Thorburn keeps options open ahead of 2017

Duns rally ace Euan Thorburn returned to action at the weekend.
Duns rally ace Euan Thorburn returned to action at the weekend.

Former Scottish rally champion Euan Thorburn was back in action at the weekend after a few months out of the driver’s seat.

The Duns driver finished a superb third overall at the wheel of an M-Sport Ford Fiesta R5 in Saturday’s Grizedale Stages where, once again he was partnered by co-driver Paul Beaton from Inverness.

Euan said: “We had a good day, it was nice to get to the end of a rally trouble free and we were happy enough to finish third in some tricky conditions. Can’t wait for 2017 now!”

The Duns driver has sold the Peugeot 208 T16 R5 that he used on selected events in 2016 and could switch to an M-Sport machine for 2017.

Euan explained: “The car we used on the Grizedale is the car Higgins used on the Isle of Man through the preparation firm Autotek. We hired it with a view to maybe getting it for next year but nothing is paid for yet.”

Euan has made no decision about committing to a championship for 2017 and has a number of options to consider.

He added: “We are aiming do the Mid Wales Stages which is the first round of the British Rally Championship. We did Ypres, which is a round of the 2017 BRC, a few years ago and I really enjoyed that so I would like to go back there but we are not committing to any championships.

“We will probably do The Snowman and the Cambrian as a warm up and then take it from there.”

Saturday’s Grizedale Stages was won by Durham’s Stephen Petch and Michael Wilkinson in a Ford Fiesta.

Hawick’s Ian Baumgart, co-driven by Mike Dickson from Gala, finished 11th overall in their Subaru Impreza.