|Ian Dixon, on a mission - Saltire Rally 28 February |Story Ian Dixon (MGB/GT Car no 27)
Saltire rally took place on Sunday 28th February 2016, starting at the
Bridge of Tilt hotel in Blair Atholl, Scrutineering and signing on
opened on Saturday evening in Pitlochry.
members Ian Dixon and Maurice Millar were up early to drive the 6 miles
up to Blair Atholl in glorious sunshine which set the
scene for the rest of the day. Unusual for the Saltire the sun was
the only problem this year, as wherever we turned the sun seemed to be
blinding us, but a nice complaint compared with the snow, sleet, rain
and frost of recent years.
As in previous years the format was 16 tests over the day with 4 regularities, 2 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon.
test was “ Salty “ held in the council yard at Blair
Atholl, a short run into the test with portacabins, loading bays, sheds
and salt hopers all vying to upset the flow of the drivers. 20 yards
further on after test 1 was the start of test 2, “Horsey”,
an open test with a drive around the council yard, workshops and a pile
of earth. So far so good and easing into rally mode for the new season.
left the council yard and drove into Atholl Estate for the first
regularity. 3, 2, 1 and off we drove, first section at 25 miles per
hour, then 20, and down to 15 and this is where it went horribly wrong.
As we came over a crest Maurice was heard to say “ I think we
have wrong slotted!” A quick stop and get our bearings and
re trace our tracks back to the last farm yard and back on track.
make up time I was pushing on and doing much much more than the 15 MPH
when we hit our next problem, concrete gully’s across the track
to let water run away without washing out the road. But the architect
had not allowed for water like the area had seen in December and
January, and the gully’s were sticking proud of the gravel, just
at the right height to do maximum damage to an un suspecting MGB
exhaust system! For the rest of the rally we sounded more like a
tractor than a quiet rally car. This deviation cost us 2.08 minutes
Test 3 “Bruce” was a quick blast down a
farm road, free 180 turn and back up, no problem. The rest of the
mornings tests were around Aberfeldy, Kenmore, Taymouth Castle area.
The second regularity covered Glen Quaich road, Kenmore, Loch Tay
to Fearnan, Fortingall, Coshieville and ending at Glenoulandie for test
7. From test 7 to Norrie’s Brae, a blast around the caravan site
The second half of the rally followed a similar
format with a second run around the caravan site and then a second trip
to tests no 3, 7, 6, and a revised test 5. Regularity 3 started under
the bridge on the A9 at Pitlochry and ran along the side of Loch Tay on
the South side of the loch, ending at Braes of Foss. Three more tests
and the final regularity saw us finish back at Blair Atholl.
total of 130 miles with many smiles per mile and a lot of relieved
faces at the end of the day. Not one of our best efforts but finished
10th overall and 6th in class. On the whole a good start to the new
season, and an enjoyable event very well run and gave us a chance to
catch up with old and some new friends.
My thanks to Maurice Millar who navigated once again for me.
Ian Dixon MGBGT car no 27.