We kicked off the 2020 motorsports season at Knockhill yesterday with the usual season opening event – the Grant Construction Knockhill Rally Stages. Despite the cold weather, a quality line-up arrived in Fife to tackle almost 40 stage miles in and around the confines of Knockhill Racing Circuit.
Pre-event favourites, John Marshall and Scott Crawford returned to Knockhill looking to secure their 3rd Grant Stages victory on the bounce. However, having dropped 51-seconds on the opening stage to Rally leaders after SS1 – Robert Marshall and Lewis MacDougall – the Skoda powered pairing knew they would have a fight on their hands.
Marshall & Crawford blazed their way through SS2 finishing the stage just 4-seconds behind the new Rally leaders of Kirkcaldy and Lees. Knockhill’s own, Steven Hay and co-pilot, SLS driver Francis Simpson rounded out SS2 in third place. SS3 brought even more joy to the Corsa pairing as they moved in to second place behind Kirkcaldy and Lees. However, there success was short-lived as a blown engine after SS4 would end their day.
By this point, it was a Kirkcaldy double at the head of the field, with Andrew chasing brother Alan in his Ford Escort Mk2, with Marshall and Crawford scaling the order to 4th ahead of the last four stages of the day. SS4 would also call a halt to Gamble and Matheson’s day with fuel and gearbox issues preventing them from concluding the day.
The Kirkcaldy and Lees pairing then went onto claim three further outright stage wins, tying the fourth with Donnie MacDonald and Andrew Falconer who had worked their way up the order to occupy 2nd place on the overall order by the end of the day. The Mk2 Escort of Kyle Adam and Steven Brown manoeuvred themselves into P3 with John Marshall, Andrew Kirkcaldy and Robert Marshall following behind.
So, it was Alan Kirkcaldy in his Fiesta R5 who claimed the 2020 Grant Stages Rally win by taking seven of the eight stage wins to take the title with an overall Margin of 2mins and 17 seconds. Hats off to all the crews and drivers for some excellent entertainment on a slippery and cold day at Knockhill.
It’s great to finally get the 2020 season underway following the winter break. We’ve got some terrific events coming up at Knockhill including the McRae Rally Challenge – the first time this event
has been run since the inaugural meeting back in 2015 (2-4 October). There are also a host of new events, including the return of the Motorsport UK sanctioned British Rallycross event in September.
It promises to be another classic season at Knockhill, and the best way to enjoy even more forms of motorsport in 2020 is by buying a Knockhill Season Pass. They are great value for money, fully transferable between family and friends and over the course of a season, they’ll save you a great deal of money if you are, or become, a regular visitor. And trust us, there are quite a few events of note in 2020 that you won’t want to miss.
Full Results from today’s Grant Stages Rally can be found via the ScotResults website. Look forward to seeing you all here throughout the 2020 season.