England and Scotland
The overall winners of Flying Scotsman 2023 are:
1 – Paul Crosby & Ali Procter – 1939 MG TB Supercharged
2 – Paul Dyas & Martyn Taylor – 1937 Bentley Derby Special
*13th Edition Goes Down to the Wire
*Victory Snatched from the Jaws of Defeat
*Win Number Two for Crosby and Proctor
The Flying Scotsman Rally 2023, Britain’s Premier Vintage Motoring Event, finished at the glorious Gleneagles Hotel (16th April) with a gathered crowd welcoming the cars after 750 miles across three days of competition. At the end of it all #90 Paul Crosby (GB) + Ali Procter (GB) were victorious in their 1939 MG TB Supercharged, with second belonging to #78 Paul Dyas (GB) + Martyn Taylor (GB) – Bentley Derby Special – 1937 and third going to #29 Theo Hunt (GB) + James Galliver (GB) – Frazer Nash TT Replica – 1933.
It was anything but simple for Crosby and Proctor, with mechanical problems on the last day plaguing the duo as an erratic misfire causing them plenty of stress, right up until the very last test. In the end though they held on, nursing the car to a first-place finish, although they had needed a little help from podium rivals Dyas and Taylor, with Paul Dyas coming to the rescue of the MG on the final day with a spare ignition coil. As well as taking the overall win, navigator Proctor would win the Clock Watcher’s award for the best navigator’s performance and the duo would triumph by 29 seconds in the end.
Paul Crosby “We’re absolutely made up. We didn’t think we were going to get to the end, let alone win, it was tough. It means a huge amount, it’s a very difficult rally. Ali is a top man, he made no mistakes all the way through, we’re delighted.”
Ali Proctor “Great competition, great camaraderie, we were helped out by the second-place team, so big thanks to them”.
Despite them being good Samaritans, Dyas and Taylor would finish second to Crosby and Proctor, and despite leading at the end of the first day the big Bentley would slip down the order and indeed wasn’t on the podium as the lunchtime results came in on the final day, although they were only a matter of seconds behind. At that stage #69 Shane Houlihan (IE) + Richard Pain (IE) – BMW Fraser Nash 328 – 1937 were in third place, behind Hunt and Galliver by a second, after a tussle for the podium that had been going blow for blow all weekend. In the end, the pressure told, and the Irish crew missed a timing point on the final regularity of the competition, dropping two minutes and slipping off of the podium. Paul Dyas and Martyn Taylor would overhaul the deficit to Hunt and Galliver in the end, and finish second, just 3 seconds ahead of the third-placed car.
Paul Dyas “Not in our wildest dreams [did we think we would be second] this morning, it was so close, and we were only going one way. We have had a great afternoon though.”
Theo Hunt and James Galliver would have been desperate to hold onto their second place, after finishing third in their two previous Scotsman’s, but in the end, it wasn’t to be and the regularity rally experience of Dyas and Taylor allowed them to put the Bentley into second place, with Hunt and Galliver in third for their triple Flying Scotsman podium. This was disappointing for them perhaps, but a big achievement nonetheless and their exciting driving was also recognised with driver Hunt winning the Test Pilot award for being the fastest overall on the tests.
Theo Hunt “It’s incredible [to finish third], with the challenges we have faced to get to the finish, I’m incredibly proud of us to finish third again.”
So, the 13th Flying Scotsman comes to an end, an edition of fabulous vintage with an exciting fight for glory going down to the wire. In the end, Paul Crosby and Ali Proctor’s 2nd Flying Scotsman win was hard fought and well deserved, and they share the podium with two other formidable crews. This is an event of rich history with a diverse entry that celebrates vintage motoring, and so to see three very different cars at the top of the field is also a great testament to the level playing field the route planners have worked so hard to achieve. Everyone involved is already looking forward to doing it all again for the 19th time in 2024.