Thorburn in driving seat at Rally of Wales

editorial image

Talented Duns rally driver Euan Thorburn is celebrating yet again after winning the National Rally in the Rally of Wales.

Thorburn and his co-driver, Paul Beaton, steered their Ford Focus WRC to victory in the gruelling two-day event which was centred around Flintshire.

“It was a great way to round off our 2013 season with a win,” he said. “We weren’t exactly sure how the results worked out over the final stages, but thankfully we were the quickest overall. I would like to thank everyone for their support, it’s been great.”

Record-breaking crowds turned out at the weekend to watch the action, the main event, the International championship, which was run over three days and which was won by world champion Sebastian Ogier .

But Thornburn was concentrating on his own thing.

He went into the event as the top seed for the National, and whilst he admitted to feeling some pressure, he produced a near perfect drive to clinch a season-ending win.

On his first stage (SS7) he set the quickest time amongst the National competitors, and thereafter he literally led from start to finish.

After the first series of stages he held a lead of 1min 41 secs and commenting afterwards he posted on an internet forum: “Today has been a very positive day. This morning we headed out of service towards our first stage, ss7.

“Coming out of the 20 mile stage we were unsure if we had done enough to be in the lead as we struggled a little with the set up for the slippy conditions.

“Out of the stage we headed to Sweetlamb for SS8, short but very capable of catching out even the best of drivers. Again our set up wasn’t quite right but we came through as fastest national again.

“Our third stage was ss9 another 20 mile roller coaster, we changed a couple of settings and felt more comfortable in this stage, 1 minute 16 secs faster than our nearest competitor and extending our lead to 2 mins 41 secs at the overnight halt.

“We are looking forward to tomorrow’s stages where we are sampling a new dmack tyre for the first time.”

On day two Thorburn continued to set a cracking pace. He extended his lead by being quickest through the first three stages and three stage wins out of four on the day saw his advantage stretched to a commanding 3:47.6 over his nearest rival Melvyn Evans.

Thorburn added they had a ‘cushion’ going into the final day, but they could not take anything for granted as there was still ‘no room for error.’

On the final day Thorburn was fastest through the first two stages and with four stages left to run he posted:

“Fastest through first two morning stages! A good SS17 saw us take 11seconds off the time we set through there yesterday but a stall at a hairpin on SS18 lost us time.

“However, we still managed to set fastest time taking 7.5 seconds out of nearest stage rival Paul Benn!”

Thorburn held his nerve to the end and eventually led the field home.