Scottish Rally 25-28 MAY 2001
Rally was based in Perth (again)
Friday 25/5/2001 - 50 miles as promised
- Met up with Richard Batty and Annette at 1600 and then Paul and Maureen Franks, Jim and Irene.....and Dave Wilson.
- Weather appalling - so much more sedate drive along country roads than hoped for.
- Tried out the Walkie Talkies with mixed results.
Everybody: "Hi, Karen, hearing you loud and clear"
DW: "Can you hear me Rich?"
RB: "No...I can only hear Chris"
RB: (screech, warble) "£j$o£!£$%"
CH: "....in English?"
DW (faintly): "Can you hear me Rich/Chris?"
CH: "Very faintly Dave....do these things only work on Birmingham frequencies?"
- Richard endears himself to the locals and Scottish FTO contingent by repeatedly asking for the England/Mexico score....
- Pleasant meal and drive back to Perth on fumes
- Fill up with Super-U in Perth....wait for it....67.8 litres; £59.91!!
- Things can only get better....
- p.s. Where is Joe Patane?
Saturday 26/5/2001 - 130 miles
- Car looking slightly dirty after last night!!
then, ten minutes later, after reversing out of garage as I'd done hundreds of times before......
- Mirror looking totally f**ked!! :((
- Met up with fresh attendees Sudhanva and Seema with their Passion Red FTO
- Then a quick blast down to Fife Mitsubishi (nearest RalliArt dealer) for a nosey at the receptionists (er....I mean Makinen EVO VI and Galant VR4!)
Salesman seems bemused that DW is licking the sump of the EVO....
Paul shows interest in the VR4s chrome Tip gate; salesman shows interest in Paul's interest in the VR4s chrome Tip gate!
- Spirited drive from Cupar to Tay Bridge Car Park (Dundonians will recall this is the first glimpse of blue sky this year....or indeed the last 5 years)
- Blast across Tay Bridge which has a major decision point at the end - split up here and we're f&$ked.
Things not helped by presence of a black Alfa 156 with Hiro-esque (tsk!) spoiler ahead of me....we survive
- Fast drive from Dundee towards Montrose on 'B' roads then 'A' roads for the final stretch.
As we crest a rise to a crossroads I show my usual respect (seriously!!) for the "No Go" hatch markings around those "virtual refuges" you get at major junctions.
Just as well because, as we pass our hatch marks and I start to pull into the refuge, Arnie and Chuck Norris tonk over the brow of the hill in their Hummer - using the hatch marks and refuges as an overtaking lane!
I dab and steer left, glance in mirror and see DW doing the same
If I'd nicked a bit off those hatch marks on the way into my refuge.....shudder!!
- Food stop at Sharkeys bar in Montrose.
Now I appreciate it's a bit far for most of you but if you're ever in Montrose.....
- Drive through Forfar to Glamis Castle (even though KB has recce'd the place - again - on the way up and found that the Foot'n'Mouth dips are still in place)
We're knackered. No way will most of us make it over them :((
Amazingly, Mark, a fellow owner from Glamis (birthplace of the Queen Mum by the way) appears and directs us to an alternative way in. Unfortunately this is no easier for us so, in time honoured fashion, we adjourn to the pub....in glorious sunshine.
- Agree that we'll try Scone Palace. Now whether you like it or not this place is pronounced "Skooon"...not "Scon" and not "Sc-own"...
At Scone we lose Sudhanva and Seema who, picking up FTO rally habits quickly, blast straight past the place.
The rest of us overtake a bus that's queueing at the Pay Booth and park up for free.
As if by magic, some peacocks appeared...
- Break up after some more sun-bathing and agree to meet up later in Patricks Wine Bar, Perth for pre-curry drinks.
A hen night is in - wahey!
"As one" the lads position themselves to best advantage and hope our ladies don't notice that we're talking to imaginary parrots perched on their shoulders...er...no chance
- Blisteringly good curry before (ahem) returning to Patricks where DW gets RB to pimp him a photo with the bride-to-be. She agrees
As I recall she looked better in the flesh....
- A few more beers to round the night off before DW insists that the lads must have a round of Morgans Spiced Rum....nobody can remember why...
- Bizarrely, he later texts me: "I have a hole in my underpants"
Sunday 27/5/2001 - 90 miles
- Blue skies with a few clouds.
- New attendees - Davy from Perth (Silver), "Funky Chris" (Black GR) and Kevin and Carol (White GPvR)
- Fast country drive up to Coupar Angus and towards Dundee.
Mixture of "fast open" and "challenging twisties" led to much smiling....
- Car park tales of derring do...
...before the EAMAYW Sunday Buffet Dinner - attendees, did I lie!?
DW and I (anybody else?) went back for "seconds".
No surprise there then
- A single doughnut in a multi-pack wrapper is found in the gents.
- 25 mile drive over moorland terrain to distillery
- Walkie Talkie discussion at pace over the moors:
DW: "Did anyone see that single doughnut in the gents!? Bizarre"
RB: "Yes, was it Chris's?
CH: "Ahem, there were 6 in the pack when I left....just before you went in"
KB: "Hello? Anyone.....?"
- Free tour of the smallest distillery in Scotland was well received....and many purchases made.
- Some Swedish bikers approach the cars as we walk away....DW's car: "Trinn borte fra bilen eller alarm skal skal lyde"
Cunning linguists will notice that DW's car has mistaken them for Norwegians :)))
- Funky Chris is awarded spot prize of HKS Tee and Key Ring for...er...being the only Scotsman left!
- Drive through Pitlochry using walkie-talkies to exchange "Points Kills" for doddery "Haggis'n'Kilts" seekers that are spewing off tour buses like lemmings
- Obscenely twisty back road (thank you Kevin!) down to Dunkeld where we stop for beer. I nearly reverse into a Micra on the main road and am glad there are three black FTOs to "lose" myself in.
- For various reasons a much lower number of people than anticipated attend the evening meal at our village pub
I wonder if it'll be a quiet night as a result....
I hadn't counted on the magical effects of the Welsh Whisky that we had drunk earlier when watching the taped Monaco GP.
After another wonderful meal, we manage to sound more foreign than the tableful of Germans behind us and start animated discussions about dialect and colloquialisms.
RB announces that it's still legal to shoot Scotsmen in Yorkshire so long as it's with a bow and arrow.
I respond - innocently, but with usual lack of tact and diplomacy - that I am "pretty damn good with a bow and arrow".
Subsequently, my coffee doesn't taste right....
- drunken pool tournament follows with me beating Richard "Hustler" Batty (for once)
and DW stealing a tricycle from the beer garden before belting round the pool table "at pace", twice. He pulls a wheelie before parking up, complaining of a slight steering imbalance....and continuing the game
- We adjourn to the house to watch more motor racing
- DW gets taxi to guest house and texts me:
"This taxi's going the wrong freaking way! Shit, he has a gun (arghhh)."
....which I pick up the next morning
Monday 28/5/2001 - 150 miles
- We go back to Fife Mitsubishi for our free MUTII checks
Oh the joys of FTOOC membership
When we plug it into my car the diagnostic report says "Dirty"
- Rumours of several other owners now fitting Hiro rear spoilers mean I rush my special additional aerofoil into pre-production tests
Copy that, ya buggers!!
prior to our drive towards Edinburgh
and Calder Car Company where we see many ususual sights
- Then we leave Funky Chris to meet KB for lunch under the Forth Rail bridge
- Blast up to Knockhill in p!ssing rain to do.....nothing. Just looked around.
- Wave goodbye to DW...
- A big thanks to all who turned up
- Please visit the following attendee's sites for great pics. and stories of this and other events....