Croft chief marshal wins coveted Alexander Forbes MSA Marshal of the Year Award 2006 Bob Wright, chief marshal at the Croft Circuit, has been voted the winner of prized Alexander Forbes MSA Marshal of the Year Award 2006 by the UK’s governing body of motor sport, the Motor Sports Association. As a member of the Darlington & District Motor Club as well as the Mull Car Club, Wright’s sterling contributions at race, rally and rallycross meetings at Croft are renowned but, driven on by his enthusiasm for all forms of motor sport, he’s also active in many other competitive fields and far-flung regions throughout the country. The Wales Rally GB, Jim Clark Rally, Ulster Rally, HERO Malts, Tour of Mull and Manx Rally as well as race meetings at Oulton Park and Knockhill are just some of the nationwide events that regularly benefit from his wealth of marshalling and training experience. Additionally during 2006, he has also been a keen supporter of the Volunteers on Motorsport initiative, offering advice and wisdom to many prospective new marshals across all disciplines of the sport. Leeds based Wright first started marshalling nearly 35 years ago and today spends more than 100 days a year attending around 70 different events right across the country. “My first experience was on the 1972 RAC Rally at the Esholt’s Sewage Works in Bradford but it was during the early eighties that I really became hooked,” he recalls. “It was then that I realised just how much fun you could have in motor sport with a great crowd of people.” More recently Wright has been keen to reinvest his knowledge and experience to the benefit of hundreds and hundreds of newcomers to marshalling. “About ten or 12 years ago I joined the team that trains new marshals. I’d hate to put a finite figure on the number of people I’ve trained. Initially we did two or three days a year but more recently we’ve been doing anything up to a dozen training days,” he continues. Wright will collect the prestigious Alexander Forbes MSA Marshal of the Year Award trophy – as well as a cheque for £250 – at the MSA’s annual Night of Champions ceremony held in London during January. The ceremony is attended each year by some of the most famous names in British motor sport. “Winning this award really hasn’t sunk in yet,” admits Wright. “I’ve put a lot of time and effort into all forms of motor sport but it’s still a terrific honour to be recognised by mypeers.” Allan Dean-Lewis, Head of External Affairs at the Motor Sports Association comments: “Wright is unique character, well known and liked throughout the UK. He has played a major role in the on-going success of Croft but he has an amazing habit of making notable contributions in the most unexpected places. There can surely be no more deserving person for this award.” The hard-working efforts of two further marshals also have been recognised by the MSA via the presentation of Highly Commended certificates. Paul Harris was singled out for his hard work promoting recruitment drives within the British Motorsport Marshals Club in the South Midlands while Liam Carton was acknowledged for his exceptional contributions to marshalling in Northern Ireland. Release MSA06-059: 10 November 2006.
MullMurmurs – Chapter 5
2 C Duffy/I Duffy (Ford Escort MkII) 50m 09s
3 D Harper/C Campbell (BMW MINI) 52m 36s
4 J MacGillivray/I Frazer (Ford Escort MkII) 52m 58s
5 J Cope/R Fagg (Subaru Impreza) 53m 04s
6 W Bonniwell/K Rae (Subaru Impreza) 53m 14s
7 T Pye/K Riddick (Subaru Impreza) 54m 00s
8 D Miller/A Bailey (Subaru Impreza) 54m 30s
9 P Kirtley/D jones (Subaru Impreza) 54m 32s
10 E O’Donnell/S Proud (Ford Escort MkII) 24m 44s
Some crews will go to bed happy and some disconsolate at the end of this first Leg of the 39th Tunnock’s Tour of Mull, but they’ll all go to bed well and truly kn*ck*r*d – and there’s still two Legs to go.
One man (or should that be ‘boy’?) who’ll go to bed happy is Paul MacKinnon. He leads Callum Duiffy by 21 seconds after the opening night tests. It hasn’t been plain sailing for either of them. Paul lost the power steering over the last two and he had to wrestle the Subaru round the bends while Callum found the drier conditions suited his tyres better but he’s got a trace of a misfire appearing at higher revs now.
And then it rained. A quick shower transformed the roads yet again. Paul Kirtley found the Subaru a real handful on slicks and Daniel Harper had a hard landing in Calgary which damaged a front corner suspension. James MacGillivray overshot the big hairpin at Dervaig and later clipped a rock but he thinks he got away with it and is ready for a “big push tomorrow”. Tony Bardy replaced the broken front driveshaft so the Nissan is now driving through 4 wheels again. Tristan Pye and Kirsty Riddick are continuing their ‘Nature Watch’ on this Tour, this time they saw a deer. It was stood right in middle of t’road transfixed, so they had to slow up till it bounded off. Dave Miller rounded off his first night’s work with “I’m still here, that’s good enough for me.” Doug Weir got a puncture in Calgary but it was near the finish so he didn’t need to stop and Denis Biggerstaff heaved a big sigh of relief at the finish. He had a big 6th gear tank slapper with full lock both ways a few times before he got it sorted. His earlier time loss on the 1st stage was due to two punctures. Denis doesn’t do things by half, eh? Billy Bird just looked relieved. The Astra’s not handling any better “I’m just a glutton for punishment,” he said. John Marshall had to stop and change a puncture in Gribun so that cost him over 3 minutes. Tommy Graham was quite expressive “I’ve never seen owt like it out there, I can’t get to grips at all.” Ian Chadwick had a puncture in the wee Peugeot, and it’s a new car but it’s getting better now. Neil Morgan went swimming at Dervaig when he went off, he’s got brake problems, but still going. And Paul Daniel was full of praise for young Kris Hall “he caught me in there like I was standing still, full credit to the lad, you’ve got to take your hat off to him.”
It looks as though Dougi Hall is out. He was spotted parked up facing the wrong way.
Yer Auld Pal, Jaggy Bunnet – Saturday, 2.00 am, Salen Hotel.
P.S. When Gerry Ralston, ‘mine host’ at the Salen Hotel brought in a tray of sandwiches for the already weary officials, he warmed the heart and the stomach of an Old Jaggy too. Never did a tomato and gammon sannie taste so good!