Welcome to the 2017 Beatson’s Building Supplies Mull Rally – the only closed public road stage rally in “mainland” Great Britain….. for now!
After the epic battle of 2016, where John MacCrone and Stuart Loudon (Ford Fiesta R5) held off Calum and Iain Duffy (Skoda Fabia S2500) to claim their second win by just 10 seconds, we are all looking forward to another brilliant rally for the 48th edition.
We are once again very grateful for the ongoing support and sponsorship by Beatson’s Building Supplies and the Marshall family. They have helped to raise the profile and professionalism of the event while still being fierce competitors. As ever, we are eternally thankful to the residents and businesses on Mull for letting us use the island roads, and for all the voluntary and commercial organisations and individuals (and there are hundreds) that assist in the smooth running of the rally.
This year, the theme is evolution rather than revolution. Some minor changes in route, classes, awards and organising team, have been made to enhance the rally, based partially on competitor feedback. After all, the competitors are key to the rally’s success.
Firstly the Route
Full details will be published in June once approvals are obtained, however we can say that the 2017 route should be very similar to 2016, with a couple of minor changes. It’s not really appropriate to communicate all the details until the consultations have taken place, but we expect to have:
- 150 stage miles (roughly the same as 2016)
- 180 road miles (a substantial reduction over 2016)
- A new stage, run twice
- A generally smoother rally, due to resurfacing work and route choice
- A representative shakedown stage on Friday morning.
Classes and Awards
In line with the Scottish Tarmack Rally Championship, we will introduce a new class for cars up to 1000cc capacity. We should soon be able to announce a sponsor and substantial prize for that class to encourage competitors to enter. Did you know that 45 years ago the Tour of Mull was won by a 998cc car?
The “big class” will be split into two, to reflect the increasing popularity of big-engined rear wheel drive cars:
- Class D – Over 2.0 litres Two Wheel Drive
- Class E – Over 2.0 litre Four Wheel Drive
We have previously agreed and launched the R.A.C.E. Escort Challenge, a specific trophy and valuable prize for crews in Rear Wheel Drive Ford Escorts, generously supported by Phil and Mick Squires of Rally and Competition Equipment. As a result of the handicap scoring, which levels the playing field a little for newcomers, we have heard rumours of all sorts of interesting and competitive crews thinking about coming to Mull for the first time.
As ever, the rally very much depends on the experience and dedication of the organising team for its smooth and safe running, and we are very pleased that Andy Jardine has agreed to stay on as Clerk of the Course. Due to his commitments with the Rally GB and BRC, Iain Campbell is stepping down as one of the Deputy Clerks of the Course. He leaves behind an amazing event which has enormously benefitted from his leadership in many, many ways – thanks Skunner!
His place is taken by retired competitor and Muileach Duncan Brown, who many of you might know from his role as one of the Competitor Liaison Officers in 2016. Duncan is leading the preparations and his contact details are elsewhere on this website.
Otherwise, we are very pleased that (in general) the team who have successfully staged the Mull Rally in 2016 and before are coming back for more.
We expect to follow this schedule, as previous years:
- Route Announcement – early June
- Regulations Published – early July
- Entries Open – Wednesday 2nd August at 7.30pm (online entry system)
- Entries Close – 21st September
- Rally Starts – 7pm, Friday 13th October in Tobermory
Plans are already being developed for 2018 and of course, the 50th running in 2019. We are hoping to put on something more challenging and spectacular, subject as always to MSA approval. So please watch this space!
Best Wishes, The 2017 Beatson’s Building Supplies Mull Rally Organising Team