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Galloway Hills Rally - Sunday 7th December 2003

This event was the first outing for the new Evo1, starting from Castle Douglas on a bright frosty morning. There were 146 cars entered on the event and five special stages to cover during the day.

The first stage didn't get off to a great start sliding off and clouting a banking about a mile and half into the rally. It didn't cost much time but did cause a lot of damage to the back of the car, bending the boot in, damaging the bumper and breaking some lights. The frosty conditions on the stage caused another couple of spins after that, although these ones didn't cause us to hit anything.

Stage 2 was going a bit better with the car handling well and Gordon able to push a bit harder. About three and a half miles from the end of the stage we caught the car in front who then refused to move over and managed to break the windscreen with stones getting thrown up from the wheels. We couldn't get past and lost a lot of time following it to the end.

We had a service halt next and Sam and Brian went to work beating the back end of the car into shape after the accident on stage 1. By the end of service the car was looking a bit better and we were able to continue.

Stage 3 was going really well with the car handling well and we were set for a good time. About a mile from the end we got another crew who had had an accident and were looking for medical assistance as they had a lot of cuts. We had to stop to find out what was wrong and then we had to make sure we got to the end of the stage in order to report the problem. All in all we lost around 50 seconds. The injured driver was taken to hospital but fortunately was released later in the day after being treated.

Another service halt followed and this time there wasn't much that needed to be done, so we then went off to stage 4. This was just a short stage at 4 and a half miles. We got a good clean run at this stage with no problems and were able to set 16th equal fastest time through the stage.

Stage 5 didn't last long as after about a mile we came across another accident. This one had happened several minutes before and other crews were on route to reporting it to the radio point. There was only one car behind us before the doctor got the message so with no medical cover on the stage we had to tour out slowly.

It was a good day in the new car even though we only got a clean run at one stage. Gordon learnt a lot about how the car handled and we're looking forward to next year to get it out again on the scottish championship.

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