British Rally Championship: Galloway Hills Rally

18 September 2019

Single day rallies can be a bit of a nightmare. Everything has to be covered and that means you need an itinerary set to almost military precision.

Single day rallies can be a bit of a nightmare. Long days have the added complexity from the logistics of making the most of the scenarios presented throughout the day.

From ceremonial starts to remote services – everything has to be covered and you need an itinerary set to military precision.

So, when does this prep work all start?

For this rally, I started about a week before compiling all the stage and running information and comparing it to my brief.

Picking the stages to visit on this rally was a huge task in itself! I’d never visited the challenging stages so I had to base my decisions on OS maps, StreetView and any video on-boards I could find from previous years. I quickly narrowed down a few locations per stage and started to put together an itinerary that could work.

I’d scheduled four stages capturing the first pass of SS1 and also SS2, SS5 and SS8 along with the remote service and ceremonial finish. A completely packed day starting at 6am and technically finishing at around 7pm…if things went to plan.

I decided all the stages to visit and typed up my plan, with clearly defined arrival and journey times. With the co-ordinates pre-programmed into the sat-nav I was ready to roll…

I arrived at the first stage of the day at 7:30 ready for the first run at 8:15. Having scrambled through the forest to find the perfect spot on my specified corner, I waited. And waited some more…and more.

I started to wonder if I’d perhaps gotten the day wrong as the start time had been and gone! Alas, having managed to move around enough to get a signal I found the first stage had been delayed by an hour…all the hard work of my itinerary had been undone in one fell swoop. I could use my initial plan as basis for timings but I’d just have to go with the flow.

At the end of the day I’d only managed 3 of my 4 planned stages but still got to the remote service and finish. All in all I was pleased that my planning had somewhat paid off. Things never quite go how you’d like but where’s the fun in that?

Photographed for Jakob Ebrey Photography