Dingwall High Street set for Snowman Rally thrills
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ROSS-SHIRE's county town is to provide a staging point for one of the most iconic races in the British rally calendar next month.
Drivers and navigators battling for glory in the Snowman Rally will come into the heart of Dingwall on March 7, thrusting the town into the spotlight and giving locals and visitors a chance to experience the event up close and personal.
It's also set to provide a boost to local traders with hundreds of visitors expected to flock to town to get a taste of the action.
The event, which dates back to 1955 offers drivers a notoriously challenging terrain which takes in a swathe of Ross-shire. Snow and ice are regular features, testing the skills of the drivers and the engineering of the cars.
Following a change of dates that made Inverness High Street unavailable, Dingwall and Seaforth Councillor Graham Mackenzie spotted an opportunity for the town.
After months of lobbying and working behind the scenes, the famous rally is now to come to Dingwall.
Clerk of the course Andy Jardine confirmed thatdozens of rally cars will descend on Dingwall High Street on Saturday March 7 at 12.30pm.
Mr Jardine explained how the legendary rally came to Dingwall, saying: “Normally we would start on Inverness High Street but we had a change of date this year that conflicted with the farmers' market.
“We always like to do something that brings the public closer to the rally so because the route was passing nearby – with the maintenance being done at Dingwall Auction Mart – we looked into getting something on Dingwall High Street.We would like to thank Councillor Graham Mackenzie and the community council who helped us to bring the Snowman to Dingwall.”
Cllr Mackenzie said: “Though we have become accustomed to welcoming the race to the mart in recent years, I think this is something totally new for the town with the cars and the pilots coming right on to the High Street. What it does is give everyone the chance to see the cars up close and perhaps exchange a word or two with some of the drivers before they take off on the road route again – I sincerely hope it is great success for the High Street.”
Dingwall native Gavin Kelt, who is an official with the Snowman Rally, said the stop in Dingwall is far from just “ceremonial” but plays an important role in the race as a whole. He said: “I am delighted Dingwall got it – it is great for the town and we have a lot to thank Cllr Mackenzie for."