The curtain came down on the 2014 ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship in dramatic style on Sunday, with Duns driver Dale Robertson clinching the coveted Group N title.
Robertson, co-driven by Paul McGuire from Tranent, wrapped up their campaign by finishing the rally in sixth place overall narrowly winning the Mitsubishi Group N championship from rival Fraser Wilson.
“We were three seconds up on Fraser going into the last stage, and then we both recorded the exact same times, it was as close as that”, said Robertson, who had lost some time earlier in the day when he hit a straw bale.
“It’s been a great battle all season, and to finally get the Gp N title in the bag is absolutely brilliant”.
Wilson, with Jane Nicol on the notes, rued what might have been, but at least had the consolation of knowing he had won Class 10 in the championship.
Jock Armstrong won the rally, his seventh Galloway Hills success, and secured third spot in the Scottish Championship.
The Castle Douglas ace, with Paul Swinscoe on the notes, was trailing the previous weekend’s Cambrian Rally winners Dave Weston Jnr and navigator Kirsty Riddick by nine seconds going into the final Dalbeattie stage.
However, while the Aberdeen driver spun his Subaru Impreza WRC and got stuck in a ditch “for a good two minutes”, Armstrong was in top form to “nail” the victory in his Subaru.
He finished 22 seconds ahead of David Bogie who, with Kevin Rae of Hawick alongside, used the event to fine-tune his Ford Fiesta R5 in preparation for next month’s Wales Rally GB.
The Dumfries driver was also confirmed as runner-up in the championship behind Duns driver Euan Thorburn, who won his first Scottish title on the previous Colin McRae Stages.
Desi Henry and Damien Duffin, one of 24 Irish crews who took the ferry over for the “Hills”, clinched the final podium spot overall in a Mitsubishi EVO 9, with Dougal Brown and Lewis Rochford from Inverness capping an impressive season by finishing third of the SRC- registered competitors in their EVO.
Steve Bannister and Louise Rae were first home of the SRC-registered 2WD entries in their historic-spec Mk2, ending the day in 17th overall.
Leitholm’s Kieran Renton, with Dave Robson from Jedburgh navigating, took top honours in the 1600cc category, finishing 20th overall. He described his Ford Fiesta R200 as being “a completely different car” after a hole “as big as a size seven shoe” was discovered in the engine block, accounting for some lack-lustre performances on previous rounds.
Kinross driver Blair Brown, co-driven by Richard Simmonds from Duns, secured second in class 3 in the overall standings in their Peugeot 205.
News and updates of all SRC rounds can be found at www.scottishrallychampionship.co.uk