Thursday, 12 April 2018

Hay returns to SRC sets his sights on class glory

Hay wants to win his class on the Speyside - Image: Lindsay Photo Sport

Simon Hay will make a welcome return to the ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship on round two of the series, the McDonald & Munro Speyside Stages, after missing the season opening Snowman Rally.
 

Hay and co-driver Calum Jaffray took the battle for the 2017 SRC Challengers right down to the final stage on the Galloway Hills Rally, only for an accident to peg them back to third in both the Challengers and the Class 10 championship standings.

Seventh overall on the Argyll Stages was the stand-out result of Hay’s season as he marched onto to ninth in the overall standings in his Mitsubishi Evo VI.

With Hay getting married later this year, he had planned to reduce his number of outings this year, but having missed the opening round in Inverness he can’t wait to get back out into the forests.

His current plan is just to contest the Speyside Stages and the Grampian Forest Rally, but he hasn’t ruled out contesting the rest of the SRC season.

“The Speyside is one of our favourite rallies to do,” said Hay.

“The stages are great to drive, the event is well organised and it’s not far for us to travel.

“Standing watching the action on the Snowman has given us itchy feet, particularly as we normally do well in icy conditions. It was a shame to see the Border Counties cancelled, particularly as it’s kind of forcing us into doing a whole season!

“We were trying to sit out enough so we couldn’t do the whole championship but with only one round dropped we could still be within a chance depending how the Speyside goes. We haven’t rallied in five months so it won’t be easy.”

Hay’s Evo has now started being rebuilt ahead of its assault in the Morayshire forests, with the Aberdeen driver clear about his aims for the event.

“We want to win our class,” Hay continued. “We will almost certainly be rusty given how long we’ve been away but we have to aim high.

“The car will be exactly the same as last year except we will be using old tyres to keep costs at an absolute minimum. We are really looking forward to it!”

With Hay now ineligible for the Challengers his aim is solely to top Class 9 and finish as high as possible overall.

Over 95 other crews will be joining Hay and Jaffray in Elgin on the 21st April for the McDonald & Munro Speyside Stages, an event truly unique to the SRC.

The rally begins with two runs through the Cooper Park spectator stage on tarmac, before the action heads into the Morayshire forests for over 40 miles of thrilling action.

 The 2018 ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship is partnered by Pirelli Motorsport, Reis Motorsport Insurance and KNC Groundworks Ltd.

The championship consists of seven forest events across Scotland, taking in over 300 competitive stage miles.

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Hay came mightily close to winning two pieces of silverware in 2017 - Image: Lindsay Photo Sport