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The Clann Alba NessRallySport team, led by driver Donald Murray, rounded out their novice season with a steady run on the McRae stages last Saturday. The crew started the event seeded 101st, but managed to finish 76th overall, with only 83 of the 120 starters making it to the finish. Non finishers included 1995 World Rally Champion Colin McRae, after a minor excursion into a ditch on Special Stage 1 saw him damage the engine and lose all of his oil before the stage end. His father, multiple British Rally Champion, Jimmy McRae, also failed to finish after transmission damage ended his event prematurely. 
This was the first time that Donald had competed with Charlotte Kimber from Shap on the notes, so it was a slow but steady start until the crew got used to each other. The only major incident of the event occurred half way through the second stage. Donald commented afterwards;-  
“We hit a large stone and the car refused to turn in on the next corner. I had a puncture on the Scottish Rally back in July but carried on, and in the process just about tore off my front bumper and wing as the tyre disintegrated. Not wanting to do the same this time, and with only 2 miles to go we backed right off to avoid damaging the car, and dropped over a minute. Much to our dismay on arrival at the stage end we discovered that all 4 tyres were fully inflated, and it was just the slippery nature of the stage surface that had made the car so unstable!”  
The lost time dropped them to 108th overall after that stage but a solid and uneventful run through the remaining 4 stages saw the crew claw some time back to finish 76th by the end of the day. The team’s next scheduled event is the Snowman Rally, in Inverness next February, and the pairing enjoyed their day so much that they plan to compete together for the 2007 season.  
The event was won by Colin’s younger brother Alister McRae, who beat all of the more modern 4 wheel drive WRC cars in his Mk2 rear wheel drive Escort. The Scottish Rally Championship for drivers was won by Dave Weston from Aberdeen 
Thanks are due to the following, without whom this ‘adventure’ would not be possible;-  
Jim Scott at CLANN ALBA for event sponsorship
Donald Macritchie of Macritchie Highland Distribution for event sponsorship
Scott Lauder at Ness Motors Renault Inverness, for use of a service van
Rob Maciver at M and M Autorepairs of Inverness for pre-event preparation of the car
Andy Macaskill and Brian Moore for on event servicing
Ness City Tyres for pre-event assistance with tyre preparation
Steven K Brown of SBPHOTOGRAPHY for event images for our website and
George Michie of dodspics.com for event images for our website too.
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