On Sunday 11th June two teams from John Clark motor Group took part in the inaugural ecoRally Scotland, organised and run by the Scottish Motor Racing Club. Our teams represented our BMW and Volkswagen brands by entering in a BMW iX3 and Volkswagen ID.5 GTX in the first event of its kind in the UK.
The run started and ended at the beautiful 16th century Thirlestane Castle in Lauder and consisted of a road route of just over 100 miles through the stunning Scottish Borders. The teams were provided with details of the route at the beginning of the event with an emphasis placed on successful navigation across the route in order to report to specific checkpoint at a specified time. The route consisted of several “regularity sections” which saw the teams scored in their ability to maintain an average speed.
Our Volkswagen ID.5 GTX, manned by Owen Ritchie and Russell Ritchie, came in third place and our BMW iX3, driven by Paul Howard and Mark Howard, came in fifth place. The winners of the ecoRally drove in a CUPRA Born for a faultless and consistent drive across the route with a winning margin of 33 seconds.
Steve Burns, event organiser and Clerk of the Course said “This was a day of many firsts; the first rally event that the SMRC have ever organised in the 77 year history of the Club, the first time I’ve personally organised a road rally, the first event in the UK run to the FIA’s ecoRally Cup regulations, and the first foray into competitive motorsport for all of the entrants.” Burns continued “The idea for ecoRally Scotland came from our Club President Hugh McCaig and Honorary Member, Allan McNish and for the last few months we have been working closely with the FIA’s Electric & New Energy Championships Commission and Motorsport UK’s Competitions & Clubs Manager, Simon Fowler to bring the ecoRally concept to the UK”.
He added, “…as well as using volunteer marshals to man the time controls, we also utilised Sapphire Solutions RallyApp Live software to digitally track the competitors via GPS and ensure that timing was recorded to an accuracy of 1-second. This technology allowed us to monitor the progress of the rally whilst only requiring a small number of volunteer officials and with minimal impact on the local area, a fitting use of modern technology for this modern event.”
ecoRally Scotland intends to return in 2024.