Ready to Rock!

Beatson’s Building Supplies Mull Rally is ready to rock!

  • The Beatson’s Building Supplies Mull Rally takes place for the 51st time this weekend [13 – 15 October]
  • New format sees the opening stages take place in daylight, before mammoth Saturday into Sunday legs
  • All competitors will offset their carbon emissions, totalling 70,000Kg CO2e
  • Two-time winners Daniel Harper and Chris Campbell lead the field in their MINI JCW WRC
  • Dervaig driver John MacCrone returns to top-flight machinery and gives an insight into the 2023 Mull Rally

It’s half a century not out for the Beatson’s Building Supplies Mull Rally, and as the iconic island motorsport weekend approaches, preparations are almost complete for the 51st edition which kicks off this Friday, ahead of three days of breathtaking closed-road action [13-15 October].

This year’s offering will see around 120 contenders assemble in Tobermory, ahead of 134 miles of some of the finest island roads in existence and the ultimate battle for the top spot and the honour of etching their names on the Mull Rally trophy.

The fight to lead the procession through Tobermory on Sunday afternoon is as unpredictable as ever with any one of the top-flight contenders capable of challenging for the win, offering fans and volunteers who have made the trip to Mull, as well as eager residents and townsfolk, a guaranteed spectacle.

Leading the field away will be two-time winners Daniel Harper and Chris Campbell in their MINI JCW WRC. Arguably Mull veterans, the pairing know exactly the ingredients required to win against the locals and the Lancashire driver will undoubtedly be up for the fight.

As will Dervaig driver and leading local hero John MacCrone, who means business with a return to top-flight Rally2 machinery and a Fiesta Rally2. Another double winner, MacCrone is eager to stand on the top step of the podium once again.

“I`m going out for a win, the trouble is, so is everyone else,” says MacCrone.

“Whether that will be the reality or not, we will find out. But we have got the right machinery and a top-class navigator in Dai Roberts so I will be giving it 100% on every single corner to try and make that possible but it won’t be easy.”

It won’t be easy at all when you look at the competition around him. Asphalt ace Neil Roskell pilots his Fiesta Rally2 with Andrew Roughead on the notes at the third seed, whilst Jonathan Mounsey and Richard Wardle also return in a similar example. It’s an all-Tobermory crew at five with Lewis Gallagher and Angus Williams’ Mitsubishi Evo IX.

An on-form James Ford brings his Citroen C3 Rally2 with Neil Shanks on the notes, whilst Tobermory driver Fergus Barlow steps into the latest spec car for the first time, nailing his flag to the mast for a maiden victory, brother Craig will co-drive and flies all the way from New Zealand to take up the other seat!

Picking a winner is a tough prospect says MacCrone.

“Daniel is on a big pace in the Mini and Neil Roskell is rallying at the sharp end of the National Asphalt championship and has put a lot of preparation into this year’s event. Throw in Lewis Gallagher, Jon Mounsey, James Ford and Fergus Barlow and we have our work cut out this year. To be honest, it’s such a hard rally to win, if you take victory on Mull, you have either been lucky or right at the top of your game.

“All of these guys will have the same idea as me, so we will need to be going hard to be in with a shout”.

Yes John, yes you will.

After Friday morning’s [October 13] shakedown at Duart Castle from 09:00, your prawn sandwich would have only just gone down before the Beatson’s Building Supplies Mull Rally gets underway from Tobermory at 14:30. The Ceremonial Start at Ledaig Car Park enjoys commentary and a Big Screen, as crews prepare to head out for two stages in daylight, followed by a service from Craignure to Salen just after 17:15, where crews will fit the light pods ahead of a further stage in darkness, before the overnight halt at Salen from 19:20.”

Saturday restarts in Tobermory at 09:20 with three stages repeated for the second leg of the event and over 53 competitive miles in store. The Duffy Skylining Mishnish Lochs double run also enjoys the now traditional big screen, beaming stage end reports and results to fans at the Isle of Mull Cheese Fanzone from 09:00. Salen will be a welcome sight from 12:45, marking a short respite ahead of leg three.

The third and final leg re-starts from Salen at 17:55, once again with commentary before the daunting night-time leg of over 63 miles and eight stages. Service is back in Craignure at 21:50 to split the evening up, with Electric Switchgear Services Achnadrish 1/2 hosting the Big Screen back at the Isle of Mull Cheese Fanzone throughout the night, starting just after 20:00.

The Ledaig Car Park in Tobermory will see the weary finishers cross the Ceremonial Finish Ramp from at 00:30 on Sunday morning. The traditional prize presentation takes place in Tobermory from 15:00. Full spectator information can be found in the event programme, available in various outlets across the island.

Island resident MacCrone thinks the new format could shake things up a bit.

“It’ll be an interesting year. The Friday afternoon start is obviously new and I think it will suit the guys that have had a bit more seat time this year than ourselves. The three or four guys around us have done a few rallies this year and the local knowledge aspect will be lessened starting in daylight. I think we need to be patient initially and feel our way into the car. Saturday night is a big leg and my thinking is if we can there or thereabouts starting the Saturday night leg, there is a lot of mileage that night to find time.

“Hopefully it’s a dry weekend not just for ourselves but the marshals and spectators. It’s nice to see the Mishnish Lochs stage running in its old format and maybe get a crack at the stage record if that’s the case. I’ve got a bet on with my pal that we will try for it if it’s dry, which should be a lot of fun!”

Fun it will be, but there is a serious side to the event, as it strives to mitigate its environmental impact. Thanks to a continued partnership with Carbon Positive Motorsport, the Mull Rally will see a significant uplift in its long-term ecological roadmap, by ensuring that all competitors in this year’s event will offset their carbon emissions.

It will offset more than 70,000Kg CO2e, which is more than most other stage rally events in the world, reinforcing its pledge to be one of the leading events for commitment to sustainability and longevity. This is coupled with several environmental champions who will help spread the positive message for change within the sport’s networks.

Clerk of the Course, Richard Crozier and his team have been planning this year’s event for over 12 months and is excited to finally see it come to fruition.

“It’s been a challenging few weeks with the weather and logistics but with true Scottish grit and determination, everyone has got stuck in and ensured we are on track to deliver yet another sensational Mull Rally that everyone has come to love.

“It’s a new format this year which changes the dynamics a little but it’s the same epic challenge it always was and we can’t wait to see everyone landing on the island to prepare for the weekend ahead. Our extended thanks must go to John Marshall of Beatson’s Building Supplies for his continued support of the rally and of course to all our partners who helped make the event happen.

“Now it’s our turn to deliver a Mull Rally to remember.”

2023 Tunnock’s Teacake Eating Contest

Tunnock’s have generously supplied lots of their delicious Teacakes for our annual Teacake eating contest, and MacGochans have again agreed to host the event at 2130 hrs. on Thursday 12th October.

The competition is for each competitor to eat as many Tunnock’s Teacakes as they can in four minutes, followed by a can of Barr’s Irn-Bru within a further minute.   Each competitor will have one ‘unwrapper’ who is allowed to unwrap one Teacake while waiting for the competitor to finish the previous biscuit.  Each competitor must agree to publicity photographs being taken, no matter how disgusting they look!  Both the competitor and the unwrapper must be over 18 years old and have a connection with the rally. Liking Tunnock’s Teacakes and Barr’s Irn-Bru would be an obvious advantage!

For a chance of entering, send the following details to no later than 2200 hrs. on Wednesday 11th October 2023.

Your name, your mobile number and your connection with the rally (Competitor, marshal, service crew, etc.) and stating that you are over 18 years of age.

The name of your ‘unwrapper’, their mobile number and connection with the rally and stating that they are over 18 years of age.

Failure to provide all the above is instant exclusion!

A ballot will be held if we receive more entries than can be accommodated, and successful competitors will be contacted by 1500 hrs. on Thursday afternoon. 

Successful entrants must be OUTSIDE the front door of MacGochans no later than 2115 hrs. on Thursday evening.  Any entrants not there by that time will be excluded and their place given to someone else.

Spectators and supporters are very welcome but they must not enter the competition area before 2130 hrs. because we need to set up the room with tables, chairs, Tunnock’s Teacakes and Barr’s Irn-Bru, and, if thought necessary, mops and buckets!

2023 Regulations

Supplementary regulations for the 2023 Beatson’s Building Supplies Mull Rally were released on 13th July, and can be downloaded from via the following link:


As always, our thanks to John & Ross Marshall of Beatson’s Building Supplies for sticking by the event and giving us their continued support, to everyone on the island for letting us use their roads and to all the support facilities and marshals who ensure that the sport can take place safely. Thanks also to Argyll & Bute Council and Police Scotland for their pro-active support in
helping us to organise the event. We are also grateful for the ongoing support of Event Scotland, which recognises the global reach of the Mull Rally.

Entries will open at 19:30 on Friday 4th August.

We look forward to welcoming you all to Mull over the weekend of 13th – 15th October, and to continuing the legacy that is rallying on this special island.

Mull Rally 2023 Q&A

Hi everyone. We’ve had a few very good questions over the initial info for this year’s Beatson’s Building Supplies Mull Rally – thank you for some very healthy engagement. We tried to answer as much as we could in Rally Guide 1, but some deserve a bit more detail. So your volunteer organising team, the majority of whom active or recent competitors, thought it best to put together a short Q&A, on some of the regular themes:-

* What’s the script with the Friday? And the Saturday night?

This year fundamentally is focussed around making the event more streamlined, easier to run, more financially sustainable going forward, and making some use of the opportunities available to us since 2019. As well as this, we wanted to go back to the heritage and history of the event, focus the event back on the Saturday night from which it originated, and also retain the sporting interest deeper into the event. In the event’s history, the Saturday day leg started out as a “prologue” appetiser ahead of the meat of the rally on the Saturday night, and this focusses back on those roots. This year’s is the longest Saturday night in 15+ years, at 63 stage miles, running 7pm to the wee hours – basically combining the two night legs. To balance the man hours of this for our volunteer marshals, we have to make compromises elsewhere, and that’s why the Friday leg is a bit shorter.

We’re also really conscious that we have to make the rally attractive to newcomers in an increasingly competitive market – but also sociable, ideally with lots of short stages and a chance to catch up with fellow competitors at stage arrivals, as well as a few more opportunities to showcase the beauty of the island in daylight. This led to the idea of a couple of short stages in daylight, to make things welcoming and inclusive for newcomers, focused on lower populace roads to minimise community impact, and from a sporting perspective, to reduce the chance of catching cars or of notional timings impacting things, and seed the field – driven by our recent experiences as competitors, and reflecting changes on other events. And then round out the leg with the return of an old favourite at night, Hill Road / Glen Aros, with the atmosphere at Smiddy Junction in Dervaig at a sociable hour. There’s scope to grow it for future years, including the potential return of Ardtun for example.

* Why is the overall stage mileage down from 148 to 133 miles?

As competitors we have sought to make the route more ‘no nonsense’, and cut down on the amount of times bits of road are used on different stages / note changes have to be carried across, and make things easier, more efficient and smarter for recce – allowing those of you who make a holiday of the event to spend more time enjoying the island, and those who are focused on a compact recce experience to make this more manageable. Feedback from our route note suppliers – OnThePaceNote and Scotmaps – on their initial recces in recent week, is that the route does just this – comments including “fair play great route, and relatively straight forward recce!”, which reassures us that it’s delivering what we hoped it would, and we hope competitors will find likewise.

This is our first pass of such a route concept, and there’s scope to grow it in future years. This year’s Mull Rally is still the longest and toughest annual stage rally in Great Britain & Northern Ireland, and we want to keep it that way.

* Why has the entry fee increased from £875 to £985?

Despite a full entry in 2022, we actually made a substantial financial loss. If there’s to be a rally in years to come, we can’t keep that up. After several years of holding our entry fee down low, getting the event’s finances on a sustainable footing is one of our top priorities. In line with the rest of the world, we’ve been faced with massive cost increases in the last year or two, including a doubling of some of our safety stakeholder costs, which has a near five-figure impact. After a thorough market analysis, we’ve ensured that event remains under £8/mile, which means Mull is still the best ‘bang for buck’ closed road rally in Great Britain & Northern Ireland this year. All of our numbers indicate the entry fee should be several hundred pounds higher, but we have been determined to keep the entry fee under £1,000 to ensure value – this simply would not be possible without the continued support from Beatson’s Building Supplies, EventScotland, Argyll & Bute Council and all our other valued partners.

* Why has The Long One been shortened, from 22mi to 16.5mi?

Two things mainly – fuel mileage, and more efficiency of our safety services. The 30-miler in 2022 proved to us that competitors should be OK on fuel, and we’ve also seen this with other events which have around 30-mile loops, but based on what other events have seen, we’re not comfortable to push this to around 40 miles. After last year, we were also very conscious that with some longer stages, including the 30-mile Very Long One and 14-mile long daytime stage, some competitors lost a chunk of mileage. Not only have we reserved some entries this year for competitors so affected, but we’ve tried to focus the event on more shorter stages, with plenty of re-route options, to try and maximise the chance of the whole field getting as many stages as possible. Again this is something we can look at rejigging and refining for 2024.

* Why no Tobermory on the Friday?

We’ve listened – though it’s a bit more road miles, the Friday start will be returning Tobermory, with the Saturday night start moving to Salen. After last year we’ve also listened and focused scrutineering entirely back on Tobermory this year.

* How will the Saturday Gruline service work?

The original intent was ~50 miles no service, for a real challenge, but competitor feedback was that for safety, in case the weather turns, it’s probably better to include a Tyre Fitting Zone or similar – that said, we would welcome feedback on the idea of the meaty Saturday day leg for future years. Gruline service was driven by 2022 and seeking to reduce service traffic up/down the Sound of Mull, and competitor feedback seeking a hark back to the management service days, which we can’t do under new-for-2023 rules from Motorsport UK. We’ve listened to your feedback on the challenges of this, and will be returning Saturday daytime service to the Tobermory area, for this year.

* Is there still time for the stages to be changed this year?

No. The road closures are subject to a lengthy legal process under the Motor Sport on Public Roads Scotland Regulations 2019, and have been through a public island community consultation process in December/January. The road closures have been applied for as of April – six months prior, as laid down by the law – so we’re pretty committed as this point.

* Is there scope for more competitor engagement/involvement in the design of the route?

Yep, this is something we can look at for 2024. We already take into consideration the post-event competitor feedback forms, as well as all the other variables we have sight of, every time we develop the following year’s route in November each year. Doing more than this is an extra level of admin that other events don’t go through, and it’s not something the event has undertaken in the past, all through the 2300 Club days to the present – including the adding of the daytime leg in the ‘70s, and the Friday night in the ‘80s. But given how special Mull is, it might be something worth looking at.

If you’ve made it this far… well done! Hopefully that all makes sense!

Regulations will be published on Wednesday 12th July on In the meantime, if there’s anything you need at all, please feel free to message the page, or contact the team on

Thank you!