17-y-o birthday boy Ally Currie set for dream rally debut on Mull

The Tunnock's Mull Rally, which takes place over three days on the Inner Hebridean island in October, will have its own recordbreaker competing this year.

Mull-born Ally Currie will celebrate his 17th birthday on October 10 — the day the three-day rally, held on closed-off public tarmac roads, starts — by tackling the 150-mile event.

And the committed youngster travelled to the Isle of Man earlier this month to sit, and pass his driving test as a 16-year-old.

Currie, who will drive his Peugeot 106 rally car in the Mull event, sat his test on the IoM where you can acquire a full driving licence at the age of 16.

And when the young Scot turns 17 on October 10, the Manx licence will be valid on UK roads for one year. Currie already has rally experience, having competed in the Scottish Junior 1000 Championship — he received the Spirit of the Championship Award last year — which is for drivers aged between 14 and 17."What's important is that because I'm 17 on the Friday the rally starts, I can legally drive on the roads on Mull," he explained yesterday.

"I've already got a Junior Competition Licence and have already passed my BARS test, so everything's worked out well so far."

Within hours of passing his test in a hired Mini Countryman and returning to Mull, he'd filed his entry for the Tunnock's Mull Rally, and set about finishing the prep of his 106.

"I've always worked on my cars myself," Currie, a mature and resilient 16-year-old who sold his X-Box gaming console when he was 12 to help pay for his first competition car which he bought off eBay for £350, explained.

"I'm working on it in a shed. I've got the rear suspension for it, and at the moment I'm trying to source some front suspension."From a safety perspective, the seats and belts are all within date, so the car's basically ready to go."The enterprising youngster — who sold prawns and lobsters he caught from his "wee boat" to restaurants on the island to help fund his rallying — now works on a mussel farm on Mull with Inverlussa (correct, Inverlussa) Marine Services.But still unable to drive a car legally on Mull, he currently has to travel the 27-mile each-way trip from his Tobermory home to his work at Craignua (correct, Craignua) on his 50cc Chinese moped.

"Aye, it's definitely not a Mini Countryman," he said. "I've done 9000 miles in the four-five months I've had the wee Chinese thing," he said. "It's nothing special, but it does the job."I'm working all the hours I can at Inverlussa to raise cash, and I'm trying to find some more sponsors just to help out."

Currie will have a experience in the co-driver's seat in the form of Peter MacCrone, the uncle of John MacCrone who stormed to victory 12 months ago in a four-wheel drive, M-Sport-prepared Ford Fiesta S2400."I'm really pleased to have Peter onboard," he stated. "He'll be a really big help.

"My objective is simply to get to the finish: if I can do that, then I know it will resonate with a lot of people and highlight to them I'm capable of making the next step.

"For the last few years, essentially I've brought myself up. I do my own thing; make all the life decisions; make my own money and live life the way I want it, which all revolves round hard work, determination and commitment.

"It's that drive and determination which I believe will help propel me to success in rallying and motorsport."

 If you feel you could help sponsor Ally Currie, please contact him direct at curriemotorsport@yahoo.co.uk