2001 Khumo Tyres Scottish National B Rally Report

The Dumfries based event took the crews into the Galloway forests for four stages covering forty-one miles of timed to the tenth of a second competition on Forestry Commission tracks.

The event wasn’t without its problems with the start delayed because of gremlins in the radio communication system. Then midway through the event the rally was stopped while an air ambulance landed on a confined forest track to air lift an injured competitor to hospital.

Twenty-one crews made the start of the opening Glengap stage where Arron Cruickshank and Jim Stairs set fastest time in their Ford Escort Cosworth. At the opposite end of the scale things couldn’t have got much worse for Alan Leishman and Robert Durham who wouldn’t go any further in their Audi 80 Quattro.

Cruickshank and Stairs increased their lead with another fastest stage time in Black Loch to arrive at the mid-rally Newton Stewart service halt with a half a minute advantage over the second placed Escort Cosworth of Paul Benn and Richard Cook. At 15.59 miles the following Clatteringshaw stage was the longest of the rally and Cruickshank and Stairs used it to best effect almost doubling their lead.

Only a second visit to Glengap now remained and the leaders could ease back and allow Peter and Chris Heatherington, who finished third, to claim fastest stage time in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo4. Steve Magson and Geoff Atkinson brought their Vauxhall Astra home fourth ahead of the Ford Sapphire Cosworth of their North Yorkshire neighbours Ian Rudd and Steve Bielby.

Charles McCathie and Andrew Hamilton claimed the Class S1 awards in their Ford Escort Mk2 while victory in the fight for Class S2 honours went to and Dave Gratrix and Dave Riley in their Ford Fiesta. Gratrix reckoned he’d had “spins on every stage” but despite that and persistent brake problems got the better of the Ford Escort Mk1 of Davy Hayton and Derek Adamson. Roger Morgan and Brian Young claimed the Class S3 prizes in their Fiat 131.

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