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 7
1 P MacKinnon/D Barritt (Subaru Impreza) 1h 11m 33s
2 C Duffy/I Duffy (Ford Escort MkII) 1h 11m 57s
3 J MacGillivray/I Frazer (Ford Escort MkII) 1h 15m 28s
4 W Bonniwell/K Rae (Subaru Impreza) 1h 15m 40s
5 J Cope/R Fagg (Subaru Impreza) 1h 15m 49s
6 D Harper/C Campbell (BMW MINI) 1h 15m 50s
7 K Hall/R Millener (Ford Fiesta) 1h 16m 16s
8 T Pye/K Riddick (Subaru Impreza) 1h 17m 02s
9 D Miller/A Bailey (Subaru Impreza) 1h 17m 55s
Who’d have thought it? Sunshine at Dervaig. It’s as pretty as a picture here on the 39th Tunnock’s Tour of Mull Rally with the sun sparkling on the shimmering surface of the River Bellart as it flows under the dainty Dervaig bridge. It wasn’t so pretty last night when Darren Meadows rolled his Escort into it! Fortunately, he and Jonny Bould were OK, but going no further.
Paul MacKinnon started the afternoon Leg the way he finished off Friday night, in record breaking form, taking 2 seconds out of the Calgary West record on his first run through. The 2nd run was aborted and has caused a delay due to another competitor going off and the car having to be removed by the Rescue crews. Paul looked remarkably calm and composed. “I’m just taking it steady, and happy just to take a couple of seconds out of Calum when I can.”
As for Calum, he’s slipping back. “I can’t keep tyres on this thing. I’m running the hardest I can get and it’s still all over the place. You can’t slide it or drift it, it just wants to keep going.” But if you think he’s given up, think again. “I’ll get that back tonight – when it’s cooler!” James MacGillivray says “We’re holding our own” but he was promising a big push tonight. Daniel Harper finished the last stage with a bad misfire “It crawled out on one cylinder. I switched it off and started it up and it was fine – it must be Cressey’s wiring!” Kris Hall is going as hard as the little Group N Fiesta will let him but is losing out to the big boys in daylight this afternoon “I’m happy with my times, but I can’t go any harder.” John Cope was looking slightly happier “I’ve softened it up more than I have before but it’s still a bit too skippity. It’s better, but not right. I’ve caught Hall, now I’m after Bonniwell.” As for Willie Bonniwell “The tyres are working better today, it’s all about confidence now. It’s either that or Kevin – he’s got a bigger stick today!”
For all you spectators out there, it sounds as though November the 5th is coming early to Mull this year.
And what about Pye and Riddick? This time it was a pheasant!
Paul Kirtley has retired. The exhaust manifold has blown in Calgary and the excessive underbonnet heat would damage the engine, so he’s called it quits, gone back to service and hopes to get it fixed to go for a run out tonight. It also looks as though Ian Colman has retired, the Nissan is off in Calgary and caused a delay in the stage.
Yer Auld Pal, Jaggy Bunnet – Saturday, 2.30 pm, Dervaig
P.S. Any of you service crews lost a battery impact gun? It’s been found. Call Gary on 07796 861440 to reclaim it.