Eight WRCs in national

08 Simpson Neil, Mole Claire, Skoda Fabia S2000,during the 2014 European Rally Championship ERC Ireland rally,  on April 19, at Belfast, Ireland, Photo Wilfried Marcon / DPPI
08 Simpson Neil, Mole Claire, Skoda Fabia S2000,during the 2014 European Rally Championship ERC Ireland rally, on April 19, at Belfast, Ireland, Photo Wilfried Marcon / DPPI

Last year’s winners Euan Thorburn and Paul Beaton are top seeds in the Jim Clark National Rally with their Ford Focus WRC.

The Duns driver will face some tough opposition once again from the likes of Radcliffe’s Steve Simpson in a Subaru Impreza WRC and Damian Cole from Abergavenney in a Ford Focus WRC. Other contenders included Blackburn’s John Stone in his Skoda Fabia WRC and Lancaster’s Darren Atkinson in his new Ford Fiesta.

Whitsome co-driver Claire Mole is on the notes for Lancashire’s Neil Simpson in a Skoda Fabia S2000 while St Boswells co-driver Mike Dickson partners Bicester’s Simon Mauger in his very rapid Ford Escort and Hawick’s newly-wed Louise Rae co-drives again for Malton’s Steve Bannister, also in a Ford Escort.

Duns driver Dale Robertson and Tranent co-driver Paul McGuire will be hoping for better luck this year with their new Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9. Last year their hopes went up in smoke as their car was burnt to a crisp after catching fire.

Other local crews are: Bob Grant (Kircaldy) and Dave O’Brien (Duns), Subaru Impreza; Carl and Rob Tuer (Alnwick), MG ZR Super 2600; Kev Dunn (St Boswells) and Gary White (Newtown St Boswells), Vauxhall Nova; Billy Cowe (Ayton) and Robert Paterson (Paxton), Subaru Impreza; Robbie Pearson (Duns) and Alasdair McIlroy (Jedburgh), Peugeot 205 GTi; Nick Thorne (Earlston) and Ian Murray (Edinburgh), Honda Civic; Scott and Adam Russell (Lauder), Vauxhall Corsa; James Thomson (Melrose) and Alison Woodcock (Coldstream), Vauxhall Nova; Carin Logan (Kelso) and Christine Sanderson (Berwick), Citroen Saxo VTS; Scott Balgowan (Duns) and Daniel Christie (Inverurie), Vauxhall Nova; Frank Pinder (St Boswells) and John Clark (Oakamoor), Vauxhall Chevette HSR; Ian Shiells (Kelso) and Nicola Ritchie (Auchleven), BMW.

The rally is a counter in the REIS Asphalt Rally Championship.