Preparations continue apace right across the Scottish Borders ahead of the Jim Clark Rally which will take place on Friday 8th and Saturday 9th of November 2019.
The lights are burning bright in garages, lock-ups and sheds as local rally crews complete their final car preparation and rally paperwork. The organising team are equally busy finalising their plans for the closed road rally, with everything now in place and just the final route checks to be re-checked and confirmed.
For instance, the premises at St Boswells Mowers are often transformed at nights. Instead of lawn mowers and excavators being worked on in the evening’s, Ross Hunter’s rally car takes pride of place.
Ross financed his early days of rallying by offering a lawn mowing service at nights and weekends whilst at college which then expanded into a more or less full time job along with servicing mowers for customers. Since those days he and his father Iain have expanded the St Boswells Mowers business to encompass a full plant hire service offering everything from mowers to excavators with the latest addition to the service, a road surfacing and repair business. In other words, Ross is kept pretty busy which means his rallying has had to take a back seat of late.
But not the Jim Clark Rally. This is his local event and he is determined to be part of it. “Over the past couple of years I’ve been competing on a few closed road rallies in Belgium,” said Ross, “Such events are huge over there and the atmosphere is electric with thousands of fans watching the cars.”
Ross contested the recent Beatson’s Mull Rally but didn’t fare so well: “We knocked a wheel off the car in the middle of one of the stages,” said Ross, “so we didn’t finish, but Mull is a fantastic event. Just like the Jim Clark it is run over sections of closed public roads. These two are the only closed road rallies in Scotland at the present time.”
Ross has yet to win a major rally outright, but is realistic about his chances for local success: “I’m praying for rain,” he said, “I’m not kidding myself, my 2 litre Peugeot 205 can’t compete with the more modern all wheel drive machinery but in wet conditions I can get closer to them!”