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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

High Court to review release of man found with drugs and air rifle at Broughty Ferry crash scene

October 29 2014

A man involved in a collision near the Royal Tay Yacht Club in Broughty Ferry was found in possession of heroin and diazepam and was unfit to drive through drink or drugs, a court has heard. An air rifle was also found in the Audi TT belonging to Ross James Ramsay, 32, of Ballumbie Gardens, Dundee, who admitted possessing the rifle while not permitted to do so. After hearing that Ramsay was out on licence from a previous High Court jail sentence at the time of the offences, Sheriff Charles Macnair remitted him back to the High Court for consideration of the release order. He also deferred sentence on the new offences until December 2 and remanded him in custody. Depute fiscal Donna Brown told the court Ramsay was seen driving erratically at noon on July 28 in West Queen Street and Dundee Road when an incident took place outside the Royal Tay Yacht Club and he was seen to be staggering on the road there. She said he was also seen to dispose of a plastic bag from his car. Ms Brown told the court a search was carried out and 462 diazepam tablets, with a street value of £462, and heroin worth around £900 was recovered. Solicitor Ross Bennett said he would keep his plea in mitigation for Ramsay’s next appearance. Sheriff Macnair told Ramsay: “I will remit this to the High Court for consideration of the Section 16 order (release from prison on licence) and sentence in this court will be deferred until after that.” The sheriff also imposed interim disqualification from driving and the Crown moved an application for forfeiture of the air rifle. Ramsay was released early from his previous jail sentence of three years and nine months, imposed in July 2012, after admitting seriously assaulting Alexander McLennan, of Longtown Place. Mr McLennan, 56, died after being stabbed through the heart in a street brawl on Kingsway on January 7 that year. Ramsay and co-accused John Cassidy and Steven Batchelor were originally accused of murdering Mr McLennan, who was also punched and kicked in the attack and hit on the head with an iron bar.

St Johnstone

Posh chief’s launches Twitter tirade at St Johnstone

August 22 2013

There looks to be little or no chance of St Johnstone striker Stevie May moving to Peterborough United after the Posh chairman launched a Twitter tirade at the Perth club. The English League One club have matched Saints’ valuation of the Scotland under-21 international, Darragh McAnthony has claimed, but their attempt to pay up in instalments has scuppered the deal. McAnthony took to social media to explain why the proposed transfer has stalled, and ended up bickering with Saints fans. And he also took aim at Saints manager Tommy Wright in his online rant. He wrote: “How many press articles has the St Johnstone manager done about S May & us.” McAnthony went on: “Enough already as its getting silly. So some facts as revealed by him, yes we put bids in for said player. “They rejected them, sent us their terms, we met all terms bar how they want money paid. They want it all in this budget year. “We never do our business that way as we have told them & have % rules etc to work within. “Posh will not be changing final offer made last week & no amount of press articles will make a difference. “And as for the ‘No disrespect, he might get a bigger club looking at him’ comment, I hope that works out for them & their club.” Saints chairman Steve Brown said: “I don’t think I’ll bother commenting on something someone is saying about us on Twitter. “We conduct our business a bit more professionally than that.”

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

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.

St Johnstone

St Johnstone chairman Steve Brown hits back at former player Tam Scobbie

June 23 2017

St Johnstone chairman Steve Brown has hit back at Tam Scobbie after the player launched a scathing attack on the way his McDiarmid exit was handled. The defender, who has now joined Tayside rivals Dundee United, claimed on Monday that after five years with the Perth club he had been offered a new deal that would have meant accepting a 35% wage cut. Scobbie called that a “slap in the face” and added “I feel I was forced out of the club by the chairman”. Now, Brown has responded, insisting he was only doing what was financially prudent for the club. The chairman said: “As much as anything, I was disappointed by the timing of the comments. "On a day when the thoughts of all Saints fans were on the excitement of the European draw, there was the distraction of a story from a player who claims to have Saints’ best interests at heart. “As much as I accept that he was part of a successful squad, he only started 18 out of 46 competitive games last season and over the course of his five seasons with us, he was in the starting line-up in less than half of the games. “With this in mind we tried to structure a deal which, although it did reduce his basic wage, offered a higher reward for him starting matches so that if he played he wouldn’t be worse off. We were only offering him a one-year deal after consulting and agreeing with Tommy (manager Wright).” Brown added: “It’s not new, though. Anyone who knows this club and how it is run knows that we will always endeavour to balance the expenditure with the limited income we have and so to sign a quality player like Stefan Scougall – who we have pushed the boat out for – it stands to reason you have to try and balance the financial scales. “That’s what I saw us attempting to do with someone who was a squad player and in my opinion that was a sensible way to address it. “It’s worth noting that among the numerous contract renewals we secured in the early spring, there are other players who have restructured their deals in order to remain at the club and I’m delighted with their outlook and understanding. “However, as with all players who leave St Johnstone, I thank Thomas for his contribution and wish him well for the future.”

Dundee

Driver caught with air rifle and drugs after crash at Royal Tay Yacht Club jailed

December 3 2014

A man found in possession of drugs and an air rifle while unfit to drive through drink or drugs, after smashing his car near the Royal Tay Yacht Club in July, has been jailed for more than two years. Ross James Ramsay, 32, of Ballumbie Gardens, Dundee, was sent to prison for 26 months and 80 days by Sheriff Charles Macnair at Dundee Sheriff Court on TUesday after the High Court confirmed the unexpired portion of a previous sentence. Ramsay had admitted possessing the rifle while not permitted to do so, and also admitted possessing 462 diazepam tablets, with a street value of £462, and heroin worth around £900. Depute fiscal Donna Brown told the court Ramsay was seen driving erratically at noon on July 28 in West Queen Street and Dundee Road when an incident took place outside the Royal Tay Yacht Club and he was seen to be staggering on the road there. She said he was also seen to dispose of a plastic bag from his car in nearby bushes. Ms Brown told the court a search was carried out and the drugs were recovered while the air rifle was found in his high-powered Audi. At a previous hearing, Sheriff Macnair told Ramsay: “I will remit this to the High Court for consideration of the Section 16 order (release from prison on licence) and sentence in this court will be deferred until after that.” The sheriff also imposed interim disqualification from driving and the Crown moved an application for forfeiture of the air rifle. When he returned for sentence Sheriff Macnair imposed a new sentence and returned him to prison for the unexpired portion. He also disqualified him from driving for three years. Ramsay was released early from his previous jail sentence of three years and nine months, imposed in July 2012, after admitting seriously assaulting Alexander McLennan, of Longtown Place. Mr McLennan, 56, died after being stabbed through the heart in a street brawl on Kingsway on January 7 that year. Ramsay and co-accused John Cassidy and Steven Batchelor, both 33, were originally accused of murdering Mr McLennan, who was also punched and kicked in the attack and hit on the head with an iron bar.

St Johnstone

St Johnstone boss to be rewarded with new deal

August 11 2014

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright is ready to seal a new three-year deal to keep him at McDiarmid Park to 2017. The Perth’s club’s first ever manager to lift the Scottish Cup is being rewarded with an extended contract and it should be wrapped up this week. The news will delight Saints fans disappointed by the weekend exit of 27-goal home grown hero Stevie May to Sheffield Wednesday in an £800,000 deal. The Scotland U21 striker opted for a four-year commitment to the Owls ahead of rivals and long-term suitors Rotherham United, saying: “Leaving Saints is a wrench but last season was a great one for everyone at the club and I think we did ourselves proud in this season’s Europa League, so it’s a good way to bow out.” Perth chairman Steve Brown hailed Wright as the most successful manager in the club’s history after defeating Dundee United 2-0 in May to lift the silverware. In the immediate aftermath of the final celebrations, Brown labelled his boss “a miracle worker” and joked: “He has signed a new contract but doesn’t realise it.” Fans’ favourite Wright’s current deal runs through to next year but negotiations have continued over the summer to tie him up long-term. Perth fans feared that with his stock rising, Wright could be tempted away from Perth after steering Saints to the top six, winning the cup and taking the Euro scalps of Rosenborg and Luzern. They have already seen Owen Coyle, Derek McInnes and Steve Lomas lured to the Championship when Burnley, Bristol City and Millwall targeted their bosses. But Wright, 50, made it clear after the cup win that he saw his future at McDiarmid Park. The former Northern Ireland international goalkeeper had previous managerial experience with Limavady, Ballymena and Lisburn Distillery before joining Lomas as assistant manager three years ago. With the departure of talisman May, Wright will be given resources to strengthen his squad before the transfer window closes.

Dundee FC

‘They’ve switched off’ Dundee boss John Brown ups the ante with relegation rivals St Mirren

May 2 2013

Newly crowned SPL manager of the month John Brown’s managerial stock is rising by the week. But the Dundee boss can see relegation rivals St Mirren sinking like the Titanic. Brown was presented with his Clydesdale Bank award for April yesterday and he couldn’t resist a dig at Saints, who are still in need of a point to secure their top-flight status at Dundee’s expense. They face Hearts on Saturday, and defeat would mean the Dark Blues will still be alive and kicking when Aberdeen visit Dens the following day. Asked if he would be heading to Tynecastle, he replied: “No. We’ve not got to play them again so I don’t need to go through that. I’ve got a nice DVD to watch. It’s the Titanic. And I can see Stevie Thompson at the front of the boat!” Brown believes the Paisley side are a club in freefall. He noted: “100% they’ve switched off, and it’s very difficult to pick that back up. “Plus, they’re playing a team who had their faces rubbed in it in the cup final. I know Gary Locke. He did his cruciate in the 1996 cup final, which was my last game for Rangers. “He’s a great lad, loves Hearts and St Mirren will find it tough at Tynecastle. They’ll need to have their A game, and if they don’t it could be another week,” said Brown. If Saints will get a proper test in Edinburgh, Brown believes his own team will get the same against Derek McInnes’ Dons. Brown said: “I met Derek at Kilmarnock a couple of weeks ago. He’s a great pal from our time at Rangers. He’s got football in his blood and I hope he’s given a chance at Aberdeen. “I know we’re in for a tough time against his team. Hopefully it will be all to play for with Hearts beating St Mirren on Saturday.” For an in-depth interview with Brown, see Thursday’s Courier or try our digital edition.

St Johnstone

Rotherham revive interest in St Johnstone’s Stevie May

August 1 2014

Rotherham United have resurrected their pursuit of St Johnstone striker Stevie May. Millers boss Steve Evans has been a long-time admirer of the 21-year-old, who netted 27 times for Saints last season, but the manager has seen successive bids for the player knocked back by McDiarmid chairman Steve Brown. May was expected to sign a contract extension during the close season but that hasn’t happened and his present deal runs out next summer. Now, it is understood that Rotherham, who will play in the English Championship this season, have launched another bid to finally land their man and are in talks with Saints.

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