A dramatic final twist saw David Bogie win his fourth Jim Clark Reivers Rally in five years on Sunday, and his second consecutive victory in the ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship.
Last year’s winner, Euan Thorburn, was 20 seconds up on the defending champion at the end of the penultimate stage when a hydraulic oil pipe broke in his Ford Focus WRC.
Oil caught alight on the hot exhaust, causing a small fire which was quickly extinguished by marshals. Following emergency repairs, Thorburn and co-driver Paul Beaton were able to continue to the final stage, but with the car not fully functional, they lost 30 seconds to Bogie and Hawick navigator Kevin Rae and had to settle for second.
Thorburn, who had successfully defended his Jim Clark National title over the previous two days, could not hide his disappointment at the finish in his home town of Duns: “We were lucky to get to the end. It’s put a real dampener on the weekend to be honest. We should have won the rally.”
Bogie, meanwhile, had a largely trouble-free day behind the wheel of his Focus WRC, apart from a minor mishap right at the start: “With Euan winning the National rally, we knew we had to be quickly on the pace from the off”, said Bogie: “Unfortunately, we weren’t – we stalled at the start line of the first stage, costing us about 10 or 12 seconds. From then on we were really chasing our tails, but we kept the pace up and I was happy with the stage times, given it was the first competitive run with the Focus on tarmac. It was a fight right to the end before Euan hit trouble and we inherited the win. That’s the way it goes, I lost out with gearbox problems last year.”
Third place went to Barry Groundwater – nearly two minutes adrift of Thorburn – in his Mitsubishi EVO 9. It was an excellent result for the Stonehaven competitor, co-driven by Neil Shanks, after he had been forced to pull out of the National rally the previous day because of sickness.
Alistair and Colin Inglis achieved their best ever SRC result with fourth overall in their EVO 5.
There were no dramas for fifth-placed Andy Horne and Jim Howie in the DAM 4100gti: “We’ve had a fantastic day,” said the Inverness-based driver. “The stages were brilliant and much improved from the recce the previous weekend – someone has put in a lot of hard work”.
Banchory’s Quintin Milne, second in the points going into the Reivers Rally alongside Aberdeen-based navigator Martin Forrest, took a hard-earned sixth place in his EVO 9.
Local duo Dom Buckley and Doug Redpath picked up their second successive top seven finish and a class win on their home event in a Subaru Impreza, 45 seconds ahead of the EVO 9 of Inverness pairing Donnie MacDonald and Andrew Falconer.
Leading 2WD competitor was Malton’s Steve Bannister, in his historic class Ford Escort Mk2. The Yorkshireman, co-driven by Hawick’s Louise Sutherland.
Carl Tuer and Rob Tuer celebrated what had been a “fantastic weekend” – winning the 1600cc class in their MG ZR Super 1600 on both the National and Reivers rallies forthe second year running.
Kelso’s Ian Watson, co-driven by Mike Dickson from Galashiels finished 19th overall in their Subaru Impreza while Leitholm’s Kieran Renton and Kelso co-driver Carin Logan were 24th and third in their class with a Ford Fiesta.
Kelso driver Kev Dunn, co-driven by James Braithwaite from Newtown St Boswellsd were 25th overall and first in class in their Vauxhall Nova while Robbie Mitchell (Duns) and co-driver Allan Dobson were 28th overall in their Toyota Corolla.
Berwick’s Michael Deans, co-driven by John Straughan from Branxton finished 36th overall and second in class in their Mitsubishi Colt.
Scott and Adam Russell were on top form in their Vauxhall Corsa finishing 41st overall and second in their class, just ahead of Peter Fleming (Cockburnspath) and Martyn Scott (Kelso) who were 42nd and second in class in their Ford Escort.
Lauder’s Callum Atkinson and co-driver Craig Forsyth, Kelso, were 51st overall in a Peugeot 205 while James Thomson from Melrose and Coldstream co-driver Alison Woodcock were 55th and third in class in their Vauxhall Nova.
In 56th place were Adrian Stewart from Aberdeen and his Duns co-driver Richard Simmonds in a Peugeot 205GTi and in 58th place was Thomas Heard from Jedburgh in a Volvo S70 T5. Iain (Jedburgh) and Alistair Maxwell (Ancrum) were 68th and third in class in their Ford Escort MkII.
Among the non-finishers were Duns driver Colin Aitchison who retired his Vauxhall Chevette with alternator problems, and Douglas Humphrey from Dunbar who went off the road on the Edrom stage.
The fourth round of the 2013 ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship is the RSAC Scottish Rally in Dumfries on Saturday, June 29.