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Marieanne Gray 2009 season
Just over a year ago the idea of rally co-driving
was nothing more than a pipe dream. Fast forward to
today and Ive now completed my first season,
collected a handful of awards, picked up a few
bumps and bruises along the way, had highs and lows
and accumulated many life long friends.
During my first season I have travelled over
5100 miles and thats before Id even set
foot inside a rally car! Competed in 9 rallies at
both sides of the border, which have been on tarmac
and gravel. Had 5 different drivers and been in a
Vauxhall Astra, VW Polo estate, Peugeot 106,
Citroen AX, Peugeot 205 and a Ford Fiesta ST.
I spent most of the season competing in the
Scottish Tarmac Rally Championship but as it was my
first season and I didnt have a regular
driver it meant that I missed out on a few of the
Championship rounds which was a bit of a shame as I
was sitting third in the Championship standings at
one point. As it was my first year it also meant
that I was more interested in gaining knowledge and
experience in the co-driving seat rather than
chasing for points and awards.
My first ever rally saw me not only getting a
finish but finishing 25th overall out of 90
something cars and 5th in class, pretty good going
for a rookie even if I do say so myself ha ha. From
there I went on to do a few more tarmac rallies but
the hunger for more fun and adventure was getting
to me. So I decided to give the gravel rallies a
My first gravel rally was the RSAC Scottish at
Dumfries, out in a VW Polo estate (yes, thats
a polo ESTATE!) Just when I thought rallying
couldnt get any better it did! I was totally
hooked on the gravel and loved every minute of it
even when we had a slight off into a ditch
but luckily managed to get back on track again and
even picked up an award for First in class!
From there I went back to the tarmac to take
part in a two day event which again was a success,
16th overall, 4th in class. I was on a high after
every rally and always chomping at the bit to get
to the next one.
That was until I took part in the Richard Burns
Memorial Rally, it was over two days on tarmac. The
first day went well but unfortunately the same
cant be said for the second day which ended
very quickly after loosing the back end on a corner
and going rear end first into a concrete post.
Oh well, that was my first crash done. Onwards
and upwards from now on right?
. Wrong! The
following rally went even worse. The second last
stage of the day saw us in a Peugeot 205 trying an
evil knievel move
we failed and landed in a
ditch with enough force for me to be left winded
and the foot rest as flat as a pancake!
Ok, two crashes in a row. I can live with that.
Onto the Colin McRae Forest Stages Rally. I was
really looking forward to it as it meant I got out
to play in the woods and gravel again. I really
wanted to do well and get at least a finish at the
McRae, more so than usual as its the annual
rally that my hero put his name too! My hopes for a
good run and finish ended very quickly! We rolled
on the second stage, game over!
As Im sure you can imagine I was now quite
down in the dumps, wondering what I was going to do
next rally-wise and if Id manage to get my
mojo back! Hopefully this was just a case of,
things happening in threes. Surely my
luck was about to change?
I couldnt have been more right! After a
phone call from one of the guys in my local motor
club I now had a seat sorted out for the final
tarmac rally of the season and it was back to
Crail, where it had all started for me back in
March this year. We had a great day, good rally and
a decent finish. 25th overall and 6th in class. By
the end of the day I was buzzing and had managed to
get my mojo back! The icing on the cake was the
good news I also received from the Motor club
secretary at the end of the event, I had more
awards to pick up!
Janet gave me the good news that Ill be
collecting not one but two awards at the
clubs annual awards ceremony. The first being
for, top lady in the club and the
second for top rally co-driver. That
has defiantly been the highlight of my season! I
was on a high on the journey home, and the surprise
bottle of champagne later that evening made it all
the more special.
Thanks to, Ray Cummings, Chuck Blair, Graeme
Sherry, Barry Cromack, Neil Coalter and everyone at
Aberdeen & District Motor Club, especially
Graham & Janet. And last but by no means least,
all of my friends and family. Cheers guys. xoxo
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