Home hero Alister McRae, newly-crowned Scottish and British champions David Bogie and Keith Cronin and Intercontinental Rally Challenge Champion-elect, Finland’s Juho Hanninen, are among the latest big names to confirm entries for what is shaping up to be a star-studded RACMSA Rally of Scotland in two weeks’ time (15-17 October).
McRae, from Lanark and brother of the late Colin McRae, will spearhead the factory-supported Proton team’s effort – being joined by Irishman Cronin and young British talent Tom Cave in a trio of the Malaysian manufacturer’s Super 2000-specification Satria Neo models. Cronin captured a second straight British title only last weekend in Yorkshire. Meanwhile, it will be a rare outing for McRae in the IRC in 2010 as he has concentrated chiefly this year on winning the Asia-Pacific rally title.
Bogie, from Dumfries, will be eager to demonstrate to fans the pace that enabled him to achieve a second consecutive Scottish title earlier this month in his Group N ‘showroom’ specification Mitsubishi Lancer, while Hanninen’s entry – alongside British ace and last year’s Rally of Scotland winner Guy Wilks – means at least two factory Skoda Fabia S2000 Facelifts will be in action. Hanninen will arrive in Scotland virtually assured the prestigious Intercontinental Rally Challenge title following its latest round in Sanremo, Italy so will surely be looking to put on a ‘celebratory show’ for the crowds.
Other leading lights contesting Rally of Scotland include 2009 IRC Champion Kris Meeke – just confirmed to drive for the new official Mini team in next year’s World Rally Championship – and Aberdeen youngster Dave Weston Jnr who, prior to the Rally of Scotland, is in WRC action this very weekend in France.
The event is the penultimate round of the high-profile IRC calendar which has played to hundreds of thousands of public during its tour of the globe, from Monte Carlo to South America and back to mainland Europe. The Rally of Scotland gets under way with two dramatic floodlit runs on the Friday evening (15 Oct) through the grounds of Scone Palace before moving into the forests of Perthshire and Stirlingshire for some high-speed, action-packed competitive timed stages on the Saturday and Sunday. The winner will be crowned in a Ceremonial Finish at Stirling Castle on the Sunday afternoon.
Admission to all timed stages is free for children aged 15 and under, while adults can order their tickets in advance and have them posted to their home address prior to the event – removing the hassle of picking them up at a collection point. Adult tickets cost £10 to see the Ceremonial Start and opening two stages at Scone Palace (Fri 15 Oct) or £20 for a day pass which offers full access to all stages on either the Saturday or the Sunday. Alternatively a full-event ‘Alba Pass’ (in advance only) can also be purchased for £45. All tickets include a complimentary souvenir official spectator programme worth £6.50.