Winter solstice update

The continuing uncertainty over Covid and its variations hasn’t stopped the Machars Car Club rally elves from beavering away in their lofts and reindeer barns. With fingers and toes crossed and glittering tinsel wrapped around their woolly hats, their plans to launch the first ever ‘Coast2Coast Rally’ in May next year (2022) are still well underway.

Based in Stranraer in the south west of Scotland and supported by local businesses Donnan Construction Ltd and SVM Port Services this will be a brand new event. Unlike forest based rallies, the ‘Coast 2 Coast’ will compete over stretches of public roads which have been closed for a few hours for the passage of the rally, much like some of the bigger cycling events.

This type of event is commonplace in Eire and Northern Ireland as well as the Isle of Man, but the first closed public road rally on ‘mainland’ Britain was the hugely successful Mull Rally, on the Isle of Mull, in 1990. That was followed by a similar format event in Berwickshire, the Jim Clark Memorial Rally. The success of these events has led to more such events, including one in Argyll which ran for the first time last year and others in England and Wales.

Machars Car Club’s event was originally scheduled to run two years ago but the arrival of Covid on our shores scuppered their plans, and the rally has twice been postponed. Third time lucky?

Over the past two years the work hasn’t stopped and the organisers now have a number of possible variations of their proposed route based on utilising up to four separate Special Stages, with the possibility of each being able to be run twice during the day. Reconnaisance has been ongoing during the relaxation of Lockdown and various approvals have been sought with the aid of Dumfries & Galloway Council, Roads Department, local community councils, Stranraer Development Trust and Police Scotland.

On a more encouraging note, the organisers received an invitation from the 2022 North of England Tarmacadam Championship to make the Coast2Coast a counter in their 13 round regional championship. Having originally intended to run the inaugural event as a non-championship affair, to iron out any organisational issues, the committee were delighted to accept this invitation and duly applied. This inclusion at this early stage has provided a major boost to the hopes and aspirations of the Machars CC team.

On that basis the elves and their leaders would like to wish one and all a happy, healthy and safe Christmas and a ‘rally guid New Year’ – covid permitting!

So keep the date clear in your diaries for the weekend of 6th/7th May – the rally cars are coming. Fingers crossed.

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