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Motoring news

Audi’s new Q cars

April 12 2017

Another week, another new Audi. Two new Audis, in fact. The German car maker has announced a couple more additions to its Q line up of SUVs. The Q4 is a coupe-SUV hybrid that will go up against the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe. As its name suggests, it’ll be positioned between the compact Q3 and bigger Q5. At the other end of the scale is the Q8, which will go head to head against the Range Rover. It’s lower and sleeker than the Q7 Audi is also producing. In concept form, it sat only four people, although it seems likely the production version will be a five seater. There’s a 630 litre boot as well. Eagle eyed Audi followers will notice the only SUV slots left to fill are the Q1 and Q6. Watch this space…

Dundee FC

Ray Farningham hopes Nicky Riley gives Dundee the X Factor

September 3 2013

Dundee assistant manager Ray Farningham is hoping a fit-again Nicky Riley will provide the Dark Blues with a creative “X Factor”. The 27-year-old winger made his return from a medial ligament injury in the 3-0 victory over Livingston on Friday night in what was just his second appearance of the season. The former Celtic player came on for a memorable 30-minute cameo appearance and set up Peter MacDonald for a simple tap-in for the third goal following a mazy run through the visitors’ defence. Now, Farningham is keeping his fingers crossed that Riley can stay free of injury and enjoy an extended run in the side. The assistant boss said: “It was great to have Nicky back on Friday night. He showed what he is capable of when he came on. “He has that ability to go past players and create. It was definitely something we were missing in previous games, that creative side of it. “Supporters love that and so do I there isn’t enough of it in the game. The problem with Nicky last year was that he was always picking up niggly knocks so he really needs a run of games to get going fully.” Farningham revealed that two of Dundee’s injury victims are easing back to fitness and that Kevin McBride who hobbled off after 77 minutes against Livingston has made a rapid recovery. He said: “Nicky and Kyle Benedictus are back in full training with the squad and hopefully Iain Davidson and Steven Doris may return before the end of the week. Barra (McBride) also trained today despite taking a sore one on Friday night.” Meanwhile, it is understood that St Mirren defender Lee Mair will not be joining the Dark Blues for what would have been his second stint with the club.

Road tests

Audi Q2 puts quality over size

March 21 2018

Audi’s Q2 was one of the first premium compact SUVs on the market. It sits below the Q3, Q5 and the gigantic, seven seat Q7 in Audi’s ever growing range. Although it’s about the same size as the Nissan Juke or Volkswagen T-Roc, its price is comparable with the much larger Nissan X-Trail or Volkswagen Tiguan. Even a basic Q2 will set you back more than £21,000 and top whack is £38,000. Then there’s the options list which is extensive to say the least. My 2.0 automatic diesel Quattro S Line model had a base price of £30,745 but tipped the scales at just over £40,000 once a plethora of additions were totted up. Size isn’t everything, however. In recent years there’s been a trend of buyers wanting a car that’s of premium quality but compact enough to zip around town. It may be a step down in size but the Q2 doesn’t feel any less classy than the rest of Audi’s SUV range. The interior looks great and is user friendly in a way that more mainstream manufacturers have never been able to match. The simple rotary dial and shortcut buttons easily trounce touchscreen systems, making it a cinch to skim through the screen’s menus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eQ5p5Z7-Ek&list=PLUEXizskBf1nbeiD_LqfXXsKooLOsItB0 There’s a surprising amount of internal space too. I took three large adults from Dundee to Stirling and no one complained about feeling cramped. As long as you don’t have a tall passenger behind a tall driver you can easily fit four adults. At 405 litres the boot’s big too – that’s 50 litres more than a Nissan Juke can muster. Buyers can pick from 1.0 and 1.4 litre petrol engines or 1.6 and 2.0 litre TDIs. Most Q2s are front wheel drive but Audi’s Quattro system is standard on the 2.0 diesel, as is a seven-speed S Tronic gear box. On the road there’s a clear difference between this and SUVs by manufacturers like Nissan, Seat and Ford. Ride quality, while firm, is tremendously smooth. Refinement is excellent too, with road and tyre noise kept out of the cabin. It sits lower than the Q3 or Q5 and this improves handling, lending the Q2 an almost go-kart feel. On a trip out to Auchterhouse, with plenty of snow still on the ground, I was appreciative of the four-wheel drive as well. The Q2 is expensive – though there are some good finance deals out there – but you get what you pay for. Few cars this small feel as good as the Q2 does. Price: £30,745 0-62mph: 8.1 seconds Top speed: 131mph Economy: 58.9mpg CO2 emissions: 125g/km

Dundee FC

Dundee v Stenhousemuir: Dark Blues warned of danger

September 6 2013

Ray Farningham admits there will be an added incentive for the Dundee players when they face Stenhousemuir in the quarter-final of the Ramsdens Cup the chance of a money-spinning tie against Rangers. The Dark Blues assistant boss has warned his players that while Martyn Corrigan’s Warriors side are from the division below Dundee, they will certainly be no pushovers. The club have had Stenny watched and Farningham stressed they are a side laced with quality and experience, including former Dark Blues favourite Sean Higgins. He said: “As long as we can take care of Stenhousemuir, then there is the chance of being drawn against Rangers in the semi-final or hopefully the final. “There is a lot of money there for the club but that all depends on getting through this round. “We will be taking nothing for granted against Stenhousemuir. We have had them watched a couple of times and they are a very experienced side. “A lot of them have played at the highest level and have come down the leagues. “We will, of course, have to look out for Sean Higgins. You always want to do well when you come back to your old club and he is a decent striker who has played in the SPL. “It will be a hard, hard game.” The Ramsdens Cup has its detractors but Farningham knows just how much winning it would mean to the fans, having witnessed first hand the scenes of joy when Dundee lifted what was then called the Alba Challenge Cup in 2009. Jocky Scott’s side came back from the dead to beat Inverness in an unforgettable match in front of thousands of Dundee fans in Perth. Farningham, who was Scott’s assistant that day, said: “That was a great game. At 2-0 down against a good Inverness side, I am sure a lot of the fans thought that was it. “But we came back brilliantly in the second half to win 3-2. It was a fantastic experience in front of a sell-out crowd at McDiarmid Park. “The further on in the competition you go, the excitement builds and it is a cup we are determined to win.” Dundee will have almost a full squad available for the game against Stenhousemuir and Farningham admitted there may be a chance for the home fans to see teenage striking sensation Craig Wighton in action after the youngster scored two goals for the reserves against Cowdenbeath earlier this week. The assistant manager said: “Everybody is back in full training bar Iain Davidson and Jamie Reid, who has injured his ankle. “Hopefully, Jamie will be back in with the squad on Friday. I was at the reserve game and Craig and Martin Boyle did well up front. It was a very young squad against Cowdenbeath but the whole team did well. “Craig took his goals really well and he will be knocking on the door very soon.”

Motoring news

Join the queue for littlest Audi Q

November 9 2016

Audi’s relentless release of new models continues with the launch of its smallest SUV. The Q2 goes on sale in the UK next week with prices starting at £22,380. There’s an extensive selection of petrol and diesel power trains as well as the option of front or Quattro four-wheel drive. More models will be added to the range later on, including powerful SQ2 and RSQ2 versions. Aimed squarely at a younger audience, the Q2 has bolder, sharper lines and a different shape to Audi’s bigger SUVs, the Q3, Q5 and Q7. Although it’s clearly meant more for buzzing around cities than growling across farmland, cladding and skid plates lend it an aura of ruggedness. Audi is also offering a range of vibrant colours to deepen the Q2’s appeal to youthful buyers. The interior is as plush as you’d expect from Audi, justifying its price hike over similarly sized SUVs like the Nissan Juke and Honda HR-V. The materials are high quality – softtouch plastics, leather on higher spec cars and brushed aluminium trim elements all blended into a smart-looking package. As standard, drivers get a seven-inch infotainment screen on top of the dashboard. It’s operated through Audi’s rotary dial system that’s far more intuitive and easier to use when on the move than rivals’ touchscreen systems. Among the many options is Audi’s excellent Virtual Cockpit – a 12.3in screen that replaces the manual instruments behind the steering wheel. Overall, the Q2 is 4.7in shorter than the A3 hatchback, but Audi says there’s enough leg and headroom for two adult passengers in the back. Boot space comes in at 405 litres – 50 more than you’ll find in the A3 hatchback and rival Nissan Juke, although it trails the Mini Countryman by the same amount. To begin with, the only diesel option is a 1.6 litre with 114bhp, although a more powerful 184bhp 2.0 litre unit will be added to the range soon. Similarly, the petrol engine range is limited for now but will be expanded by the end of the year. The 1.4 litre, 148bhp unit offered now will be joined by 1.0 litre, 114bhp three cylinder turbo and 2.0 litre, 187bhp options – the latter coming with an S-Tronic automatic gearbox. When it arrives the 1.0 litre petrol version will be the cheapest model in the range with a price tag of £20,230. Courier Motoring has yet to get its hands on the car but early reviews have been very positive and Audi looks to have yet another winner on its hands. jmckeown@thecourier.co.uk


Dundee tax credits adviser jailed — for tax credits swindle

April 5 2017

A Dundee HMRC worker who claimed she was a single mum was snared stealing more than 65,000 from the taxman after investigators found Valentine’s Day cards she had exchanged with her husband. Romantic texts from Nicola Farningham were also found — belying the fact she was not living alone, but instead with her husband who was earning £33,000 a year. The mum of four was jailed for 21 weeks by a sheriff who also ordered her to hand over more than £40,000 within six months. Farningham was employed as a tax credits adviser in HMRC’s Dundee call centre where she advised the public about child and working tax credits. However, she was using that intimate knowledge of the system to scam huge sums of cash. * Don’t miss the full story in Thursday’s Courier, also available as a digital edition.

UK & World

This student took his Tinder profile to the next level by turning it into a PowerPoint presentation

February 21 2018

Standing out from the crowd on Tinder can be tough, but with the help of Microsoft PowerPoint a British student has managed just that – and gone viral in the process.Sam Dixey, a 21-year-old studying at Leeds University, made a six-part slideshow entitled “Why you should swipe right” – using pictures and bullet points to shrewdly persuade potential dates to match with him on the dating app. The slideshow includes discussion of his social life and likes, such as “petting doggos” and “laser tag”, and “other notable qualities and skills” – such as being “not the worst at sex” and “generous when drunk”.It even has reviews mocked up from sources such as “Donald Trump”, “Leonardo Di Capri Sun” and “The Times Guide to Pancakes 2011”.Sam told the Press Association the six-slide presentation only took about 20 minutes to make and “started off as a joke”.However, since being posted to Twitter by fellow Tinder user Gracie Barrow, Sam’s slideshow has been shared tens of thousands of times across social media.So, it’s got the seal of approval form Gracie, but how has the slideshow fared on Tinder? “I’d have to say it has been pretty successful,” Sam said. “Definitely a clear correlation of matches and dates beforehand to afterwards.“Most of the responses tend to revolve around people saying ‘I couldn’t help swipe right 10/10’ but I’ve had some people go the extra mile and message me on Facebook.“Plus some people have recognised me outside, in the library and on dates.”A resounding success.


Jocky Scott Dundee FC tribunal postponed again

February 22 2011

An employment tribunal hearing into the dismissal of former Dundee FC manager Jocky Scott has been postponed for the second time. The four-day hearing into the departure of Mr Scott and assistant manager Ray Farningham, who are claiming for unpaid wages, was due to resume on Monday. It is understood that the administrators acting for the Dark Blues have not given their consent for the employment tribunal hearing to recommence. It is believed they are negotiating a settlement with a solicitor for the men. A spokesman for the employment tribunal service confirmed the hearing would not go ahead and no new date had been set. This month the Dens Park side, which has debts of around £3.8 million, gained approval from creditors to take the first steps towards emerging from administration. Mr Scott and Mr Farningham were sacked last March after a 3-0 defeat at Airdrie United, despite Dundee being top of the league at the time. Mr Scott is now the manager of Stirling Albion and Mr Farningham is the assistant manager of Montrose.


Ray Farningham back for third spell at Dens Park

May 18 2012

Dundee have confirmed Ray Farningham has rejoined the club as assistant manager to Barry Smith. The duo held talks along with Dens Park chief executive Scot Gardiner on Wednesday afternoon, with negotiations running smoothly and ”Jinky” was officially appointed on Thursday. Farningham, who has been manager of Third Division Montrose for the last two seasons, leaves the Angus side for what will be his third spell with Dundee. The 51-year-old played for the club in the 1990s and then worked with the youth set-up at Dens. He was made redundant when the club entered administration in 2003 but linked up with Jocky Scott as assistant manager five years later. Farningham and Scott then left the club in acrimonious circumstances in 2010, with Farningham going on to become manager at Links Park. He said: ”Firstly, I would like to thank the board of directors of Montrose FC for allowing Dundee Football Club to speak to me. ”I am delighted to be back at Dundee to assist Barry, who was my major reason for returning to Dens. Hopefully together we can get Dundee back to the Premier League where we belong.” Smith said: ”I am delighted to have Ray joining the coaching staff. He has great experience, which will be invaluable to me in the coming seasons. ”I would also like to thank Montrose FC for giving me the opportunity to speak to Ray in order to bring him to Dundee.” Montrose have moved quickly to appoint Farningham’s successor, with Links Park assistant boss Stuart Garden being promoted to manager with immediate effect. Gable Endies chairman Derek Sim said: ”When Dundee approached us asking permission to speak to Ray, we knew he would find it difficult to turn down a full-time position, especially as he probably has unfinished business at the club. ”He leaves with the best wishes of everyone at Montrose and he will always be welcome here. ”Ray is an excellent coach and a first-class manager and it was unfortunate that our results didn’t reflect the amount of work he put in. After Dundee contacted us we had a board meeting and decided that if Ray was to leave then Stuart would be our preferred candidate. ”He really impressed us at a subsequent meeting and we had no hesitation in appointing him. His appointment also gives us some continuity and the players know and respect him. ”We have re-signed 11 players from last season’s squad, so Stuart already has a nucleus to work with. He will now try to bring in some new players in a bid to propel us into the play-off spots next season.” Garden is looking to quickly appoint an assistant and Courier Sport understands former Scotland, Dundee and Dundee United centre-half Lee Wilkie is one of the favourites for the job.


Jocky Scott starts legal steps for compensation

June 11 2010

The former Dundee management team of Jocky Scott and Ray Farningham are understood to be seeking legal recourse against the Dark Blues over compensation. Scott and Farningham departed Dens Park on March 21 despite having the team three points clear at the top of the first division at the time. The pair have remained tightlipped since being replaced by Gordon Chisholm and Billy Dodds, with Scott only breaking his silence to defend himself against claims by his successor that the Dundee squad lacked fitness. Behind the scenes, though, Courier Sport understands that the duo have now contacted a legal team in a bid to seek payments they believe they are due. Montrose have targeted Ray Farningham for their assistant manager vacancy. Gable Endies boss Steven Tweed wants Farningham who earlier this week turned down the chance to join Paul Sheerin at Arbroath as his number two following the departure of Jim Moffat. The pair played together at Dundee in the late 1990s.