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Graeme Gallaoway's Anglia
Ian Dixon, on a mission - Saltire Rally 28 February
Story Ian Dixon (MGB/GT Car no 27)

The 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.

CCHMSC 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.

First 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.

We 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.

To 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 penalties.

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 and lunch.

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.

A 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.  

Updated  9 March 2016