Irish eyes were smiling at Mach 1 Stages Rally

Lochgilphead's Innes Mochrie and Kirsty Mochrie steered their Rover Metro to a class win. Photograph: Gavin Brown.

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Report by John Fife and Chris Wareham

As crews from Scotland, England and Northern Ireland descended on
Machrihanish for the eighth running of the Mach 1 Stages Rally the clouds cleared and the sun dried the roadways which would provide 96 miles of competitive motoring over two days.

Leading the cars away for the opening leg was the 4 wheel drive VW Polo of Irish
crew Derek McGarrity and Graham Henderson who would set the benchmark
over the weekend.

Local interest was provided by Lochgilphead co-driver Ian Parker who, with driver  Greg Inglis, were seeded four in the nimble, quick Honda-powered Lotus Exige.

Further down the list was Lochgilphead father and daughter crew Innes and Kirsty Mochrie in their 1400 Metro, Kirsty having won the Scottish Tarmac Rally Championship Co-driver title in 2021.

The Subaru crew of Craig and Ross Callander, also from Lochgilphead, would have an event plagued with electrical gremlins but would persevere to finish the event 17th overall.

Another local connection was the Peugeot 205 of former Campbeltown rally driver Neil McAllister. He sold the car to Chris Johnson who lives near Manchester. He had heard so much about the rally that he made the long trip north and teamed up with Neil’s former co-driver Stephen Lang for the weekend. They finished 20th overall and third in class.

Former Campbeltown man, but now Lochgilphead, Craig Callander finished 17th overall with son Ross in his Subaru Impreza.

On Saturday evening, after the first day of rallying, it looked very much like a Northern Irish one, two, three at the top of the results sheets.

Things changed dramatically, however, on the first stage on Sunday morning. Michael McGarrity took a wrong turning and was penalised which dropped him from the runner-up position to sixth place overall. Greg Inglis from Montrose took over in second place till the next stage when his Lotus broke a driveshaft.

This allowed Draperstown’s John Bradley to grab second place ahead of Inverness father and daughter duo Andy and Karen Horne. Derek McGarrity and Graham Henderson maintained their pace to take top spot.

This was Derek’s second visit to the venue having competed last year, but he failed
to finish when his gearbox broke: ‘It was good to be back and finish the job,’ he said, ‘I
really like the stages here. This is a superb venue for a rally and the road trip getting here is worth half the craic in its own right.’

Best-placed local crew was Innes and Kirsty Mochrie. They finished 12th overall in their 1300cc Rover Metro beating many more powerful cars. They also won the class for up to 1.4 litre cars but as Innes said, with a glint in his eye: ‘I like beating bigger cars.’

First Scottish crew was Andy and Karen Horne in a Darrian T90 GTR taking the final
podium place.

The junior event saw Sam Pattison and Paul Whittaker take the win in their Skoda Citigo by 48 seconds from Kalum Graffin and Johnie Mackay making it a Skoda one, two.

Dunfermline Car Club officials and marshalls are again to be congratulated for organising another terrific Mach1 Stages Rally while organisers have promised to run the event again next year.

For more photographs see www.argyllshireadvertiser.co.uk

Photographs

NO_CC28_Mach1 2022 III-5: Lochgilphead’s Innes Mochrie and Kirsty Mochrie steered their Rover Metro to a class win. Photograph: Gavin Brown.

NO_CC28_Mach1 2022 IV: Chris Johnson paired up with Campbeltown’s Stephen Laing in the Peugeot 205. Photograph: Gavin Brown.

NO_CC28_Mach1 2022 IV-10: Craig Callander and Ross Callander from Lochgilphead were plagued with electrical gremlins. Photograph: Gavin Brown.

NO_CC28_Mach1 2022-4: Greg Inglis, Montrose, and Ian Parker, Lochgilphead,
in the Honda powered Lotus Exige. Photograph: Gavin Brown.

20_CC28_Mach1_35: Karen Horne, right, stepped onto the podium with dad Andy after coming third overall in the 2022 Mach 1 Stages and First Scottish car. She is pictured with sister Alison who was co driver for her Edinburgh-based partner Ben Macdowall.

20_CC28_Mach1_36: Andy Horne from Inverness was first Scottish driver in his Darrian T90 GTR.

20_CC28_Mach1_34: Tom Blackwood and Gordon Winning from Stewarton.

20_CC28_Mach1_10: Derek McGarrity and Graham Henderson in their VW Polo set the pace over the weekend. Photograph: Gavin Brown.

NO_CC28_Mach1 2022_Piper@JohnFife: Andrew Gray giving it a blaw at the start of racing. Photograph: John Fife.