// The Team
So... you want to know who we are and why we love RDSF?
Well, its a good job you clicked on the heading then, now take a seat and let me tell you!
Firstly the team is made of 4 of us, each bringing our own skills and attributes to the table with a very healthy dose of enthusiasm.
So who are we?
Firstly, lets introduce Morag, She is the only lady on the team and certainly deserves to go first - she keeps the rest of us boys right for sure!
Morag is married to Tony and they live in Aboyne with their two daughters and she also works in the local primary school as a teacher (now can you see how she keeps us right?).
Funnily enough, she's not really a car person! Tony and her have however had a fair few nice cars – starting with a Mini which he persuaded her was a good way to invest her student loan! – however, Tony is in charge of choosing them and Morag gets to drive them (isn't it nice that Morag lets Tony think he gets to choose?)
It is lucky that Morag is allowed to drive at all really since it took 4 attempts for her to pass her driving test! On reflection she has decided that this fact actually makes her the best driver of the team and has had the most lessons!!
What Morag has to say about the event...
"My aim for the Royal Deeside Speed Festival is to make it a really fun, family friendly day out with plenty to do not just for the petrolheads but for their long-suffering partners and families too. So, I tend to leave the car stuff to the boys and my role is to organise the attractions, caterers and the local producers market, to celebrate the fabulous food, drink and crafts that Deeside has to offer and to give everybody plenty to see and do."
Next up we have Tony, He's Morag's husband and like the rest of us, he does what she says too!
Tony is 38 years old, and is one of the founding partners of the Royal Deeside Speed Festival. Prior to 2014 he had very little experience in organising events – but after having some involvement with Alford Speedfest that year (and then being one of its organisers in 2015); he made the decision to create a totally new and exciting event in Deeside for 2016. Now into his 4th year of organising a ‘motoring-related family day’ out and with every year he gets the opportunity to build on the good stuff and learn lessons to improve the not so good stuff!
Day to day he works in contracts within the oil industry. It’s a satisfying role which has a lot of transferable skills which he brings to RDSF, such as negotiation, planning, project management, risk assessment and budgeting. However, and unlike the day job, with RDSF he is the decision maker – and the buck stops with him.
What Tony has to say about the event...
"Organising RDSF is basically 12 months in the making. A lot happens during the winter season to get us ready for the Event. It’s exhausting but rewarding – we enjoy the day out as much as the next family – and it’s great for Deeside to have something different like this on the calendar to compliment the other fantastic venues and events which the area has to offer.
Getting to work on RDSF with Morag is also a lot of fun. We have a totally different approach and I think we work well together. For 2017 I am also delighted to be joined by 2 of my best friends – Clark and Martin. They are both going to bring something fresh and exciting to the Event and the 4 of us are already bonding well together. I like to think of us three blokes a bit like the “Grand Tour” Team, but with Morag on hand to keep us in check!
My lifelong interest in cars came from my dad (a time-served mechanic) who loved to drive and collect old MG’s. He spent weekends readying his car for shows like RDSF and I would love to sit in the passenger seat when he went driving just to watch him and get driving tips!
When I started university I spent every penny of my loans on various cars – and also for a time competed at club level in road-rallies with the ADMC. Although short lived due to other commitments I greatly enjoyed road-rallying as it was a relatively cheap (but highly addictive) form of motorsport.
Over the years I’ve owned a number of cars; sometimes struggling to settle on any one for any length of time! However, most people who know me will think of Lotus. I’ve been lucky enough to own 5 of them now and I just love the brand. For 2017 I have traded in my “old” 430bhp Evora for a much smaller and lighter Elise 250 Cup which I might take up the hill in August."
Following 2016's event Martin joined the RDSF team,
Martin grew up in Finzean, Aberdeenshire around stories of the exploits of his grandparents racing and rallying and learned from his dad how to service the family Minis and Cortinas. It seems strange that these are now classic cars, but the seed was sown and a thirst to know how mechanical things worked was well and truly ingrained.
Never one to shy away from of a bag of spanners, Martin built his first car at 13 years old, a very decrepit Mini which led to many other Minis and a number of subsequent rally car builds. Favourite was a 1964 Mk1 Morris Cooper S which was successfully campaigned in the Scottish Historic Rally Championship with his dad in the co-drivers seat. The pair came second in the championship two years running.
This eventually led to the build of a new MINI Cooper S when the new MINI's first came out. Martin campaigns this in tarmac rallies as part of the four car Mini Sport Rally Team on events ranging from The Mull Rally, Jim Clark Rally and many rallies on the Isle of Man amongst others.
In between rallying, Martin spent 30 challenging years in Grampian Police and Police Scotland in a variety of roles ranging from Authorised Firearms Officer to Detective and Local Policing Sergeant to latterly running the Force Events Planning Unit and working within the Royalty and VIP Planning Unit.
Martin retired from the Police in 2016 and alongside being part of the Royal Deeside Speed Festival planning team, he assists his wife Claire in the running of their family business Deeside Classic Campers.
Married with two daughters, both girls are already following him into rallying....it's going to get expensive!
In addition to Martin Joining the team following the 2016 event, Clark Sutherland also came on board.
Clark has been involved in various capacities with the team from 2013- so this year everyone thought we should make it official and invite him to become a part of the business.
Clark has had a love of cars since birth. His dad and grandad were the two who sparked Clark’s love of cars.
Clark’s dad was a mechanic to trade and was a natural with cars, as soon as Clark was old enough to pick up a spanner he was helping fix up cars with his dad. His grandad had a small farm just outside Kintore where Clark spent many of his childhood days helping him around the farm. Clark and his Wife Claire Now live in a lovely old Farmhouse in Fetternear with plenty of space for the two dogs, two cats and of course Clark's various Projects!
Clark works as a project Engineer at Balmoral Offshore Engineering and although this is his fulltime day job, he is always doing something in the evening, from restoring his old BMW's to walking the dogs - and of course there is the cycling - which he seems to spend every spare minute doing. Clark has recently completed restoring his BMW e30 318is, which was a key part of his recent wedding.
Over the Year Clark has raced various cars, such as an E30 318is in the Scottish Hillclimb championship, winning his class in 2011, breaking a class record and winning the newcomer's championship - what a year! Clark has also raced an E36 M3 at Knockhill in the Scottish Sports and Saloons taking home several class wins and most recently racing in Super Lap Scotland in a mad Toyota Supra engine'd Honda S2000
Some of you may recognise Clark as the driver of the D-type Jaguar at RDSF in 2016 - he gets to play with all the nice cars!