Entrant: Bruce Lyle
Driver No. 1:
of West Kilbride Scotland
Bruce's first rallycar was an Opel Kadett GT/E and his first event the Bank of Scotland Rally 1979.
He was winner of the 1981 & 82 West of Scotland Championship. 10th overallbScottish International 1982, co-driver for Jimmy McRae in the 2004 London to Sydney Marathon.
Bruce represents Scotland on the UK Motor Sport Council. He has also won the Scottish Sprint Championship in 1982 and 3 motor races at Ingliston in Saloons.
From Bruce himself............
"I have been around the sport since I was a kid, doing the odd autotest, or road rally. I could not afford the cash, or the time to compete properly, until my business had matured a bit.
I entered my first forest stage rally in 1979, at the ripe old age of 37, having bought a new Opel Rally E ( everyone had Escorts!), fitted a cage, and we were off.
Did the Scottish International in ’79 for the first time, and finished. We were pretty consistent from the start, getting 2nd o/a in the West of Scotland Stage Rally Championship, which we won the following year. I won one event outright with the Opel ( 125bhp) and then made a big mistake and changed it for an ex-works Chevette HS, with 240 bhp, but zero reliablility. Very exciting when it went, though!
Won the West Championship again, and the same rally again, twice. The Chevette was good on the tarmac, so I entered the rally car class in the Scottish Sprint Championship, run at Knockhill Race circuit, and became the Scottish Sprint Champion. The same year, we finished 10th in the Scottish, which, in these days had top drivers like Vatanen, Toivonen , Eklund, and McRae, and it was just fantastic to be part of that scene. We had lots of problems, which, thanks to a fantastic service crew, we survived. That got us the Star of the Rally award.
Gave up rallying in ’83, and bought a small Ford Fiesta to run in the under 1600 saloon racing at our then two race circuits. The car cost around $5000 NZ, and we spent another $3500 to get 150 bhp out of it. I won 3 races, and set a lap record. We had real cheap fun, compared to stage rallying. My last race trophy is dated 1986.
Since then, I have been heavily involved in the administration of the sport in Scotland, and I am President (only for old folk!) of Scottish Sporting Car Club, and I represent Scotland on the Motor Sports Association Council.
Back in 2004, my old pal Jimmy McRae told me that his co-driver for the London-Sydney had pulled out with 6 weeks to go. I had not long retired from business, and said “OK, I’ll do it” He replied “But you WERE a driver, and anyway, you are too heavy!” We did the rally, won the first leg, and were still in the lead until we got to Australia, where the Toyota blew a head gasket. It was Jimmy who told me I should have a go at the Silver Fern, when a European event I had planned on entering was cancelled.
I met Mike Montgomery, and a lot of other good guys from NZ on that event. When he heard I was having a go, he immediately suggested that he should run the team. I was delighted, and now, looking back, I haven’t a clue how we would have got anywhere near without him. He is amazing!
My son, Iain, who is 34, is doing the co-driving. He has never had a go before, but he lives and works in Sydney, and has got his nice clean new license all ready. He is dead keen, but his fiancée ( he gets married in January), is not so keen – to say nothing of his mother!
I hope this is like riding a bike, but 1350kms of stages will be pretty tough. I hope I am up to it!"
Bruce's best moment in rallying was Star of the rally on 1982 Scottish, finishing the 2004 London to Sydney and all the guys I compete with.
Driver No. 2:
of Sydney Australia
This will be Iain's first rally event.
1978 Ford Escort MK2
Car's History: The car Bruce will use is the Craig Howser Escort "SA1NZ"
Mike Montgomery - Team Manager
Sponsorship and promotion being used by charity Outward Bound NZ.
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