24th-28th April 2023
Winners: Dick Baines/Harry Baines (Austin Cooper S)
Photograph: HERO-ERA/Will Broadbent
Date: 24th-28th April 2023
Clerk of the Course: Nick Reeves
Route: 915 Miles (26 Regularities, 9 Tests)
Start & Finish: Gleneagles
The 18th Scottish Malts took competitors on a five day clockwise loop of Scotland, starting and finishing at the Gleneagles Hotel.
The first morning included a visit to Loch Lomond Distillery, three regularities and three tests, the last two being on the famous Rest & Be Thankful Hill Climb. Lunch was taken at the Lock Fynn Hotel in Inveraray. The leader board was headed by the father and son pairing of Stephen Owens/Thomas Owens (Porsche 356B) who had been fastest in their class on all three tests. Having dropped just a single second on the regularities, they now had a five second lead over Dick Baines/Harry Baines (Austin Cooper S).
The Volvo Amazon 122S of Peter Holmes/Graham Clifton broke a clutch cable as they lined up for the start. They were provided with a replacement by the car seeded behind them, the Volvo Amazon of Ludovic Bois/Tristan de Viaris. The part was fitted by the Sweeps and Holmes/Clifton took the start on time.
Also in trouble at the off were Thomas Herrold/Marion Herrold, whose Porsche 356C had had a new engine fitted prior to the event, but it had developed an oil leak; this had to be fixed before they departed Gleneagles.
A third with gremlins was the Triumph TR4A of Tim Birkin/Ruth Birkin; ignition troubles meant that they had had a delayed start.
After Lunch, the afternoon consisted of run around the Mull of Kintyre, with the day's finish at Oban. The competition consisted of two regularities; the first of which had four timing points. Richard De Watts/Arati De Watts (MG B) put in the best performance over the long section, dropping just five seconds. This pushed them up to fifth place.
One second behind the De Watts MG were Baines/Baines; with Owens/Owens dropping 17 seconds, this moved the Mini crew into the Day End lead. Owens/Owens now shared second place with Graham Platts/Neil Ripley (Austin Healey 100M).
Chris Chapman/David Broome (BMW 323) were placed second on the leader table, but being in a post-1974 car, they weren't eligible for overall awards.
Day Two opened with two tests at Oban Airport. Between the first and second course cars arriving at the venue, road workers had dug up the main road outside the Airport entrance; even the Airport Manager hadn't been told. A quick re-route allowed the tests to go ahead.
The first test had a Le Mans Start format, where one crew member had to run 10 metres and get strapped into their car before charging down the runway. Platts/Ripley were fastest on this by three seconds.
Two regularities followed; these took the route to the Fort William lunch halt. Both Baines/Baines and Owens/Owens added five seconds to their total, leaving them seven seconds apart. Owens/Owens were now in a clear second place having pulled one second ahead of Platts/Ripley.
There then followed a run through the beautiful landscapes of Rannoch Moor and Glen Coe, before a run up the Great Glen to the day end finish at Inverness.
Second Place: Graham Platts/Neil Ripley (Austin Healey 100M)
Photograph: HERO-ERA/Will Broadbent
The Volvo PV544 of Mark Simpson/Liam Hammond didn't take part in this part of the competition; a broken alternator bracket and exhaust caused them to cut straight to Inverness, where they found a specialist who built them a new exhaust and fabricated a bracket, all to a very high standard.
Owens/Owens narrowed the gap to the leaders to four seconds during the afternoon, but remained in second place. Platts/Ripley had been on track for their best every day of rallying, when they were delayed just before the final timing point and dropped ten seconds. They were still in third at the end of the day, but were 11 seconds off the runner up spot.
Inverness was to be the Malts' base for two nights, this allowed Day Three to be a loop to the North. There were five regularities and three tests during the day. Two of the tests were at the Black Isle Showground, while the third used the Golspie Links Kart Track.
By the lunchtime halt at Dornoch, Owens/Owens were back in the lead. Both they and Baines/Baines had been fastest in their respective classes on the Black Isle tests, but a six second early penalty for Baines/Baines let Owens/Owens through.
Platts/Ripley had a poor morning and fell to fourth, behind Klaus Muller/Ilona Seewald (Triumph TR4), in the overall standings.
In difficulty was the Aston Martin DB 2/4 of Francisco Molinari/Hans Albrecht; they had inadvertently filled up with diesel, rather than petrol. The sweeps pumped out the foul mixture to get the car back on to the road.
There were two regularities in the afternoon, and the first of these was to have a decisive affect on the results. Owens/Owens were misled by the signage at a junction and lost over a minute at the following timing point. The Joker, which reduces a crew's largest lateness penalty to 15 seconds, ameliorated the error, but they still fell to third behind Baines/Baines and Muller/Seewald.
The first three days of the Malts had been blessed with fine, sunny weather, however Day 4 opened with heavy rain falling.
The route moved southward with a run into the Spey Valley, and its many distilleries, before moving via the Tomintoul to Cockbridge road, famous from winter weather reports, to the Day End finish at Pitlochry. There were no tests, but six regularities to contest and five distilleries to visit.
After four regs, crews arrived at the lunch halt at the magnificent Lonach Hall, with its vaulted ceiling. Baines/Baines had extended their lead to 19 seconds, while Owens/Owens had moved back to second place.
At the start of Day Four all 43 starters were still in the competition, however, at Tomintoul the Sunbeam Tiger of Jayne Wignall/Paul Wignall ground to a halt; a rubber grommet had disintegrated and caused a push rod to break. This was doubly unfortunate, as, with just one test remaining, Jayne had been leading the Test Pilot contest.
The first regularity of the afternoon started near Ballater and finished at the Royal Lochnagar Distillery, at Balmoral. John Evans/Tristan Judge (Alfa Romeo GT Zagato) were best on the section, part of the day when they put in the best performance of any crew, putting them in eleventh place overall at the Day End.
Third Place: Stephen Owens/Thomas Owens (Porsche 356B)
Photograph: HERO-ERA/Will Broadbent
At Pitlochry, Baines/Baines had extended their lead to 31 seconds. Despite the deficit, Stephen Owens was still confident that they stood a chance of taking victory. Platts/Ripley had moved back up to third place, as Muller/Seewald suffered a bad day. The German crew, along with many others, were fooled by a tricky farmyard section on the final regularity of the day, they fell to fourth.
There were five regularities and one test on the final day, these took crews back to Gleneagles for the Finish.
The two leading crews had contrasting fortunes on the morning sections. Baines/Baines put in the best performance of anyone and, by the Ballathie House lunch halt, had extended their lead to almost a minute. In contrast, Owens/Owens were held up by a slow moving local on a 24 mph average section. This cost them 24 seconds and dropped them to third place, behind Platts/Ripley.
There remained just a single 17 mile regularity, which had five timing points, and twisted its way along the Sidwall Hills.
With memories of their oil leak at the start behind them, Thomas Herrold/Marion Herrold put in the best performance here and came home to claim seventh overall and a Class 2 win.
One second behind the Porsche 356C crew were Dick Baines/Harry Baines, who came home to claim the event overall win with a victory margin of 58 seconds. Adding the Malts to the 2021 London-Lisboa win.
To their surprise Graham Platts/Neil Ripley finished in second place, their best result to date. They finished four seconds ahead of Stephen Owens/Thomas Owens.
Joel Wykeham/David Brown (Alfa Romeo GTV6) finished on the same total as Owens/Owens, but their car was too young to be included in the overall classification. They however were the clear winners of Class 5, and Wykeham also took the Test Pilot Award.
Another crew over the moon with their success were Richard De Watts/Arati De Watts, they finished in fourth and won Class 3. Arati was doubly amazed to find that she had finished second in the Clock Watchers table, finishing just behind the winner, Harry Baines.
- Overall Positions
- Award Winners
- Class Positions
- Team Competition
- Marques Competition
- Time Penalty Details
- Penalties Test 1/1
- Penalties Test 1/2
- Penalties Test 1/3
- Penalties Test 2/1
- Penalties Test 2/2
- Penalties Test 3/1
- Penalties Test 3/2
- Penalties Test 3/3
- Penalties Test 5/1
- Test Faults
- Best Regularity Performances
- Best Test Performances
- Top 40 Positions at Each Day End
- List of Starters