Duns driver’s run of bad luck continues in Pirelli Rally

Euan Thorburn and Paul Beaton in the Pirelli Rally.
Euan Thorburn and Paul Beaton in the Pirelli Rally.

Euan Thorburn’s bad luck continued in the weekend’s Pirelli Carlisle Rally, the third round of the 2016 MSA British Rally Championship.

The Duns driver, co-driven by Paul Beaton of Inverness, was forced out of the event on the very first stage when a belt on the engine broke in his Peugeot 208 T16 R5.

Following his retiral on Saturday a very disappointed Euan said: “We would have no luck at all if it wasn’t bad luck! A belt come off the engine on stage 1. It was then just a case of getting back out Sunday for seat time. So disappointing.”

David Bogie and his Hawick co-driver Kevin Rae also suffered bad luck in their Skoda Fabia R5.

After Saturday’s stages the Dumfries driver was in second place overall, just 7.3 seconds behind his CA1 Sport team mate, Swedish star Fredrik Ahlin in a Ford Fiesta R5. However, on Sunday the conditions changed dramatically. Heavy rain showers in the morning provided challenging conditions on the tricky Kielder stages. Bogie was confident he was going to fight for supremacy but he tried too hard and put his Skoda into a ditch on the opening test and his rally was over.

Fredrik Ahlin and his Norwegian co-driver Morten Erik Abrahamsen cruised home to victory and made it three different winners in the opening three rounds of this year’s Championship. Ahlin also played his ‘Joker’ which doubled his points allowing him to overtake rival Elfyn Evans at the top of points standings. He now holds a five-point advantage after the Cumbrian event.

Second place went to Matthew Wilson in a Ford Fiesta R5 and third was Elfyn Evans in a similar car.

Duns co-driver Richard Simmonds was on the notes for Kinross driver Blair Brown in their Ford Fiesta R2T. They finished 26th overall and seventh in the Junior Championship.

The all-Borders crew of Jock Higginbottom (Selkirk) and Scott Young (Duns) were competing in their Land Rover Wolf XD. Unfortunately they were forced to retire on stage five with gearbox problems.

The 2016 MSA British Rally Championship heads for Scotland next month for round four, the RSAC Scottish Rally on Saturday, June 25. This is the only round of the series to take place over one day, but a day with a big challenge. Offering classic tests such as Ae, Twiglees, Castle O’er and based around Dumfries, will Bogie and Thorburn play their ‘Jokers’?