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Joe Norman / Terry Clark 
Mini Cooper S

Tim and Adam Walker TR7
also running in the International Autoecosse

Alan Mackay and Desmond Cannoway in Austin Maxi. Not many of these left

David Heirs and Maurice Millar in the Saab. Maurice would navigate the crew to the overall win.

Arrina – Shieldaig road

Full Results

Bealach Na Ba  - 1 and 2 June 2013
Report by Dave Spence

What do you do in a deserted car park at 1 a.m. on a Sunday morning on the outskirts of Fort William? – Start a rally of course, what else!

A total of 8 cars gathered at JJ’s café car park just north of Fort William to start the Regularity Rally, the Targa Bealach na Ba. Some had completed the “concentration runs”, 2 crews from Inverness and 3 crews from Stirling. The remainder started the event from Fort William itself, 2 of those being  brave souls who had already completed day one of the Autoecosse!

On Saturday morning there had been 12 entries, however late withdrawals from  Kulli/Cook in the Jaguar E Type, Sneddon/Dewart when their Marcos Mantary leaked fuel all over the place, Finlayson/Jamieson whose BMW fuel pump failed, and Meggat/Meggat who were suffering potential oil pressure failure (see Autoecosse story), crews reduced the actual starters to 8.

After the 2 a.m. start the crews faced the 90 mile “common route” from Fort William to Tornapress at the foot of the infamous Bealach na Ba or Pass of the Cattle. This road, to be tackled at 30 mph average, climbs from sea level to 2500 ft in the space of just 6 miles with 3 frightening hairpin bends at the top.

The regularity section started at 4 a.m. still in semi-dark so it was not going to be easy. The organisers had hidden an Intermediate Time Control just below the hairpins and a couple of code boards just for fun!  Time penalties were set at 1 per second late and 2 per second early, so amazingly one crew managed to complete the section with under 10 time penalties! (Heirs/Millar). Unfortunately the Forbes/Forsyth crew had issues with their tripmeter and somehow attempted the climb at 20mph instead of 30. They also managed to miss both code boards! Perhaps it had to do with fuses which gave them trouble earleir on the Autoecosse, when Ralph was spotted cleaning a few fuses by rubbing the contacts on the gravel!  The Mazda crew of McCurrach and Smith also missed a code board (1000 penalties) which unfortunately put them away down in the overall standings, since their time penalties were only 82 for the whole event. However they should take a bow for driving the whole event with the top down, shrugging off the couple of short showers on route.

After the rigours of the Bealach, the crews headed 20 miles north to the Arrina – Shieldaig regularity, an interesting fairly twisty and hilly section, as long as you avoided the red deer plaguing the road! This proved in comparison relatively easy with few cars racking up major penalty points.

From there it was a long transport section of nearly 50 miles to Achilty and the start of the 12 mile Achilty – Fairburn section. Again penalties were generally low with most having lateness penalties up to the Intermediate Control and earliness penalties after that.

A short road section of 12 miles led to the last regularity at Belladrum, a short blast of 3.5 miles with a secret intermediate control where cars were timed as they passed one of the junctions. This point was hit with very few penalties by most, but unfortunately the last part of the regularity was the undoing of the Rose/Shearer crew who, up to that point in contention for at least a class win if not the overall award, wrong slotted losing 64 penalties in the process.

A 7 mile run to the breakfast halt at Drumnadrochit completed the event, with all crews fairly tired but happy – all seemed to have enjoyed the event. Results were declared at 8.30 a.m. with Joe Norman/Terry Clark in the Mini running out as winner in Class T1 and Ron Adam and Duncan Massie taking the Class T2 award in the MGB GT. Tim and Adam Walker, who were also Autoecosse award winners took T3 in the TR7, and T4 went to Keith McCurrach and Ian Smith in the MX5. But the overall winner with only 64 penalty points was the Saab V4 of David Heirs and that man Maurice Millar taking his 2nd CCHMSC regularity event in a row! Must make them a bit tighter in future !!!!!!!

The organisers would like to give a huge thanks to all the marshals, mainly from Highland Car Club who came out in the middle of the night and to all the competitors (although small in numbers) who made the event a success.

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Updated 10 June 2013