Threave plays host to Galloway Hills rally for first time

Jock Armstrong
Jock Armstrong

The Armstrong Galloway Hills Rally will get underway from the picturesque surroundings of Threave Garden and Estate, thanks to the National Trust for Scotland.

Crews will start the September 9th event in the grounds of the magnificent Threave House, nestled in the middle of the gardens on the outskirts of Castle Douglas, before heading into the nearby forests to contest 44 competitive stage miles.

After an action-packed day of driving, crews will return to the Natural Trust for Scotland 17th century Scottish Baronial House to spray the champagne at the rally finish later that day.

Just a stone’s throw from the rally base in Castle Douglas itself and located in the Stewartry countryside, Threave Garden & Estate will play host to a rally for the very first time.

Threave Gardens hosting the Galloway Hills rally offers a unique opportunity for spectators to get up close and personal with the cars and competitors at the ceremonial start ahead of their day in the forests.

Fans will then be able to return to the venue later in the day to greet the lucky crews who have completed the route for the finish celebrations.

The Solway, Machars and East Ayrshire Car Club promoted event is the final round of the popular ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship and has attracted a high-quality entry from across the UK and Ireland.

The event will also be the final and deciding round of the RSAC Ecosse Challenge, a single-make series for the popular Citroen C2, as well as a counting round of The Border Challenge and HRCR Motoscope Northern Historic Rally Championship. The entry list is also packed with many local crews also eager to sample what the ultra-fast Galloway forests have to offer.

Entry to Threave for the start and finish ceremonies will be free, and the popular Café inside Threave Visitor centre will be open all day, offering bacon rolls, lunches, drinks and cakes.

Clerk of the Course Michael Riddick is delighted to be able to start this 2017 event under the watchful eye of such a historical building.

“It’s hard to beat a backdrop like this and there is no better way to start and finish the Armstrong Galloway Hills Rally than under the gaze of Threave House,” he says.

“We have been working hard behind the scenes to provide a compact and cost-effective event in some of the best stages in the country so this is really the icing on the cake for the event. It’s a real honour and we would like to thank the whole team at Threave and the Natural Trust for Scotland for allowing us to take advantage of this wonderful setting.”