Kirriemuir co-driver Craig Wallace enjoyed a superb run out with Craig McMiken in the Coltel Granite City Rally on Saturday.
They are using a Red Mitsubishi Evo 9 on selected rounds of the ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship this year and it performed well.
With this being Craig’s home event he was keen for a good result.
Craig said: “The Granite is one of the great Scottish Rallies, it is tough on car and crew. Saturday was a really great day weather wise for motorsport and with a maximum entry of 120 cars it was a great advert for Scottish Motorsport.”
Starting from Duthie Park in Aberdeen the event headed off to a string of stages in the Mearns, including, Fetteresso, Drumtochty and Glenfarquar.
“These are all fantastic stages, we started well and had a good first stage putting us into 15th O/A after Fetteresso, as always the service crew were there in case of emergencies but the car was in good order. Heading into Stage Two we were just as happy with our performance and maintained our position. Stage Three in Glenfarquar we had really settled in and comparing our times with our immediate peers could see that we had the potential to have a strong finish.”
Heading back to service in Aberdeen they were in the happy position to have no damage to the car but nonetheless the service crew would give it a thorough check and with a new set of tyres they were ready for Leg Two heading up to Durris and Swanley.
They pushed hard in Durris and emerged sitting in 11th overall which they were well pleased with, although as Craig explains there was a heart stopping moment for the service crew: “Just before we met up with them they had received a text message from an unknown number. It read Engine failure, out of event. It was not meant for them so it was lucky we arrived within seconds of the message or they may have been a tad disheartened.”
As they headed off into the final stage the game plan was to keep the same pace but take no risks. A finish is all important in this game.
“We were going well, but a glitch in the gearbox showed up with it jumping out of fourth, and in the Swanley stage that was an issue, we knew we were dropping time which was unfortunate but we had to ensure a finish. We probably dropped 30 seconds or so and that might have given us a top ten finish.”
Indeed they dropped at least one place to the gearbox fault, if not two but were happy to emerge from the final stage in 12th.
With a run back up to Aberdeen to the ceremonial finish in Duthie Park the ‘Two Craig’s’ were happy with their days work.
Craig concluded: “With my commitments in the British Asphalt Championship, and Craig McMiken obligations to his dairy farm we are only doing selected rounds of the Scottish Championship this year. This was only our third outing as a crew so we are very happy with this result and look to build on it for the future.
“Thanks to James McLaren the Bakers whose delicacies kept the service crew on form.”
Craig’s next event will be the Manx Rally, Isle Of Man in the Evo 9 of Jim Sharp on the MSA RIES Asphalt Championship.