top of page

Autosave Components Kinloss Stages 2024

Simon Jennings reports from last weekends Kinloss Stages rally - written by Simon for the 'Pacenotes' Club Magazine.


Autosave Components Kinloss Stages 2024

Simon Jennings and Greg Bates – Vauxhall Nova.


The Kinloss Stages on Saturday 23rd March was the 2nd round of the Scottish Tarmac Championship which we’re having a crack at this year. The rally is based up at Kinloss Army Barracks just outside Elgin in the Northeast of Scotland so it’s a long but very scenic drive to get there. The venue combines bits of airfield runway with a labyrinth of perimeter roads and offers stages of up to 12 miles in length without any splits or merges.


We were seeded at no. 26 out of the sixty-one starters. The day started with a downpour of rain a couple of hours before our due start time and as we had four pretty good used wets with us, we decided to put them on and perform a rain dance to level the odds.


As we queued for the first stage start the sun came out and the tarmac strip from the service area to the stage start was starting to look bone dry so we were getting worried about our tyre choice. Luckily about five minutes before our off time there was another shower so the surface was wet again.


The first stage was a bit of a blur to be honest, we caught our 30-second man about 3 miles into the 11 mile stage and kept the ‘pedal to the metal’ through the puddles! Another few minutes and we caught our one-minute man and about a mile before the end we caught our 2-minute man! At the end of the stage when the results came in we were sitting 7th overall with 6 4WD cars in front of us and another 2 just behind us, the next fastest 2wd car was 10th.


We maintained a decent pace hovering around the top ten for the next 3 stages (another 35 stage miles). As time was ticking on the organisers decided to cancel stage 6 so stage 5 would be our final stage with a start time approaching 6pm. We had a look at the results before stage 5 and there were only 8 seconds between the top three cars in our class (we were now 2nd in class – sandwiched between a ‘Vauxhall Redtop’ powered BMW 325 and a tasty looking MK2 Escort driven by Bruce McCombie)


We’d run out of options for tyres so went out with the best of the wets on the front and a couple of almost bald tyres on the back. Halfway through the stage as we were taking a fast-sweeping left hander, the back end stepped out of shape and although I caught it there was a large and very heavy blue plastic drum full of water waiting for us! The rear drivers quarter hit the drum, the rear quarter window shattered, and the car spun the other way pushing the front passenger corner into another drum full of water! Crunch went the front passenger wing! Although we were a bit stunned, we probably only lost about 10 seconds before getting back up to speed.

It was a bit of a nail biter waiting for the results to come in at the end. That MK2 Escort had beaten us by 5 seconds on that last stage so we were now tying for 10th O/A and the 2nd in class award. Well, the good old fastest on the first stage rule kicked in giving us the final top ten position - Result!


Absolutely brilliant event and venue and well run by Condor Motorsport Club. Although it’s a very long drive it’s well worth the trip as it’s one of the best rally venues in the country.


Next round is the Jim Clark Reivers in May but first I need to find a ‘panel beating’ night class if anyone knows of one?


Simon Jennings Nova on the Kinloss Stages 2024

Recent Posts

See All

Report on The Shaw

The report of the Shaw as seen through the eyes of Neil Raven Whickham and Hadrian Shaw Targa 14th April 2024 Skids in the Woods The Pink Handbrake rally team headed up to the Otterburn ranges on Sund

Comments


bottom of page