Home Football Jock Armstrong: I don’t know if I’ll appeal rallying ban

Jock Armstrong: I don’t know if I’ll appeal rallying ban

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BANNED Scottish rally driver Jock Armstrong will have to pay £460 for a letter appealing against a decision to exclude him from events for the next six months.

The appeal against the decision by a three-man panel sitting in London can only be done by letter and Armstrong, 47, will not be allowed to speak on what he has written.

The two-time Scottish champion is still undecided about going ahead with the appeal, which will be heard by the same three men who passed sentence on him last week.

Armstrong was fined £1000 and banned from competing for six months for mooning at a competitor’s car while working as a marshal at the Solway Coast Rally in August. The incident was snapped by photographer Eddie Kelly, who put it on Facebook, where it was spotted by the Motor Sports Association.

Armstrong was hauled before the Motor Sports Council National Court for, among other things, bringing the sport into disrepute, carrying out an unsafe act and being disrespectful to competitors, spectators and other marshalls.

He said: “Any appeal goes back to the same three people who will judge me again – so where does that leave me?

“I was honest and owned up that it was me in the photo and now this happens. I have already given up a day’s work and paid to go to London for the hearing, so I have been very respectful of them.

Jock Armstrong on his way to winning the 2017 Galloway Hills Rally

“I don’t think the punishment fits the crime – all I have done all my life is try to put something back into the sport I love. That’s why I was marshalling that day. I think the judgment has been a bit harsh but I really don’t know if appealing will change anything.”

But the ruling has caused an outcry in Scotland and further afield and has allegedly led to other marshals handing in their bibs.

Thousands have reacted on Facebook to what they see as an unjust and unfair punishment that will keep Armstong out of the first two events of next year’s Scottish Rally Championship – effectively scuppering any chance of him winning and probably impacting upon his sponsors.

Snapper Kelly, a friend of Armstrong’s, said: “I’m devastated about what has happened to Jock. This was a closed rally. There was no one in that area but me and him.

“The long lens I was using distorts the persepective and makes it seems as though Jock was nearer the competitors than he was. This is all wrong.”

Armstrong is also a good friend of Niall Cowan, who was in the car on track at the time and who did not see the incident. Ironically, Armstrong sponsors Cowan’s MG ZR.

“I think perhaps they wanted to try to make an example of me,” said Armstrong. “But I didn’t offend anyone on the day and I think that’s reflected in the reaction and support I have had. It was nothing more than a silly prank.

“Yes, I did something perhaps I shouldn’t have and I have admitted that – but was it disgraceful, disrespectful or dangerous? No, I don’t think so, and neither does anyone else.”



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