Defending Scottish champions David Bogie and Kevin Rae capped a “perfect” weekend by winning Sunday’s Jim Clark Reivers Rally for the third successive year.
It was also their third victory of the 2011 MSA Scottish Rally Championship and followed their triumph the previous day in the fourth round of the Dulux Trade British Rally Championship - which they also lead.
The Reivers win was all the more notable in that Bogie had switched from his familiar Mitsubishi Evo 9 - used for the BRC round - to his family’s 24-year-old MG Metro 6R4, in which his father John had taken top honours on the tarmac event in 2002.
Bogie and Rae dominated the event from the start, finishing the seven completed stages (SS7 was cancelled because of an accident) in a time of 47 minutes and three seconds.
Duns driver Euan Thorburn, co-driven by Paul Beaton, were runners-up, one minute and 11 seconds adrift, while Jock Armstrong and navigator Barry McNulty secured the final podium spot, another ten seconds back.
The result means that after four rounds, Bogie now has an 11 point lead over Thorburn. Mike Faulkner is a further one point behind in third.
At the finish before an appreciative crowd in Duns town centre, Bogie reflected on a remarkable weekend.
“To come to the Jim Clark, and win the International Rally and the Reivers is just awesome to be honest - it’s hard to put into words”, said Bogie.
“When we came here at the end of last week we were targeting one event at a time. If I’d won one I’d have been delighted. To get both is really something. It also sets us up well for the Donegal Rally next month, when we’ll again be using the Metro.”
Thorburn pondered on what might have been on his home event, and admitted there had been too many unforced errors to threaten the winning duo. But given he had had to retire his Evo from the previous day’s International Rally with throttle problems, he was happy enough.
“We were a bit loose on the high speed stuff, a bit untidy in places, and we had a spin on the last stage coming onto the main road,” said Euan.
“David was in a class of his own, but we held in there and it’s good points for the championship.”
Robbie Head and Paxton co-driver Claire Mole finsihed in fifth place.
Head, who has now finished fifth on each of the past three rounds, had the distinction of winning the first Jim Clark Rally over closed public roads in 1997.
The Duns crew of Douglas Brydon and David O’Brien showed their expertise on tarmac with a fine sixth place overall and a class win in their Subaru Impreza.
“We’re very happy with sixth in such a competitive field. We had a good run through the afternoon stages. We lost time in the morning when we stopped to help a crew whose car had gone on fire,” said Brydon.
The first two-wheel drive car home was the historic-spec Ford Escort Mk2 of Steve Bannister and Louise Sutherland from Hawick who rounded off the top ten, and took a class win.
Arguably one of the most remarkable recoveries of the day was that of Alness ace David Wilson and navigator Dave Robson from Jedburgh in their Mitsubishi Evo 9. The pair survived a 100 mph crash on the second stage, with the car landing back on the road facing the wrong way (“All I remember is trees and greenery”, said Robson), and went on to finish 26th overall.
West Linton’s Giles Brooksbank and Duns co-driver Jane Nicol finished 22nd in their Subaru Impreza WRC while Coldstream’s Des Campbell and Hutton co-driver Alex Orr were 30th overall and second in class with their Vauxhall Corsa.
Hawick’s Martin Elsdon and John Frew were 31st overall and second in class in their Ford Escort Mk2 while St Boswells crew Gareth White and Mike Dickson were 32nd overall and thiord in class in their Citroen C2 R2 Max.
Richard Stewart and Carin Logan finished 35th overall in their Subaru Impreza while David Martin and Michael Simmonds notched up a class win in their Vauxhall Astra finishing in 41st place overall.
Second in class and 63rd overall were Adrian Stewart and Richard Simmonds in their Mini Cooper S.
Duns driver Dale Robertson and co-driver Paul McGuire completed a miserable weekend for them when they were forced out with a blown turbo on their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9.
Dom Buckly Jnr and Duns co-driver Doug Redpath put their Subaru Impreza off the road on the Fogo stage and were later forced to retire and the St Boswells crew of Sean and Iain Robson retired their Peugeot 205 GTi on the very first stage.
Bruce Hay and James Braithwaite slid off the road and retired their Vauxhall Nova on stage six while mechanical problems with their Nova forced Craig Smith and Jack Morton out of the event.
Mechanical problems also saw the retirements of Berwick crew Michael Deans and John Straughan (Mitsubishi Colt) and Stephen Dunn and Alison Woodcock (Subaru Impreza).