Co-driver Chris back in rally action

Niall Cowan's MG3 rally car at the start of the RSAC Scottish Rally.
Niall Cowan's MG3 rally car at the start of the RSAC Scottish Rally.

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Fresh from an impressive performance at Kintyre’s Mach 1 Stages Rally a week before, Glenbarr’s Chris Wareham was back in rally action last weekend.

The co-driver took part in the 75th running of the RSAC Scottish Rally which took place in the forests of Eskdalemuir and Ae on Saturday July 24.

There was a full entry list of 140 cars including English, Welsh and Irish crews competing in the British Championship.

Chris was invited to co-drive in the British rallying debut of the MG3 rally car driven by Dumfries-based driver Niall Cowan.

Cars set off through the forests at one minute intervals, giving no time between cars for the heavy dust clouds to settle.

In the first two stages, Niall and Chris caught the car in front but couldn’t get close enough to pass as they met walls of dust on the corners which forced them to stop on one stage as they couldn’t see at all.

Heat was another issue as they were wearing three layers of flameproof overalls, a balaclava and crash helmet – usually suitable attire for a Scottish summer but with temperatures in the low 30s°C, it proved very uncomfortable.

The car was developed by Niall along with two other identical cars which he hopes, some day, will be the backbone of a one-make challenge.

The car ran faultlessly all day requiring very little servicing between stages and Niall and Chris ended the day in an impressive 74th place overall, with a trophy for second in class.

Chris told the Courier: ‘I last competed at this event 33 years ago in a Toyota so it was good to revisit the event and renew the battle with the ‘big boys’.’

It follows Chris’s success at the Mach 1 Stages Rally where he and driver Jonathan MacDonald finished in 17th place overall – the best result recorded by a local team – in a Peugeot 306 GTI.

They were not the only local competitors to do well – Robbie McTaggart, alongside co-driver Keith McTaggart, finished in 21st position overall just a week after collecting his car, a 1400 cc Citroën C2 GT which faired well against some machinery a lot faster.

Innes and Kirsty Mochrie from Lochgilphead also performed admirably, placing 26th overall and 1st in class in another 1400 cc, a Rover Metro GTI.