years ago!

It is over four decades since the glen was last used competitively and the rally test day organised by John Parker and Brian Kinghorn, brought back a flood of memories to the many fans and spectators who gathered in the car park above the hairpin. This time, it would not just be the 1.6km hillclimb section that would be used, but the entire 4km from the bottom of Glen Croe to the traditional finish line above the hairpin. Continue reading

Pirelli Richard Burns Foundation Rally 2013 Update

By David Love

So what do I know!  In my last scribblings about this years rally I said we were keeping International in the name, which at that time we were, but things constantly change in the run up to the event.  We along with Pirelli are honoured to be associated with Richard Burns name and are pleased to be in a position to help promote the work of the Foundation.  I was amazed to discover that it was 20 years ago that Richard won the Pirelli and then I was depressed to realise that I started marshalling on the event 10 years before that.  No Geoffrey! There wasn’t a man with a red flag walking in front of the cars. Continue reading

The Countdown Rally – My Report

By David Love

What can I tell you about my involvement in this year’s Countdown? Absolutely nothing!

For some strange reason I thought the Countdown was on the 1st of September so I arranged to be on holiday after that. So for the first time in many years I wasn’t standing out in the middle of nowhere thinking I was in the wrong location as headlights head towards me then turn away only to reappear in 5 minutes. It’s quite scary standing in the dark watching a faint glow bobbing up and down from side to side getting closer only to discover, with relief, it’s only some drunk with a head torch heading home from the pub.

I didn’t totally forsake Motorsport on the day of the rally I just switched to a different type.  Many of our older readers will be familiar with the name of Carroll Shelby, he of the Cobra fame and winner of the 1959 Le Mans with Roy Salvadori in an Aston Martin DBR1. His company Shelby American has a small museum that has a daily tour so I decided we should go. Especially as it was free. I didn’t really know much about him other than the Cobra connection but I knew there were cars in the museum so that was good enough for me. I thought that there would be half a dozen or so people for the tour but there were over 30 there. Shelby was a Texan who loved to race but it was discovered he had heart problems and had to give up racing, so he turned his hand to preparation. In the early 60’s he had the idea that a V8 in a lightweight sports car was the way to go and he chose the AC Cobra. As he had contacts in Ford he went to see the CEO Lee Iacocca and persuaded him to part with some engines and money to develop the car so they could “beat the crap out of those Corvettes”.  Shelby still owns the original show Cobra, which was on display. Several years ago he turned down an offer of $23,000,000 for it, guess he can’t have been short of a bob or two! When it was new he kept respraying it different colours to make people think he had several cars. There were six Cobras of varying ages on display; one was unpainted with a polished aluminium body and worth around $2,000,000. Continue reading

2013 and the Pirelli International Rally

By David Love

As everyone now knows there have been substantial changes to the MSA British Rally Championship and I’d like to bore you with my own personal views of the main changes and how it may affect our own round of the championship.  As I say these are my observations formed from the information I have gleaned from various sources, at the end of the day they count for nothing, as they have no affect on championship decisions so in the end what will be will be.  I’m only writing this because Caroline needs something to put in the newsletter.

Something had to change in the championship; entry levels were disappointing even if the competition was good.  Rising costs for organisers, competitors and marshals were contributing to the problem. We needed changes to raise interest in the championship and keep costs under control.  The MSA and the BRC management realised this and have come up with changes that will hopefully achieve these aims while maybe not causing an enthusiasts pulse to race.

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