Competitors in two-wheel drive cars will be able to take advantage of some of the best road conditions possible at this year’s Dunoon Presents Argyll Rally as organisers have confirmed they will run at the front of the field on 23rd June.
The event will be the first in the UK to run all two-wheel drive cars at the head of the pack in a “single field” format in 2018.
The fourth round of the ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship has been granted permission to utilise the new ruling from the Motor Sports Association (MSA) early, which allows two-wheel drive competitors to run ahead of the more powerful four-wheel drive crews in a single field, with just a five-minute gap separating the two.
The change in regulation was due to be implemented on 1st July but organisers Mull Car Club have sought approval to be a trial event for the process.
During the last few years, events in the UK have had to adopt the “fastest first” seeding criteria which means competitors in sometimes underpowered, and potentially valuable Historic specification cars would need to run towards the back of the field.
With the soon to be introduced format, those competitors can now take advantage of smoother roads. A recent adaption of a similar structure been trialled on several events in the country, bringing many competitors back into the sport after a sabbatical.
The Dunoon based rally returned for the first time in 2017 after 13 years and this year’s event will not only see a change in running order but a change to the stages used. Eight tests will form the 45-mile route, taking in several classic forest tests such as Glenbranter and Beinn Lagan, similar to those used back in the 1970’s when it was part of the British Championship. They will be complemented by some brand new stages as part of the route.
The organising team have worked hard to bring competitors a low-cost event, with just 75 road miles linking the stages. With hand-picked, high-quality forest roads, coupled with the change in running order, Clerk of the Course Chris Woodcock believes the 2018 event could be one of the best yet.
“This is a real turning point for the event and Scottish, if not UK rallying as a whole and to be the first event to use this format in its entirety since the adoption of the fastest first rule is a real honour,” he says.
“But essentially this will mean many competitors will be able to sample these iconic stages in their prime and we are hoping to encourage crews from far and wide to Dunoon to contest the event. We haven’t forgotten about our four-wheel-drive contingent either and they will of course still get to compete in these fantastic forests. But we do recognise that allowing the two-wheel drive crews to run at the head of the field is an important factor for many and we would love to see both championship and non-championship competitors in the region at the end of the month”.
The rally is backed by Dunoon Presents and the local community, all of which make the event possible. It is a qualifying round of the ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship, the Ecosse Challenge, the SD34 MSG Stage Rally Championship, the ANWCC Stage Rally Championship, the SG Petch ANECCC Stage Rally Championship and the SD34 MSG Inter Club League.
Online entry is now available alongside event regulations on the website: www.argyllrally.co.uk
Image: Lindsay Photosport