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AM Phillip Trucktech Snowman Rally Review

March 8, 2023

The AM Phillip Trucktech Snowman Rally lives up to its reputation with a thrilling event and success for our brand ambassadors.

The Snowman Rally is one of the UKs most iconic and challenging events, and the KNC Groundworks Scottish Rally Championship season opener lived up to its reputation with a thrilling incident packed rally.

After a day of high-speed rallying drama, podium success was the reward for Carbon Positive Motorsport brand ambassadors Jock Armstrong and John Wink, who led the field home with a well-deserved victory and runners up spot.

John Wink & Neil Shanks on their way to second overall in their Hyundai R5.

Despite being the first event of the season, there was little time for the high quality entry of 101 cars to ease themselves into the notoriously fast event. It was maximum attack from all from the start. Local driver Scott MacBeth initially took the lead in a Fiesta R5, a position he held until an unfortunate accident deprived him of what would have been his first Snowman victory.

Carbon Positive Motorsport ambassador and 2022 Mull Rally winner Paul Mackinnon made a rare appearance in the woods, only to be disappointed by an engine failure on the first stage.

The rally was a first for Carbon Positive Motorsport event ambassadors Brett McKenzie and Barry Young. Having not met in person till the day before the event, and Brett’s first time out in his newly acquired Mitsubishi Evo 8, it was going to be a steep learning curve for the pairing.

A cautions and steady start on the first 6 mile stage just south of Beauly saw them 65th fastest overall. On stage 2 they adopted a similar approach on the slippery and wet conditions but made good progress through the field to 46th. As they got used to each other and the car they managed to progress well, up to 26th overall and 2nd in class.

With only a few seconds to make up to 1st in class on the final stage it seemed possible that a class win could be on the cards. As they progressed through the stage a suspected puncture and a small slide into a ditch cost them too much time to make any further advances and they ended up 27th overall and 2nd in class. A great result, considering the challenges faced by the crew, showing that Brett has the capability of becoming a top class contender in the future.

Event ambassadors Brett McKenzie and Barry Young on their way to 27th overall.
Photo Credit : Michael McFaul.

The event was not only fast, but was one of attrition, with over 40 retirements – many falling foul of the bridges and ditches that can catch out drivers so easily at speed. Heading into the final stage, only seconds separated Jock Armstrong and Hannah McKillop from John Wink and Neil Shanks.

At the finish line the leading order remained unchanged, netting Jock Armstrong another Snowman Rally victory against much more modern machinery, and the season opener once again highlights how competitive the KNC Groundworks Scottish Rally Championship is going to be this year.

Crowd favourite Allan MacKay and Fiona Moir drove his famous Anglia WRC as course car, which together with the organisers vehicles were all carbon offsetting on the event day.

By using Carbon Positive Motorsport's end-to-end Carbon Offsetting event package and a local woodland carbon code certified carbon offsetting project, the event was able to communicate credibly and legitimately its offsetting of a minimum of 16,000kg CO2e in the future. Within this figure, the competitors opting to carbon offset their event day emissions offset 4,000Kg more carbon than was generated by their direct competition day running.

Having such high standards of certified project in place, allowed the organisers to widely and legitimately promote their environmental credentials to benefit the event's perception in the local community and for the event sponsors. The event itself received widespread and positive media coverage media coverage of the initiative on social media and on BBC Radio.

Speaking after the event, Paul Glass said: ‘’I was delighted to be joined by brand ambassador Michael MacPherson on our local event – I was trying hard to encourage him to give rallying a go, but for now I think he sees his success on the circuits, and will leave the woods for his cycling training!

‘’It was great to work once again partner with the Highland Car Club to support the event's positive perception, and to help with the next step of the rally's offsetting roadmap, using our unique end-to-end carbon offsetting event package and service.’’

Jock Armstrong celebrates his victory in his usual flamboyant and athletic style!

All photo credits, unless otherwise stated, Colin Smith

AM Phillip Trucktech Snowman Rally: Top 10 Results

1. Jock Armstong / Hannah MacKillop Subaru Impreza 43:46

2. John Wink / Neil Shanks Hyundai i20 R5 +9

3. Michael Binnie / Claire Mole Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX +15

4. Finlay Retson/ Paul Beaton Ford Fiesta Rally2 +25

5. Angus Lawrie / Paul Gribben Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX +1:06

6. Hugh Brunton / William Sturrock Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo +1:07

7. Stephen Petch / Michael Wilkinson Ford Fiesta Rally2 +1:29

8. Niall Devine / Liam McIntyre Ford Fiesta R5 +1:35

9. Donnie MacDonald / Andrew Falconer Ford Fiesta Rally2 +2:05

10. Scott Beattie / Wyn Peredur Davies Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII +2:18

More results at

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