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Well, all the hard work and toil paid off for us last weekend. Having started at number 73 and with this being our first event our objective was simply to get as far as we could without mishap. We were therefore absolutely thrilled to not only finish the event, but to come home 42nd, and 4th in Class 4. Having registered as a Scottish Championship contender at outset this gained us 2 valuable points, but also sees us going into the next round as the leading car in Class 4! In addition our day was made complete by the news that we had won the Foss Self Drive Award for being the highest placed Highland Car Club First Time entrants. A perfect end to a fantastic day!
The event itself was highly challenging, with 5 stages scheduled to be run, grouped around a central service area in Dingwall. The crowds were out in force even for the later starters and it was thrilling to see the flashguns going off on every corner! We took a steady pace through the first stage, having seen about 4 cars stranded at the side of the road, and were delighted to arrive at first service needing no more than a top up to the screenwash. Rob and the boys were to have a very quiet day.
Stage 2 at Rogie was cancelled before we got there due to an accident, which fortunately turned out to not be as serious as first envisaged. We knew that we would be back there later in the day though as it was the final test of the rally. We then set off up to Tain for 2 stages back to back, and these were amongst the slipperiest surfaces we had ever encountered – even snow! At the end of stage 3 we asked the marshals to check the tyres for us as we were sure we had at least one puncture, but all 4 tyres were fine. A steady run through both stages, again avoiding some of the wreckage at the side of the road, then back to Dingwall before a final blast through Rogie.
This was incredibly rough, given that it was the second run through of the day, so we picked our way around the boulders to record a stage time without any dramas. Back then to the Thistle Hotel to check in and record our first ever finish in our first ever event. We simply could not have done it without the help and funding from our sponsors.
Our thanks go to Rob MacIver and the boys at M and M Auto Repairs for an excellent job of preparing the car, and for on the day support. We would also acknowledge the financial support of Ness Properties and Campsie Consultants, which made this event possible. They have pledged further support this season as well, which will help us progress towards our goal of completing the next 6 rounds of the championship.
Lastly a special thank you to Scott Lauder and Ness Motors for the provision of our service van on the day, which was greatly appreciated. Next round is the Border Counties Rally on the 18th of March. Perhaps we will see you there! Don and Lachie.
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