Speyside Cold!

RSAC New Talent Scholar reflects on his 2017 visit to Elgin.

The second gravel rally so far but by no means easier than the Border Counties!

On the way up and while staying at the hotel the night before I caught a pretty bad cold which didn't make things any better, added it up and every Motorsport or driving event/ meeting I've done I've been ill. It's one record that I desperately want broken due to the fact you never get the most out yourself when struggling to balance concentration and hydration than when you're physically well.

The first two stages were a quick blast through Cooper Park in Elgin so I used them as practice to get back into it after a month out of the car. You can't win an event on stages like this, but you can lose it!

Once I got to the first gravel stages I noticed the car was handling extremely weird and never wanted to stay planted. This is good in some occasions but it was hard to stay straight at all! We later found out at first service that the pressure in the tyres were above 50psi. This made the contact patch extremely small and opened us up to the chance of having a puncture or even a blow out!

On the three middle stages after fixing the problems I was flying! The times instantly dropped and became competitive. Unfortunately, problems with pace notes started to appear, from the stages after first service my co-driver made some mistakes and we lost time. This was due to not being able to trust the notes, not being able to go flat out and having to ease off before every blind crest or turn just in case it was wrong which is one of the worst things to have while rallying.

The last three stages were familiar in that, just like the Border Counties,  it started to rain and churn up the ground. So even thinking of getting close to my competitors in other C2s was lost due to the starting position and drastic difference in road surface from front of field to the back. It became extremely slippy and hairpins just became corners were you could actually get stuck in the ground if taken too slow.

In the end it was a great laugh and I enjoyed it greatly even with the set backs  but it's made think about a lot of variables that factor into a rally weekend.

Pic: Garry Headridge