Two Duns rally drivers are pitting their skills against the best in the world by competing in the Wales Rally GB this weekend.
Newly crowned Scottish champion Euan Thorburn and former British junior rally champion Garry Pearson are all set for the rally which starts from Colwyn Bay and finishes at Llandudno on Sunday after over 300 kilometres of Special Stages and 1000 kilometres of road sections run over three days. Wales Rally GB is the final round of this year’s World Rally Championship.
After securing a new car in Finland just over a week ago, plans have finally come together for Euan as he prepares to make his debut in the World Rally Championship.
For a while it was looking highly unlikely that we would be seeing the Scottish Champion on the Welsh stages but the purchase of a Ford Fiesta S2000, fit to compete with the world’s best has meant its been a busy few days for the Duns-based team.
Euan and his co-driver Paul Beaton from Inverness have be recceing in Wales since Tuesday and will do the event shakedown today before the action gets underway on Friday
Euan tested the car last Thursday at the Msport complex. He said: “The testing went very well and I was happy at the end of it. I’m having to get used to a totally different way of driving, it’s so different from the Focus. Thanks to Msport and Paul Benn for organising that for us.”
He added: “In Rally GB we will be competing against the best drivers in the world. There will be no pressure on us so we will just go out and see how well we can do.”
Euan is very grateful to his sponsors for this event - Blinkbonny quarry, Walker Groundworks, H.E builders, RMP contracts, Pirelli, Aet installations and JTS.
Garry Pearson from Duns is also competing in his first World Championship Rally and he has not been without his problems during the week leading up to the event.
Garry’s experienced co-driver Dave Robson, from Jedburgh, has had to withdraw from the event due to illness and Niall Burns from Ireland has stepped in at the last minute to take over on the notes.
Garry said: “It’s going to be a steep learning curve for me with Wales Rally GB being more than twice the competitive miles than the usual British Championshiop events I am used to competing in. However, having a new co-driver I had never met before has raised the bar even higher!”
Garry is seeded third R2 car in his Peugeot 208 and will be again competing against Chris Ingram who is the first seed in his category in a similar car backed by Peugeot UK.
Taking part in the national section of the rally - won by Euan Thorburn last year - is St Boswsells driver Ross Hunter.
Ross is the Champion Driver of the 2014 NGK Spark Plugs BRC Challenge Trophy and as a result won a place on the Road to Wales, a free entry given by the event as a prize, to join the national section on the Wales Rally GB Rally.
Seeded just one place behind Hunter are the Tuer brothers, Carl and Rob from Alnwick/Whitekirk in their MG ZR S1600
Competitors will do battle with the elements over three days and almost 200 stage miles, as they focus on 23 stages in mid and north Wales.