Photo credit: Perfect Prints Hobart
With 4 weeks to go, the entries are now starting to roll in for the biggest and most prestigious motor rally in Scotland, and one of the most unique motor sporting events on the British mainland.
Over the weekend of May 31st to June 2nd, The Jim Clark Rally will provide the backdrop to some of the most exciting and spectacular rallying action in the country while the county of Berwickshire will set the ‘stage’ for the UK’s fastest drivers to show their mettle.
And not just from the UK, one of the first entries to be received by the organisers has come from ‘Down Under’. Australian rally team Adam Spence from Sydney and Erin Kelly from Brisbane have managed to satisfy a long held ambition to compete on a major event in the home of rallying.
Co-driver Erin Kelly said: “Rallying is a lot bigger and more popular in the UK so being part of something that’s so huge will be very exciting.” A point echoed by driver Adam Spence who added: “Like Erin said. Motorsport in general is much bigger in the UK than it is in Australia and we are looking forward to meeting some new friends that are involved in a sport that both Erin and I are so passionate about.”
“My biggest heroes in rallying are Colin McRae and Richard Burns,” said Adam, “So, to see how our driving style and what we are used to in terms of tarmac rallying translates to the UK excites me.” Erin added: “It will be an amazing experience and the atmosphere will be phenomenal so when Adam asked me to navigate for him on this event and I jumped at the chance.”
When asked why they chose the Jim Clark Rally specifically, Adam answered: “I have seen UK tarmac rallying on TV in Australia and all my adult life have dreamt of doing it and now we are. The Jim Clark seemed the obvious choice as the pinnacle of tarmac rallying the UK has to offer and we are absolutely beside ourselves with excitement getting ready for this event.”
The duo have concluded a deal with the Lancashire based specialist rally car preparation firm EuroRallye to hire a Honda Civic Type R for this event, which is not too dissimilar to the Renault Megane RS250 they campaign in the Australian Targa Championship at home.
But we will have to wait till after this weekend to see who their principal opposition will be. That’s because the opening round of this year’s MSA British Rally Championship takes place over the 4th and 5th of May in Carlisle. Most of top drivers won’t enter the Scottish round till they see if they and their cars have survived the notorious gravel ‘stages’ of Kielder Forest which straddles the Scottish/English border.
In other words, having survived the ‘green Hell’ of Kielder, these modern day charioteers will then be faced with the tortuous tarmac of Berwickshire.
Gentlemen - and Ladies - start your engines.
Rally Schedule (more detail will be released in the run-up to the rally):
Friday 31st May – Jim Clark Rally Starts 18.00 Hrs with 6 Special Stages
Saturday 1st June – Rally Re-Starts 08.00 Hrs, with 10 Special Stages
Sunday 2nd June – Jim Clark Reivers Rally starts 09.00 Hrs with 8 Special Stages