Beatson’s Building Supplies Mull Rally set for golden weekend
Mull Rally | Friday 11th October
They’re coming from Britain’s four corners. And further. And they’re coming to see history being made on next week’s Beatson’s Building Supplies Mull Rally.
For the first time under new Scottish parliamentary legislation, some of the world’s finest roads will be closed to allow 150 lucky crews to drive from Tobermory to Dervaig, from Calgary Bay to the banks of Loch Tuath. And lots more. Then, just before midnight Saturday, one final time from Aros Bridge back over the top to Tob.
Forget the last three long years without your favourite rally, focus on what’s coming. Focus on the battle, the fun and the fact that, 50 years ago, this whole thing started for the very first time.
The Beatson’s Building Supplies Mull Rally goes golden next week and what a way to do it, with the island’s biggest names and fastest drivers – including former winners John MacCrone, Paul MacKinnon, Calum Duffy and James MacGillivray – lining up to entertain a Mull full of fans.
Split, as usual, into three loops (Friday night, Saturday afternoon and Saturday evening), the event starts from Tobermory at 1900 on Friday October 11 and concludes with the winner being piped through the ceremonial finish in Ledaig car park on Sunday morning.
But the real action gets underway 24 hours earlier, on Thursday evening, with the traditional rally forum in the Aros Hall.
It’s here that proudest of Stoke-on-Trent-based Scotsmen Colin Clark will run the rule over what’s waiting and talk in detail (but not too much detail…) about the rally and the challenge ahead.
And what about that challenge? Why did the Beatson’s Building Supplies Mull Rally sell out in a record-breaking 53 minutes?
Nine-time winner Calum Duffy’s a good man to answer that.
“The rally is a massive part of island life,” said the man from Dervaig. “Since 2016, there’s been something missing on Mull in the autumn and nobody really realised how much we’d miss it until it wasn’t there.
“It sounds strange to almost talk about the rally like it’s a loved one you’re missing, but for the community, that’s kind of how it is. But now, since we’ve known the rally is definitely on, the emotions have been flooding back and as it gets closer and closer to the start, you can really feel that buzz is around.
“The cars are getting organised, the chat’s started. The island’s full of rally fever again.”
It’s for this reason Caledonian MacBrayne has put on extra ferries to and from Oban (don’t bother, they’re full). It’s for this reason every bed in every hotel room and every B&B the length and breadth of the second largest island in the inner Hebrides is full.
We’ve waited long enough, you’ve waited long enough and 2016 Beatson’s Building Supplies Mull Rally winners John MacCrone and Stuart Loudon have certainly waited long enough to defend their last victory.
It’s time. Time for MacCrone to fire fuel through the injectors of his Ford Escort Mk2 and get this party started.
Mull’s back. And the island’s full of rally fever again.