All set for Scottish showdown

David Bogie is aiming to further tighten his grip on the MSA Scottish Rally Championship with a second successive victory on his home event this weekend.

The Dumfries driver goes into the RSAC Scottish Rally on Saturday, with an 11 point advantage over Euan Thorburn from Duns in the overall drivers’ standings, and is odds-on favourite to take his fourth SRC win of 2011.

Bogie and his Hawick co-driver Kevin Rae head a strong field of more than 100 crews for the fifth round of the series, which will be played out over the classic forest stages to the east of Dumfries.

The defending champion will be back in his more familiar Mitsubishi Evo 9, after a dominant victory on the Jim Clark Reivers Rally at the wheel of his family’s MG Metro 6R4.

“We’ll be out to win the “Scottish” and take maximum points, that’s for sure”, said Bogie.

Although his name does not appear in the seedings as published, Thorburn has submitted a late entry. The Duns driver, with Paul Beaton on the notes, has been runner-up to Bogie twice this season in his Mitsubishi Evo 9.

“We were happy enough with our second place on the Reivers, despite losing some time with the odd spin here and there. But David was in a class of his own, and we need to push and get another good result in Dumfries to stay in the hunt”, said Thorburn.

Fifth seed David Wilson, co-driven by Jedburgh’s Dave Robson, survived a massive 100mph “off” on the Jim Clark Reivers in his Evo 9, but still managed to regroup and finish in the top 30. The young Alness driver took the final podium spot on last year’s “Scottish” and was also third on the Granite City in April, so will be pushing to go even better this time out.

Robbie Head has been “Mr Consistency” since returning to competition this season after a long lay-off, and currently sits fourth in the overall drivers’ standings, twenty points shy of Bogie. The Lanark-based former works driver, co-driven by Paxton’s Claire Mole, opened his account with a seventh place finish.

The fight for honours is just as intense for SRC-registered crews in Classes 1 to 5, who, as is traditional on the “Scottish”, will start behind the dozen or so Historic entries, and ahead of the 4-wheel drive competitors.

As well as being the fifth round of the SRC, the RSAC Scottish is also a counter in the Brick and Steel Ecosse Challenge; the Borders Rally and Five of Clubs Rally championships; and the Motoscope Northern Historic Rally Championship.

The “Scottish” also marks the return of the British Army Rally Team, who have had a long association with the event. They have entered six Landrovers, for what will be their first competitive outing in more than a year.