Last weekend, Argyll Rally returned to Argyll & Bute region for the first time since 2003 to compete in forest stages for Round 5 of the 2017 ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship.
The main action happened on Saturday with the ceremonial start at 9am in Argyll Street. Nearby residents were awakened by the grunt of the engines and were in the best place to see the cars head off. The 70 car field headed off in gaps to Stage 1 at Glenbranter.
- Stage 1: Glenbranter
- Stage 2: Bishops Glen
- Stage 3: (No name given)
- Stage 4: Glen Coe
- Stage 5: Glenbranter (This stage did not run)
- Stage 6: Bishops Glen
After staying for around half an hour, I made my way up to the Bishops Glen for Stage 2. The lack of signs was the only thing I spotted which I thought more planning could have gone into. For myself, who knows Dunoon, it wasn’t a problem but for tourists and spectators to the event, it would have left them a bit confused about where they were.
I eventually got the start point of Stage 2 but was told by the Spectator Car that I wouldn’t make it to the Viewing point in time. I therefore walked on a bit to find a grass bank in which I stayed for the whole of Stage 2 to watch the cars fly past.
When Stage 2 was done, I headed home to grab a bit of lunch and watched most of the Qualifying for the Formula One Azerbaijan GP. I headed back up to the Bishops Glen just before 3 o’clock to make sure that I had enough time to get a spot to watch the rally. I tried to go back to my original spot (shown above) but Marshals directed me onwards and wouldn’t let me get on the grass bank again. I followed the path and that led me to the first Viewing Point.
I saw a lot more action as I was only 1 and a half meters away from the cars going past. The first car appeared at around 3:40 and the last car arrived at 4:45. There were less cars this time as some had sustained damage resulting in only 53 cars making the finish line.
The presentations happened in Dunoon Stadium later on in the night with Euan Thorburn being awarded the win ahead of Jock Armstrong and Shaun Sinclair.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the day and I hope that the event returns next year. It’s not often you get a Motorsport event close to home and having this event return has hopefully put Argyll and Bute onto the Rally calendar.
The championship continues on and you find out more about the championship at http://www.scottishrallychampionship.co.uk or you can follow the Argyll Rally Facebook page for more information.