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Beatson’s Building Supplies Mull Rally Review

October 18, 2022

Carbon Positive Motorsport Ambassador Paul Mackinnon wins the 50th Beatson’s Building Supplies Mull Rally.

Paul MacKinnon took his fourth Beatson’s Building Supplies Mull Rally win at the 50th running of the event last weekend. The rally certainly lived up to its billing as Britain’s most arduous event, and visitors to the island witnessed a classic fight between MacKinnon and 2021 winner Daniel Harper.

The Mini driver continued where he left off 12 months ago, reeling off fastest stage times to build an early lead. His hopes of a second consecutive win were dashed when he dropped time with a stall in SS12, and MacKinnon took the lead.

The final leg of the event incorporated a 31-mile stage from Loch Tuath through Calgary and down Glen Aros, which almost turned the rally on its head, as MacKinnon suffered brake problems and a water-related issue which cost his Hyundai power. Harper closed the gap to 15 seconds, only for the leader to double that advantage on the shorter Ben More and Scridian tests.

One stage to go and Harper piled everything on, pulling 26 seconds out of MacKinnon in the final 14-mile test but still coming up 8.4 shy of a third win.

At the finish, winner MacKinnon admitted it was tough. “We lost the brakes and then we had the water temperature thing, it was really distracting. We took some time back on the next two, but then we really had to manage the brakes in the final stage. When we came to the finish line, I knew it was going to be close. We’d just about done enough. What a relief and fair play to Daniel – he’s driven really well.”

MacKinnon’s co-driver, Paul Beatson added, “We are absolutely delighted with the result and appreciate Carbon Positive Motorsport having us on board. Not bad for a couple of teuchters!”

Carbon Positive Motorsport ambassadors had mixed fortunes, with James MacGillivray and Cameron Fair both retiring on SS10

Second place was bitter-sweet after their victory last year, but Daniel Harper and Chris Campbell were pleased to bring the Mini home in one piece after a big Friday night moment. “When we were sideways in fifth gear on Friday night, I honestly thought we were heading for the trailer,” he told the organisers at the finish. “It was a good event. Am I disappointed? Of course, you come here chasing the win and we came close. Losing by eight seconds is tough. That’s the sport, that’s the way it goes sometimes. We’ll be back.”

There was another battle royal for the final podium place with John MacCrone (Ford Escort Mk2) and Dave Wright (Ford Fiesta Rally2) separated by 19 seconds going into the final loop, but an inspired run from MacCrone secured a class win and stunning third overall.

Stephen Thompson and Larry Higton finished fifth overall and took class C in their Escort, while Neil Roskell rounded out the top six on his Mull debut, with Andrew Roughead alongside in his Ford Fiesta R5.

Des Campbell/ Craig Forsyth (Peugeot 206) and Kev Dunn/ Sean Douglas (Vauxhall Nova) fought a tremendous battle in Class B with the former taking the honours by less than a second – 0.9s after more than two and a half hours of driving.

Paul Daniel and Claire Tilley took the H5 class in their Escort RS1800, while John and Martin Cressey (Austin Mini Cooper S) grabbed the Class A honours.

Tony Shields/ Graham Wild (H4, Ford Escort RS1600) and Brian Fraser/ Eoghan Anderson (H3, Hillman Avenger Tiger), Mike Curry/ Mark Mason (H1, Sunbeam Imp Sport) were also among the class winners.

Carbon Positive Motorsport ambassador and event sponsor from Beatson’s Building Supplies, John Marshall, finished just outside the top ten in his Ford Fiesta Rally 2. As backers of the event, John and Ross Marshall have taken a great interest in the carbon offsetting initiative and the work being done to promote sustainability by the organisers.

John took time from his busy rally schedule to take Sky TV’s Tom Heap for a run on the shakedown stage as part of a feature on the rally and Carbon Positive Motorsport. CPM director Steve Smith said “We are very grateful to John, Ross and the team at Beatson’s Building Supplies for their support, making it possible for us to host Sky News Climate Show on the shakedown as part of their feature to air in November.

“We would also like to thank Highland Carbon and Greenville Energy for their help given to us for the Mull Rally. Working with them will help to develop future carbon offsetting projects for motorsport’s benefit.”

The event demonstrated a strong commitment to mitigating their environmental impact with over half the competitors including carbon offsetting as part of their entry. The expected 46,000 kilograms of CO2e which will be offset thanks to Mull Rally competitors will help the rally to be more sustainable for the future.

Paul Glass from Carbon Positive Motorsport was on hand throughout the weekend for his first ever Mull Rally. “My first visit to Mull did not disappoint. What an amazing event, it’s great to see rallying that’s supported in a way by the local community that you just could not imagine without being there.

“Not only was the sight of rally cars being driven at full commitment by all in the event amazing, but the scenery and landscapes of Mull are beautiful and a real reminder for me why to sustain motorsport we also need to do all we can to sustain our beautiful world.”

As well as supporting the Ambassadors and enjoying the event, Paul was on hand to be interviewed by Bob Irvine for The Rally Show, which you can watch here

Aside from the event winner, the other Carbon Positive Motorsport ambassadors had mixed fortunes, with James MacGillivray and Cameron Fair both retiring on SS10, while Tom Howie suffered a second consecutive Mull retirement on SS14.

Young hotshot Archie Swinscoe co-driven by Jane Nicol in the Rallytech/Asset Alliance Group Vauxhall Adam 1600 was 25th, while Niall Cowan Jnr and Callum Shanks were 58th in their MG ZR, both producing impressive drives in their first ever visits to Mull.

Full results at EWRC

Beatson’s Building Supplies Mull Rally Top Ten Results:

1. Paul MacKinnon/ Paul Beaton Hyundai i20 R5 2:13:05.7

2. Daniel Harper/ Chris Campbell Mini WRC 2:13:14.1 +8.4

3. John MacCrone/ Peter MacCrone Ford Escort MK2 2:14:55.6 +1:49.9

4. David Wright/ Paula Swinscoe Ford Fiesta R5 2:17:49.3 +4:43.6

5. Stephen Thompson/ Larry Higton Ford Escort MK2 2:22:54.6 +9:48.9

6. Neil Roskell/ Andrew Roughead Ford Fiesta R5 2:26:55.2 +13:49.5

7. Waynes Sisson/ Peredur Wyn Davies Mitsubishi Evo X 2:27:40.1 +14:34.4

8. Craig Rutherford/ Michael Hendry Subaru Impreza 2:28:32.4 +15:26.7

9. Stewart Morrison/ Jason MacPhail Ford Escort MK2 2:29:47.9 +16:42.2

10. Alan Gardiner/ Dave Robson Ford Escort MK1 2:29:51.4 +16:45.7

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