If the Borders of Scotland are steeped in motor sporting tradition, then there are few more so than the Buckley dynasty at Hassington.
Renowned throughout British rallying as one of the foremost rally car preparation and rally team management companies in the business, Dom Buckley Motorsport’s expertise was born in the white hot heat of competition.
In 1984 Dom Buckley and his Duns co-driver Doug ‘Spud’ Redpath won the Jim Clark Rally in a self-prepared Ford Escort RS1800, then in 1998, Dom Buckley Jnr and Neil Ewing won only the second running of the UK mainland’s first ‘closed public road rally’ in their Subaru Impreza.
As an aside, Lanarkshire’s Robbie Head won the first closed road Clark, the year before in 1997, in a works Renault Maxi Megane.
Now it’s the turn of a third generation Dom Buckley who will be contesting this year’s Jim Clark Reivers Rally on Sunday, June 2, in another Subaru Impreza, with Doug Redpath once again on the maps.
Oddly enough, ‘young’ Dom was a late starter. This will only be the 22-year-old’s sixth ever rally. At present he is captain of the Kelso 7’s rugby team and rallying has taken second place to his rugby career so far.
Even so, his rallying record is mighty impressive. So far he has started six rallies and finished four, finishing third twice and second once, before taking his first outright victory on the local Charterhall Stages Rally just two months ago!
But can he repeat his Dad and Grandad’s feat on the Jim Clark Reivers Rally? That’s a huge task.
He’ll be up against the likes of four times Scottish Rally Champion David Bogie (Dumfries), the fast and furious Jock Armstrong (Clarebrand) and top local driver Euan Thorburn (Duns), plus the north-east’s Quintin Milne (Aberdeen), Barry Groundwater (Stonehaven) and Chris Collie (Aberdeen), not to mention Mike Faulkner (Kirtlebridge), Donnie MacDonald (Inverness), and another top local seed, Dale Robertson (Duns).
But the dynasty doesn’t stop there.
In the early 2000s Neil Buckley (the middle Dom’s brother!) successfully campaigned a Group N Mitsubishi Lancer in the British Championship, winning the British Group N title, but which just lacked the firepower to go for an outright win on his ‘home’ event.
He too combined a successful rugby playing career with his rallying, but like brother and father now helps to run this thriving family business near Greenlaw which assists and supports rally teams right across the UK and Ireland and as far afield as Italy and Monte Carlo, Sweden and Barbados.
In other words, this latest generation of the rallying Buckleys has a hard act to follow. Victory this year would be an entirely unexpected result, but the experience gained could give him a serious fighting chance next year.
So look out for the yellow Subaru on the Jim Clark Reivers Rally. Fairy tales sometimes do happen.
Jim Clark Rally Schedule: Friday, May 31 – Jim Clark Rally Starts 6pm with six Special Stages; Saturday, June 1 – Rally re-Starts at 8am, with 10 Special Stages;
Sunday, June 2 – Jim Clark Reivers Rally starts at 9am with eight Special Stages.
For further information visit: www.jimclarkrally.com