Tyne-Tees members David Alexander in his BGT with son Matthew and Stewart Howson in his BGT (Black Beast!) took part in the first stage of the 2013 Monte Rally from Glasgow. Here is a report and pictures from David:
The Monte doesn’t seem to have the same the same following now that the modern WRC cars don’t drive
down from the four corners of Europe. The weekend after the WRC event finishes enthusiasts set off from Turin, Barcelona, Warsaw, Monte Carlo and of course Glasgow for the 2000 mile concentration runs making up the first part of the Rallye Monte Carlo Historique
Matthew and I missed the start of last year's event so were determined to take part in January. With my latest MGBGT ready for its first run since its refurbishment the entry fee of £29.00 was sent off to Douglas at the Caledonian Classic and Historic Motor Sport Club who organise the Glasgow start.
Friday the 25th saw heavy snow blanket much of the UK so it was with the sprit of the Monte we set off from Ellington at 0700 on the Saturday morning. The A1 was covered with snow all the way up to Berwick but thankfully the chains were not required. By the time we had reached Dunbar the snow had gone to be replaced with bright sunshine and freezing temperatures. Blanking off the grill provided a bit more warmth but an MGB’s heater is not the most efficient. The good weather after Dunbar had us lined up at the start at Peoples Park in Glasgow by 1045. Signing on was in the fantastic Winter Gardens where we got a set of Rally Plates and Numbers.
Over 15000 spectators came to support the eleven cars taking part in the main event along with another five who were doing the Eccosse to Monte. Along with another 60 cars including Tyne Tees Centre member Stewart Howson in his MGBGT Number 355 Matthew and I were doing the Heritage Run to the Borders.
This gave us an opportunity to go over the main Start Ramp and down the route of the main event.
Lining up for our start time of about 1450 we got a true feel for the excitement CC&HMSC have managed to build up around the event
Stewart Howson and Brad Hoy Car 355 lining up at the start:
Soon it was our turn for our 30 secs of fame as we were asked about the car before being flagged off by the Lord Provost of Glasgow. Jim Paterson the other leading light in CC&HMSC encouraged me to toot horn and wave to the thousands of spectators and we both enthusiastically complied with his request.
William White took this picture of us in Peoples Park:
We got a bit carried away with waving to the crowd and along with many others turned left instead of right out of Peoples Park.
We were soon back on route making our way through the middle of Glasgow to Blytheswood Square for the official start. The traffic in Glasgow was a bit challenging and the temperature gauge was soon well up toward the H even with the electric fan and heater fans going full bore. My blanking off of the radiator was a contributory factor but we survived.
The route took us out onto the M77 and then onto the A77 down towards Kilmarnock where we picked up the A76 towards Dumfries. The reception we all got was amazing as every bridge lay-by and most junctions were full of people cheering us on our way. I am sure that most thought we on our way to Monte Carlo.
By the time we got to the Auldgirth Inn near Dumfries the finish of our Run to the Borders there was snow on the ground and cars parked all over the place. We didn’t stay long as we still had 120 miles before we got home at 1930hrs.
Overall we did 350 miles in snow, rain bright sunshine and cannot wait until next year when we can do it all again.
A quick wash on Sunday morning had the car clean and none the worse for doing the Monte.