Newsletter May, 2011

Firstly may I welcome Brian Gowans from Dalbeattie who has joined his brother Norman in our Association.
The newsletter this month seems to be all about veteran runs which I suppose is quite appropriate considering that’s what we are. A report on our own Highland Tour from 29th April to 2nd May will appear later. Needless-to-say this was a glorious success. What a marvellous weekend this turned out to be not a cloud to be seen for the full four days! Bob Baillie must have a friend in higher places!

The Argyll Run
The Caledonian Classic & Historic Motorsport Club (CC&HMCC) Argyll Run was held on Sunday 27 March. There were some really beautiful Classic cars to be seen before the off at Lomond Shores, Balloch. There were several V.S.M.A. members competing or officiating.  One, was the Clerk of the Course Jonathan Lord who flagged us off from a very cold, yet sunny, start.  Other members involved, included Graeme and Sandra Henderson (works replica Healey 3000), Brian and Marion Hopkins (Morgan 4/4), Donald and Trica MacDonald (Porsche 911 ), Hugh MacKinnon and Olly Ross (Aston Martin DB6), James Rae and Will Moffat (MGB V8) and of course Mairi and myself (MGB roadster).
The weather remained cold but sunny, showing off Argyllshire at its glorious best. The route took us through Glen Fruin, Arrochar, up to the Rest & Be Thankful where entrants were allowed to have a go at the Old Rest. Regrettably, the surface was really in a terrible state so there were to be no heroics! From there we motored down Hells Glen and on to Strachur, Ardentinny, across to Tighnabruaich via the famous Viewpoint, over to Otter Ferry and finally back via Strachur to finish at Arrochar. It was a great days’ motoring on marvellously quiet roads thoroughly enjoyable!  Graeme Henderson was an unfortunate casualty having to retire early and head home having damaged the Healey’s silencer on a cattle grid on the old Glen Fruin road.

The whole event brought back to me fond memories, as the route was almost identical to my very first rally with the Glasgow University Car Club, while I was a student at GU in the early 1950’s.

The Flying Scotsman Rally – 1st to 3rd April 2011
This was an event run by the Endurance Rally Association open to Veteran, Vintage and Pre-War Cars. The entry consisted of six Classes, divided by age ranging from Pre-1919 (only 3 cars had entered) up to Pre-1941, the latter group being subdivided by capacity, which ranged from 1495cc Aston Martins and Rileys up to an 7979cc Bentley!† Crews had come from all over the world including Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, USA, etc, and of course GB.† The 690-mile route lasted three days, avoiding motorways. The first day’s route started from Brooklands, the home of British motor racing since 1907,† took in Surrey, Hampshire, Berkshire, then headed north via the Cotswolds, the Welsh Marches to the first overnight halt in Cheshire.† The second day took in the Yorkshire Dales and the North Pennines ending at Carlisle for the second overnight halt. The last stretch took in Drumlanrig Castle, though the counties of Dumfries and Galloway, the forest of Ae, Glengap, Laurieston, Gatehouse of Fleet along the single track roads through Glentool Forest and past Loch Doon, reaching the Kames Motorsport Centre in the late Sunday afternoon to finish at the Dalmahoy Hotel on the outskirts of Edinburgh.†
Several of our members were involved with marshalling duties.† Stuart Turner reported that he had been marshalling a control in the Cotswolds.† Donald and Trish MacDonald ran a time control near Drumlanrig before going up to Kames, while Jonathan Lord ran the Control at Drumlanrig Castle.† David Barlow was out with 5 friends running a couple of timing points south of Cumnock while Ian Gemmell and others from East Ayrshire CC manned the final tests at the Kames Motorsport Centre, Muirkirk.† Others like Bill Barr were happy snapping the passing competitors en route. Throughout the route there had been many tests† and trials, the last of these being at Kames.† This was an obvious place to see these old cars in action and quite a number turned up to see how they looked and stood up after such a long drive.† We were not disappointed.† Over 80 had started from Brooklands and after the three days only 9 were forced to retire.† This was a quite remarkable feat considering their age and the length and terrain of the route they had to cope with -† amazingly the three pre-1919 were included in the 75 finishers. Following the final test at Kames, the competitors would be glad to be driving the Lang Wang en route to the finish at the Dalmahoy Hotel, Edinburgh.

Forthcoming events

The International Auto Ecosse & Motorsport Event – This is another Veteran occasion being run by the Caledonian Classic & Historic Motor Sport Club† on 4th and 5th June which you might be interested in spectating or even entering.† This is the second tour being run in conjunction with Club Triumph using the rally roads of the 50’s and 60’s. It starts at Gretna on Saturday 4th June and finishes on Sunday 5th in the Isle of Bute having had an overnight in Balloch. On Saturday the cars can be seen at the East Ayrshire’s Kames circuit and at Forrestburn Hill Climb and the Rest and Be Thankful. The Hill Climbs and autotests are optional for competitors in the 400 miles route.† To date, there are 49 entrants including VSMA members, the Robertson brothers, Grainger and David competing in their 1969 Mini Cooper S.† I’m sure these two will certainly not be hanging around! They can be seen at Kames on the Saturday at around 1.0pm.

Knockhill Classic Speedfair, Sunday 31st July

As I mentioned in the February Newsletter, VSMA will again be at this event, having missed out last year. Timetable of events has still to be finalised but the action will be from around 9.30am. We can be found in the Media Centre from 10 am so please drop in for a chat, a seat and a non-alcoholic refreshment. We have been again allocated a parking area for our members in the gravel area (on the left as you drive towards the top gate, beside the Kart Centre). I have enclosed a site plan with a VIP Car Parking Notice.

Stuart Parker, 18th May 2011

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