Snowman Rally 2015
Brothers Carl and Rob Tuer, from Rock, headed up to Inverness for the first round of the Scottish Rally Championship in their MG ZR Super1600 rally car.
Last year, at the same event, they lead their class by 50 seconds going into the last stage, only to break a front track control arm which put them into a ditch 300metres from the end of the last stage.
As ever, the competition in the 1600 class was fierce, and nothing but a top performance would be enough to come out on top.
The conditions for the eight-mile first stage were appropriate for the name of the rally, with more than two-thirds of the distance covered in packed snow, which was polished to ice.
The pair avoided slipping off the road to set a very good time, but second in class.
This test would see the demise of one of their toughest opponents as they slid off and did a huge amount of damage to their car, but fortunately the crew were fine.
As the day warmed a little, the second stage was more muddy than icy, but still very difficult to drive on with the tyres filling up with mud, but they managed to close the gap for the class lead down to nine seconds.
It was then back to the Dingwall Service area where Peter Pringle, Jon Logan and Chris Johnson (all from Rennington and Rock) got a chance to check the car over and get it ready for the next loop of stages.
In the next stage, the pressure was on the class leader and he pushed too hard over a bumpy section, damaging his car. Running after them on the road allowed the Tuers to see them parked up and know some of the pressure was off. So a sensible run over these two stages – one of them more than 13 miles long – would see the MG emerge with a 37-second class lead.
So it was back to service again for a final check before the last stage and, as the year before, the crew were in exactly the same situation with only the rally to lose going into the last 10-mile stage.
Clipping a large rock mid-corner was the only major scare halfway through, but the MG made it safely out of the stage. Amazingly, the end result was a 50-second class lead, exactly where they had been last year before slipping off the road. So a delighted crew picked up their first class win of 2015.
The next event is the second round of the Scottish Rally Championship, the Border Counties Rally in the Tweed Valley, on March 21.