Additional Jim Clark Rally attractions

Local rally driver Gareth White (from Melrose) at work on his own car

Local rally driver Gareth White (from Melrose) at work on his own car

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A number of additional ‘treats’ are being planned for this month’s Jim Clark Rally which will be held over the weekend of the 30th May to 1st June in the Scottish Borders.

Ahead of the main rally event commencing at 7pm on Friday evening (30th May) in Duns Town Square, there will be a parade of veteran, vintage and classic cars running through the opening Special Stage.

These cars will follow the rally stage route from the Square, down North Street, on to South Street and back up to the Square before turning on to Murray Street and then on to Station Road. They won’t be travelling at ‘rally speed’ but they will still provide spectators with a visual, and an aural, treat while waiting for the rally cars.

The organisers are also hopeful of using a similar parade to fill in the gap between the first Special Stage and the fifth Special Stage, the second running of the Duns test, when the rally cars return at 9.20 pm. This however will be determined by the rally car schedule on the night.

And in a bid to welcome more folk to find out what goes on behind the scenes at a rally, the organisers are opening up the Springwood Park Showground in Kelso on Saturday (31st May) to spectators who will be welcome to visit the Rally Service Area.

This is where the competing cars return between stages for refettling and running repairs – and no doubt there will be some bent panels to straighten too! It’s an often overlooked fact, but behind every successful rally driver and co-driver is an equally dedicated and committed service back up team of mechanics, technicians - and panel beaters.

A number of additional displays are planned to make this more of a family day out with Pirelli Tyres bringing along its rally driving simulator experience. And if anyone in the family is tempted to take up the sport there will be a display by the Motor Sports Association’s ‘Go Motorsport’ campaign aimed squarely at providing information to those who might wish to find out more about what is involved in all forms of motor sport.

In a similar vein, Knockhill Motor racing Circuit will have a display promoting not just their wide range of driving experience days, but also their Scottish round of the British Touring Car Championship which will visit the Fife circuit on the 23/24 August. This will be a very special meeting, commemorating the 50th anniversary of Jim Clark winning the British Touring Car title way back in 1964, the first Scot to do so.

Speaking of the British Touring Car Championship, double BTCC winner John Cleland will be on hand to publicise his Institute of Advanced Motorists programme being run in conjunction with the Scottish Borders Council. This training programme for young drivers provides valuable advice and tuition to keep new and inexperienced drivers safe on British roads.

Other displays and attractions will include a variety of cars from the Vintage Sports Car Club and other organisations. Berwickshire’s most famous and successful rally driver and Rally Team Manager Andrew Cowan will also have his own original Hillman Imp rally car and a World Rally Championship title winning Mitsubishi Lancer on show.

Showground car parking will be £5 per car.

The above events are in addition to the main rally events (timetable published last week)

More detailed information on all of the above will be made available shortly.