Thorburn hoping to stay ahead of the chasing pack

Euan Thorburn will be out to top the podium this weekend.
Euan Thorburn will be out to top the podium this weekend.

The ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship (SRC) travels west to Argyll and Bute for round five of the 2017 series, the Dunoon Presents Argyll Stages this weekend.

With a packed entry list full of quality, competitors will tackle the famous stages in the Argyll Forest Park for the first time this millennium with the battle at the front finely poised between the latest two champions - Euan Thorburn and Jock Armstrong.

Duns ace Thorburn and his inverness co-driver Paul Beaton head the standings courtesy of four consecutive podium finishes and a first win of their season last month on the Scottish Rally.

The Ford Fiesta R5 pairing struggled to get up to their ultimate pace quickly at the start of the year, but have improved with every passing round and are a serious threat for a second Scottish title.

With two titles already to his name, Jock Armstrong is vying to make it three in 2017 with his Subaru Impreza.

Co-driven by Paula Swinscoe, Armstrong took second behind Thorburn in Lockerbie, but will be hoping to use the blank canvas that Argyll presents to his advantage and claim a second win of the season.

That won’t be easy, though, as Shaun Sinclair and Jamie Edwards are back on form in their awesome Subaru Impreza S14 WRC and keen to reach the top step of the rostrum after two top three finishes from four starts.

Sinclair, from Oban, grabbed third last time out after a trouble free but “over-cautious” run so will be eager to go for it on an event he won the last time it was run.

The battle for the SRC Challengers is poised to be as relentless as ever, with all three 2017 category winners Iain Wilson (Subaru Impreza), John Wink (Mitsubishi Evo IX) and Cornhill’s Michael Binnie (Mitsubishi Evo V), co-driven by Claire Mole from Duns, gunning for success on round five.

The Duns crews of Gina Walker and Richard Simmonds (Citroen C2) and Max and Callum Redpath (Peugeot 205) will also be going flat out for class wins, both crews have done well in previous rounds.

Duns co-driver David O’Brien will be on the notes for Lower Largo’s John Rintoul.