The pinnacle discipline in our club is stage rallying, it comes in two forms, a single venue like our own Charterhall Stages Rally and multi venue events such as the Jim Clark Memorial Rally which uses the best roads in our area and we are lucky enough to also attract the best teams and drivers in the country.
There is also the choice of competing on tarmac rallies or of course in the forests, some drivers love tarmac some love gravel but the bulk of our members will compete on both surfaces during the year at some point, what is the best surface? This is an ongoing debate all around the country!
Stage rallying is a great mix of good driving, good time keeping and good navigation. It requires a great partnership between driver and co driver to complete each stage as fast as possible whilst being mindful of getting the car to the end of the event with little or no damage. Up to 1hr per stage can be allowed on a single venue event to fettle the car between stages but as little as 20 minutes during a multi venue event where longer faster stages are found. In addition to this, the need to travel between stages on the open public roads puts even further emphasis on keeping the car in one piece.
The job of the co-driver in a rally car is very important. A co-driver responsible for the car being at the start line exactly on time, they will then guide the driver through the stage using pace notes or a map to help them get to the finish as fast as possible. Co-drivers are then responsible for navigating the car from the finish line to the service area which could be as much as 30 miles away and again have themselves there bang on time, it’s a job that gives huge satisfaction to the men and women doing this job but unfortunately it’s a job that does not get the credit it deserves from club level right up to the WRC.
Border Ecosse is also very proud to boast several female drivers as well as navigators who regularly compete in both single and multi venue events on tarmac and gravel throughout the year.
Most of us in life have a hero and we live in an era where we have been privileged to witness amazing record breaking performances in our sport. Ayrton Senna, Ari Vatenan, Michel Schumacer, Valinteno Rossi, Sebastian Loab to name but a few but so many people have been touched by the late great Colin McRae. Many people in our club were touched by his amazing driving skills.
So much so in fact that they are inspited to follow in his footsteps many of our club members have set out on a journey just like Colin’s from a young age possibly at an Autotest under the guidance of their parents through the years worked up through the ranks of autocross and navigational road rallying and possibly into Stage Rallying.
For many the lessons learned in each discipline stands them in good stead to move onwards and upwards as they follow their dreams, or in the footsteps of their hero.
Here at Border Ecosse we all have our own heroes and our own goals, whether it’s being fastest around 6 cones, fastest down 15 miles of Abbey St Bathans in the rain… and in the dark! Or marshalling at a local autocross meeting we all have the same passion for cars and motorsport and are ready to welcome many more people on their journey.