Snowman Rally // Inverness // February 21
Tricky conditions met crews on the first event of the 2015 Scottish Rally Championship at the Snowman Rally. This was the very first time that Fraser, and new co-driver, Craig Wallace would have sat in a car together so were unsure what to expect going into the first stage. Slippery conditions on the ice made it difficult for the early crew but any doubts were soon cleared after posting the equal 3rd fastest time overall. An overshoot and a stall at a junction on stage 2 lost them a little time and they dropped to 6th overall but were still fastest Class 10 runners. However, the remarkable rally so far came to an end on stage 3. On a loose and rough section near the start of the stage the Evo ran wide and clipped a bank. The contact was enough to remove the brake disc, caliper and suspension completely from the car - somehow the wheel remained attached but only long enough for the car to limp to a stop. So the Snowman ended in disappointment but the early pace was promising going into the rest of the season.
Border Counties Rally // Jedburgh // March 21
The Border Counties Rally was up next after the Evo had been repaired following the damage sustained at the Snowman. Conditions were good on the morning of the rally and Fraser and Craig started well, posting 11th fastest time on the opening stage and first in class. That set them up well for the long 12 mile second stage, only to find that it was cancelled due to safety concerns at the last minute. They lost time on the stages in the middle of the day struggling for grip after first service, so badly they thought they had a puncture at one point. Those stages hadn't been used in nearly 20 years and the grass and debrit on them was making things difficult which dropped them to 14th overall, but held the lead in the Class 10 battle. That placed them 10th overall of the SRC crews and they held that position over the final stage after service to take the class win. We do it all again in just over a month's time at the Granite City Rally in Aberdeen.
Granite City Rally // Aberdeen // May 2
Over 100 crews were in Aberdeen for the Scottish Rally Championship’s third round at the Granite City Rally. The event began with two special spectator stages around the grounds of the Aberdeen Conference Centre, going for no heroics around the short half mile course Fraser and Craig were in 45th place overall and third in Class 10. But the third stage was on more familiar conditions in the forests, where they picked up the pace to climb to 21st overall and second in class, just one second off the class leader.
They took the class lead by 4 seconds in stage 4, but lost a little time in stage 5 trying to avoid a large stone on the approach to a hairpin, causing them to overshoot the turn slightly. They continued their progress through stage 6 to lead the class by 18 seconds, climbing to 14th overall.
A top 10 finish was in sight, but at the end of stage seven the gap was 14 seconds to reach 10th place, a lot to make up in one stage. However, they decided to push in the final stage and clawed back 17 seconds on their rival to clinch and amazing 10th place overall, also taking the Class 10 and Group N victory.
An excellent result for the whole team and that also notched up a hat-trick at the Granite City for Fraser, taking class victories for the last three years in a row.
The next event in the Scottish Rally Championship is the Jim Clark Reivers Rally on May 31st.
Jim Clark Reivers Rally // Duns // May 31
The Jim Clark Reivers Rally was contested over five stages through the Kielder Forest in the Borders on May 31st, and was the fourth round of the Scottish Rally Championship.
A solid start to the rally saw them placed 10th overall after the first two stages, but trailed the Class 10 leader by five seconds. They aimed to make that time up in the next stages and eventually took the class lead by two seconds at the end of stage 4.
A long 12 mile stage was the final run of the day and with the times so close they had to push to maintain their lead. But they picked up a puncture after sliding wide on the gravel surface of a bend, just a mile from the end.
They started dropping time as the the flat tyre meant the Evo was struggling to turn into corners and their lead disappeared quickly. However, they managed to nurse the car to the finish and were able to hold onto 11th place overall and finished 2nd in the Class 10 category.
They also secured a good haul of championship points by finishing 8th overall of the Scottish Rally Championship registered crews. Fraser and Craig currently hold the Class 10 and Group N lead at the half way stage of the season.
The next event is Fraser’s home rally at the Scottish Rally in Dumfries on June 27th.