Class win for Pearson in ‘Killer’ Kielder

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Young Duns rally driver Garry Pearson and his co-driver Laura Marshall finally got the result they’d been waiting for at the weekend when they collected a class win after a gruelling day in “Killer” Kielder in the Pirelli Challenge Rally.

The young duo finished with a spectacular four minute advantage over RC1 class rival James Smith.

Things got off to a worrying start with a puncture on the second stage (the longest stage of the rally) - and 19-year-old Garry still had eight stage miles to drive!

Then, before reaching the finish of the stage they collected a second puncture losing the crew over a minute and damaging the rear quarter of the car. Carrying only one spare wheel meant starting the third stage with a rear flat and dropping more time.

The crew made it back to service still leading the class by just under two minutes.

The final three abrasive Kielder stages proved to be the better half of the day with the crew now getting a good feel for the car despite a bent front wishbone.

With a small overshoot and a spin on the famous Pundershaw Stage, Garry decided he would take a more cautious approach on the last special stage. However, the crew still put together an eighth fastest stage time which was slightly hampered when they caught up on the dust and passed fellow Challenge competitor Becky Kirvan.

Becky swiftly pulled over to allow the crew to come home in 12th overall and first in the Stars of the Future Category.

“Saturday was a real test for both Garry and myself, the warm and dusty conditions were a real test compared to our first outing on the Bulldog Rally in March,” explained Laura.

Garryv added: “After battling through with all the punctures, I’m really happy to get the win, the car ran faultlessly and the team were excellent!”

The next round on the BRC Challenge calendar is the Jim Clark Rally (May 27/28) in Duns, Garry’s home event.