Participants in the ninth Flying Scotsman Rally are putting the finishing touches to their cars in preparation for the start of the rally, which this year will see competitors smoking their tyres away from Slaley Hall, Northumberland on 31 March.
The monster 800-mile event has extended its reach for 2017, delving deeper than ever before into the Scottish Highlands. The challenging enterprise has once again attracted new blood, while also luring back stalwarts of the competition including previous winners Gareth Burnett and Martyn Taylor in their 1931 Talbot 105 Alpine. They will be joined by the youngest car – a 1948 MG TC – and the oldest – a 1907 Itala 40.
“Each year we have ventured further and further north,” said Rally director Fred Gallagher. “Our goal was to explore more of Scotland before we return to the original format for the 10th anniversary in 2018. The lineup is exceptional and we can guarantee that whatever the weather, the motoring will be second to none.”
After setting off from Slaley Hall, competitors will pass through the forest lands of Castle O’er, the Eskdalemuir moorlands and the Moorfoot Hills, before striking out for the Cairngorm Mountains via the Forth Road Bridge. From there they will navigate the remote highways of Braemar before passing through Tomintoul – one of the highest villages in the Highlands.
Sunday will see crews set off from Aviemore, heading for the picturesque roads of the Forest of Athol and Loch Tay, and on to the finish line at the Gleneagles Hotel.