Inaugural ecoRally Scotland hailed a success

On Sunday 11th June, the Scottish Motor Racing Club (SMRC) organised and ran the inaugural ecoRally Scotland in the Scottish Borders.

The first event of its kind in the UK, EcoRally Scotland is exclusively for road going electric vehicles running in a ‘regularity rally’ format. The event started and finished at the beautiful 16th Century Thirlestane Castle, in Lauder, and consisted of a stunning road route of just over 100 miles, taking in the spectacular scenery and picturesque villages around the Scottish Borders, with a leisurely lunch break along the way.

EcoRally is a format devised by the sports global Governing Body, the FIA and is aimed at anyone with, or with access to, an Electric Vehicle and whilst it is a competition, no prior motorsport experience is required to take part.

As a navigational rally, details of the route were only provided at the start of the event, with an emphasis placed on successful navigation during the day, with each entrant being required to report to various checkpoints at a specified time. The route consisted of a number of defined ‘regularity sections’ where drivers were scored in their ability to maintain an average speed. Think of it as orienteering in your electric car!

The 2023 entry list featured a diverse range of 6 different makes / models of car with none of the entrants having any previous motorsport competition experience. Taking advantage of Motorsport UK’s free to apply for ‘RS Clubman’ licence grade gave the participants the opportunity to take part in competitive motorsport using their everyday road cars in standard trim.

The event was won by Alasdair Burgess with Navigator Craig Parry who had travelled from Ayrshire in their Cupra Born, driving a faultless and consistent event to a winning margin of 33 seconds from the Kia E-Nero 4 of Page & Euan Munro following the 27 competitive miles of regularity stages.

Event organiser and Clerk of the Course, Steve Burns was delighted with how the event had run, commenting “This was a day of many firsts; the first rally event that the SMRC have ever organised in the 77 year history of the Club, the first time I’ve personally organised a road rally, the first event in the UK run to the FIA’s ecoRally Cup regulations, and the first foray into competitive motorsport for all of the entrants.” Burns continued “The idea for ecoRally Scotland came from our Club President Hugh McCaig and Honorary Member, Allan McNish and for the last few months we have been working closely with the FIA’s Electric & New Energy Championships Commission and Motorsport UK’s Competitions & Clubs Manager, Simon Fowler to bring the ecoRally concept to the UK”.

Describing the operation of the event Burns added “as well as using volunteer marshals to man the time controls, we also utilised Sapphire Solutions RallyApp Live software to digitally track the competitors via GPS and ensure that timing was recorded to an accuracy of 1-second. This technology allowed us to monitor the progress of the rally whilst only requiring a small number of volunteer officials and with minimal impact on the local area, a fitting use of modern technology for this modern event.”

Looking ahead, the SMRC are keen to build on the foundations of this years event and organise an official candidate round of the 2024 FIA ecoRally Cup. Further information and interested participants should contact the Club at info@smrc.co.uk.


Pre-event information: https://www.smrc.co.uk/ecorally-scotland/

Official Noticeboard: https://noticeboard.smrc.co.uk/ecorally-scotland-sunday-11th-june-2023/

FIA ecoRally Cup: https://www.fia.com/events/fia-ecorally-cup/season-2023/bridgestone-fia-ecorally-cup

Photo gallery: https://noticeboard.smrc.co.uk/2023-ecorally-scotland-gallery/

About the author

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Steve Burns

Steve is our Discipline Representative for Race.

He began marshalling in 1994 at the age of 16, joining his local Committee in 1996 and has been working in Motorsport organisation since 1999. He is currently Competitions Director for the Scottish Motor Racing Club and Senior Clerk of the Course at Knockhill Racing Circuit. As a licenced Race & Speed Clerk of the Course and Steward, Steve regularly officiates both in the UK and Internationally as a Race Director and Steward. He is Chairman of the Association of British Motor Racing Clubs and a member of the Motorsport UK Clerks and Stewards Advisory Group. Steve has also competed in both race and stage rally disciplines and holds a Grade A ARDS & BARS Instructor licence in addition to being licenced by Motorsport UK as a Driver Coach and Safeguarding Officer.