Another driver burning the midnight oil is Max Redpath. Max runs the Kelso depot of Redpath Tyres, a family firm founded by his Grandad in Duns in 1974. They supply and fit tyres for just about everything from cars to trucks, vans to 4x4s, and from agricultural machinery to off-road earthmoving equipment. The job provides a huge variety of tasks every day, every week, every month of the year and Max fits his rallying around that.
“I suppose I caught the bug from my Dad, Graham,” said Max, “He used to rally a Mk1 Escort then a Mk2 before he got a Subaru. He competed regularly on Scottish rallies and was a regular on the Jim Clark Rally. I was still at school but went with the service crew who drove an American ambulance as support vehicle!”
“Ever since then I’ve been desperate to do the Jim Clark Rally,” he added, “I got my driving licence when I turned 17 and straight away applied for my Competition Licence. My first event was the Jack Frost Stages just over the Border and I finished 43rd overall and 10th in class in a Peugeot 205. I did two and half seasons with that car before buying a Subaru like my Dad’s.”
Since then Max has gone from success to success culminating most recently in winning the 2019 KNC Groundworks Scottish Rally Championship ‘Star Driver Award’ which includes a day’s tuition with Finnish rally star, Tapio Laukkanen.
Keeping it in the family is Max’s cousin, Callum Redpath, who also works for the family firm and co-drives for Max: “I think Callum might be interested in having a shot at rallying,” said Max, “although he enjoys co-driving, he is more involved in 4×4 events. He went to college and trained as a mechanic so he’s the ideal co-driver – if we break down in a stage, he can get out and fix it!”
But come the second weekend in November, rally fever will strike the Redpath family. Max and Callum and their fathers Graham and Neil have noticed an increased interest and awareness amongst their customers and neighbours of the rally’s return and they all reckon it will be good for business and good for the folk of the Scottish Borders.