It’s been 2 years since my first Mull Rally and at the moment, possibly my last. At least of the well known kind anyway….
Every October, Mull holds their very own closed road car rally. However, this year things were certainly very different. Due to high costs of insurance, the usual rally was postponed amd edited. Instead of over 100 cars racing around the islands roads, this year there was a 2 day event.
On the Friday, competitors took part in the Targa event. This consisted of driving around a route laid out across the island. The trick, to complete in a set time. Whoever was closest was the winner. Along the way there were different tasks and it played out a bit like a glorified treasure hunt. There were few limits to the conditions of entry, but mainly as long as your car was road worthy it was accepted. If you were about on the island that day and unaware of what was happening, it would have been a joy to watch old bangers, vintage prizes, modified sports cars and ordinary everyday cars plodding along.
The normality of the event gave a chance to those who have watched the rally for years to be a part of it and spectators to enjoy the cars at a much slower pace.
On Saturday, the event was much more in line with the old ways of the rally. The Time Trial was set on the forest road at Mornish and saw the return of the ‘proper’ rally cars. Racing down the track, competitors took it in turns to get through and their time was taken to find a winner.
Although it was great to still see an event go ahead, it is a shame that the traditional Tour of Mull vibe wasn’t around. Sure, there were spectators but the island felt eerily quiet, no engine noise in the evenings of the cars out on recce or the excitement of a whole week leading up to it as each car, crew and everything but the kitchen sink arrived.
2 years ago, I was lucky enough to chat to some of the guys involved and I was in awe of how much of a community is involved with the rally, not just those people from the island but also those who come to compete and spectate. It would be a shame for this to not be continued in the future,if not just for the local economy and extended season in which it brings with it. Fingers crossed for something within the year to change to bring it back to its well known popularity 🚗💨