This film is part of Free

Control Ahead

The thrills and spills of the 1973 Scottish Rally captured in the surrounds of the Cairngorms.

Amateur film 1973 17 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for North East Film Archive


A pantheon of celebrated rally drivers take the ultimate driving test, racing in the International Scottish RAC Rally. The legendary Roger Clark triumphs in his trusty Ford Escort over four gruelling days, ‘headlights blazing’, through 1400 miles of some of Scotland’s most picturesque scenery. The indomitable Dubliner Rosemary Smith, who rose to the challenges of a notoriously male-dominated sport throughout her career, takes the ladies’ prize.

Rosemary Smith was still an inspirational character at the age of 79 when she became the oldest person to test drive a Renault Sport Formula One team car in 2017. This film was shot and narrated by Middlesbrough-based amateur filmmaker Betty Cook, who was also the President of the Cleveland Cine Club and the North East Cine Society. She filmed many events in the north east region from the 1960s through to the 1980s. The filmmaker and her husband were devoted fans of motor racing, a passion reflected in the many films she captured of top British motor racing events and famous drivers over two decades.