Croft chief marshal wins coveted Alexander Forbes MSA Marshal of the Year Award 2006 Bob Wright, chief marshal at the Croft Circuit, has been voted the winner of prized Alexander Forbes MSA Marshal of the Year Award 2006 by the UK’s governing body of motor sport, the Motor Sports Association. As a member of the Darlington & District Motor Club as well as the Mull Car Club, Wright’s sterling contributions at race, rally and rallycross meetings at Croft are renowned but, driven on by his enthusiasm for all forms of motor sport, he’s also active in many other competitive fields and far-flung regions throughout the country. The Wales Rally GB, Jim Clark Rally, Ulster Rally, HERO Malts, Tour of Mull and Manx Rally as well as race meetings at Oulton Park and Knockhill are just some of the nationwide events that regularly benefit from his wealth of marshalling and training experience. Additionally during 2006, he has also been a keen supporter of the Volunteers on Motorsport initiative, offering advice and wisdom to many prospective new marshals across all disciplines of the sport. Leeds based Wright first started marshalling nearly 35 years ago and today spends more than 100 days a year attending around 70 different events right across the country. “My first experience was on the 1972 RAC Rally at the Esholt’s Sewage Works in Bradford but it was during the early eighties that I really became hooked,” he recalls. “It was then that I realised just how much fun you could have in motor sport with a great crowd of people.” More recently Wright has been keen to reinvest his knowledge and experience to the benefit of hundreds and hundreds of newcomers to marshalling. “About ten or 12 years ago I joined the team that trains new marshals. I’d hate to put a finite figure on the number of people I’ve trained. Initially we did two or three days a year but more recently we’ve been doing anything up to a dozen training days,” he continues. Wright will collect the prestigious Alexander Forbes MSA Marshal of the Year Award trophy – as well as a cheque for £250 – at the MSA’s annual Night of Champions ceremony held in London during January. The ceremony is attended each year by some of the most famous names in British motor sport. “Winning this award really hasn’t sunk in yet,” admits Wright. “I’ve put a lot of time and effort into all forms of motor sport but it’s still a terrific honour to be recognised by mypeers.” Allan Dean-Lewis, Head of External Affairs at the Motor Sports Association comments: “Wright is unique character, well known and liked throughout the UK. He has played a major role in the on-going success of Croft but he has an amazing habit of making notable contributions in the most unexpected places. There can surely be no more deserving person for this award.” The hard-working efforts of two further marshals also have been recognised by the MSA via the presentation of Highly Commended certificates. Paul Harris was singled out for his hard work promoting recruitment drives within the British Motorsport Marshals Club in the South Midlands while Liam Carton was acknowledged for his exceptional contributions to marshalling in Northern Ireland. Release MSA06-059: 10 November 2006.
Provisional Leaderboard after SS12 (of 19)
1. James MacGillivray/Ian Fraser (Subaru Impreza) – 1Hr 24 Mins 29 Seconds
2. Eddie O’Donnell Jnr/Eddie O’Donnell Snr. (Ford Escort MkII) – 1h 26m 04s
3. Denis Biggerstaff/Graham Thomson (Subaru Impreza WRC) – 1h 26m 05s
4. John Cope/Tony Cope (Subaru Impreza WRC) – 1h 26m 17s
5. Tony Bardy/Reg Smith (Nissan Sunny Gti-R) – 1h 26m 50s
6. Dave Hopwood/Paul Grattidge (Ford Escort RS) – 1h 27m 54s
7. John Swinscoe/Paula Swinscoe (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) – 1h 27m 56s
8. Pat Johnson/Graham Harper (Subaru Impreza) – 1h 28m 58s
9. Lyndon Barton/Johnny Vance (Subaru Impreza WRC) – 1h 29m 27s
10. George MacDonald/Ian Nichol – 1h 29m 46s
(( Please note, this leaderboard is VERY provisional, and covers only those timecards received at the time of printing – it could well change.))
MullMurmurs – Chapter 3
1 P MacKinnon/D Barritt (Subaru Impreza) 22m 35s
2 C Duffy/I Duffy (Ford Escort MkII) 23m 02s
3 D Harper/C Campbell (BMW MINI) 24m 01s
4 J MacGillivray/I Frazer (Ford Escort MkII) 24m 02s
5 J Cope/R Fagg (Subaru Impreza) 24m 16s
6 W Bonniwell/K Rae (Subaru Impreza) 24. 26s
7 T Pye/K Riddick (Subaru Impreza) 24m 37s
8 E O’Donnell/S Proud (Ford Escort MkII) 24m 44s
9 D Miller/A Bailey (Subaru Impreza) 24m 55s
10 Tugs Sherrington/S Bould (Mitsubishi Lancer) 25m 00s
The 39th Tunnock’s Tour of Mull is underway – with a vengeance. Top seed Neil MacKinnonn is out. The Subaru’s oil temperature soared on the first stage of the night and Neil pulled over till it cooled and then tried to carry on but was eventually forced to stop in the third stage and parked up. So it looks as though he’s out.
However, there is another MacKinnon setting the pace. Young Paul looks as though he’s had two fastest times out of 3 stages so far. But as for the rest, it’s business as usual. Callum Duffy had a big moment in Gribun, but he’s having trouble keeping tyres on the Exocet, it just wants to keep lighting them up! John Cope has had a “dreadful start to the rally – I don’t know whether it’s me or the car!” Paul Kirtley had a massive slide on the third stage to steady him up. He took it cautious on the first stage of the night – especially at the bit where he went off last year!
James MacGillivray is finding the rear end of the Escort too soft but hardened it up for the third test and that was better. Daniel Harper needs some fine tuning, the MINI rear wheels are grounding out on the arches.
Tony Bardy has been in 2WD mode since the first stage, it’s either a driveshaft or the centre diff but the Nissan is not a 4WD car at the moment. Wesley Patterson is finding the Scottish tarmac a bit of a handful: “that’s unreal out there!” Tristan Pye was off on the new tar in the first stage, but lost only about 15 seconds although co-driver Kirsty Riddick was more excited about seeing an otter crossing the road in front of them. She was really chuffed about that, that’s her first wild otter
sighting. Eddie O’Donnell is OK although John Swinscoe lost a turbo hose and lost power but is still going and Willie Bonniwell is behaving himself, although he still managed to have “a bit of a moment” on the new tar on the Hill Road.
Denis Biggerstaff and Dougi Hall both have slow times through the first stage but are still going.
So what’s it like out there? It’s dry, that’s the main thing, but the new tar laid down over recent weeks is proving to be very slippy. However, there is still standing water in places and its damp under the trees.
Please Note: In this and subsequent Bulletins, the times and positions shown are provisional pending confirmation from the organisers. These are field results gathered on the move.
Yer Auld Pal, Jaggy Bunnet – Friday, 10.30 pm, Loch Scridain.