29 April, 2023
The McDonald and Munro Speyside Stages celebrated its 25th anniversary in style with a thrilling event.
The McDonald and Munro Speyside Stages brought rallying to the hearts of the local community in a thrilling event that celebrated its silver anniversary in style, with a combination of eleven stages run through the day and night.
The event is known for bringing rallying to the town centre of Elgin at Cooper Park, but this year the organisers went further than ever to bring rallying to the local community.
The rally begun with scrutineering in Elgin town centre before heading for its start in Fochabers. The town centre was packed as locals lined the streets to welcomed visitors and wished competitors well as they set off for two night time forest stages.
A beautiful evening awaited the hoards of spectators and competitors on the night time stages, as the cars light up the forests under the still clear sky, an unusual but welcome sight in rallying these days.
Meghan and John O’Kane enjoyed the night-time stages and went on to win their class with a spirited drive.
The warm weather during the day brought tricky conditions in the evening with dust clouds lingering in places to add to the challenge. Clerk of the course and regular co driver to John Wink, Neil Shanks messaged all competitors after the stages ‘’ Well? did you enjoy that?.. the answer was a resounding yes!.
Brett Mackenzie and Carbon Positive Motorsport ambassador Barry Young were leading their class at the end of the evening, only to have a rear diff failure on the start line of the first morning stage.
The morning brought a change in the event running order and saw overnight rally leaders Finlay Retson and Paul Beaton lead the competitors away on the short and Cooper Park stages, which were packed with spectators thrilled to see the cars dancing on the tight and twisty tarmac stage.
Carbon Positive Motorsport ambassador Jock Armstrong and Hannah McKillop continued their fine form taking 2nd place on the event, to maintain his lead in the K&N Groundworks Scottish Championship.
With 7 further stages giving competitors a non-stop day of action, servicing was located in the heart of Keith, giving spectators good access to see the cars up close and to see the enormous team effort that rallying is.
Carbon Positive Motorsport ambassador John Wink with Will Atkins also continued their podium success taking 3rd place.
David Henderson and Chris Lees competed with their carbon emissions being offset and finished 4th overall.
Peter Stewart and Harry Marchbank finished 15th overall, first in class and competed with their carbon emissions being offset.
Not only were some of the organiser’s vehicles spectacular, they also formed part of the event's carbon offsetting plan.
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 legitimately communicate their offsetting of a minimum of 20,000kg CO2e in the future. Within this figure, competitors opting to carbon offset their event day emissions will offset 5,000Kg more carbon than they created by taking part in the event.
Speaking after the event, Paul Glass said, ‘’It was great to work once again partner with 63 Car Club and be a small part of a memorable event. It was a great success, and a wonderful achievement to have over 60% of competitors helping the event to achieve the highest level of carbon offsetting of any KNC Groundworks Scottish Rally Championship event to date.’’
The McDonald & Munro Speyside Stages: Top 10 Results
1. Finlay Retson / Paul Beaton Ford Fiesta Rally2 50:40
2. Jock Armstrong / Hannah Davison Subaru Impreza STi N11 51:09 +29
3. John Wink / Will Atkins Hyundai i20 R5 51:14 +34
4. Michael Binnie / Claire Mole Ford Fiesta R5 51:15 +35
5. David Henderson / Chris Lees Ford Fiesta Rally2 51:42 +1:02
6. Hugh Brunton / Drew Sturrock Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo 51:50 +1:10
7. Mark McCulloch / Michael Hendry Proton Satria Evo S2000 51:54 +1:14
8. Scott Beattie / Peredur Wyn Davies Mitsubishi Evo VII 52:04 +1:24
9. Bruce McCombie / Michael Coutts Ford Fiesta Rally2 52:07 +1:27
10. Iain Wilson / Chris Williams Ford Fiesta Rally2 52:26 +1:46
Full results can be found at ewrc.com
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