Borders drivers to the fore in RSAC Scottish Rally
Borders drivers shone in Saturday's RSAC Scottish Rally, a counter in both the MSA British Rally Championship and the ARR Craib Scottish Rally Championship.
Duns driver Euan Thorburn in his Peugeot 208 T16 finished a superb fourth overall in the Dumfries-based event while fellow ‘Dinger’ Garry Pearson in a Ford Fiesta was eighth overall and top Scottish Championship driver.
The rally was won by Elfyn Evans and co-driver Craig Parry in a Ford Fiesta R5 elevating them back to the top of the BRC table. Tom Cave in his Fiesta R5 finished second with Irishman Desi Henry taking third in his Skoda Fabia R5 with a fine third.
Dumfries driver David Bogie, co-driven by Hawick Kevin Rae, held a solid second overall until damage to his Skoda Fabia’s radiator put paid to his weekend on the final stage.
Euan Thorburn and his co-driver Paul Beaton from Inverness were delighted with their fourth place. Euan said: “We took it pretty steady through the first couple of stages and began to push more as the day went on but it was very fast at the front! The car went well and we just need time now to build the confidence up and get our pace back.”
Garry Pearson and his co-driver Robbie Mitchell extended their lead at the top of the Scottish Championship table with another superb performance.
The Duns crew dropped over 18 seconds with a spin on the opening stage leaving then with a deficit of 17.3 seconds to leading Scottish Championship driver Jock Armstrong.
However, Garry bounced back on SS3 with a cracking time 13.3 seconds better than Armstrong followed by the fifth quickest overall time on the next stage to head all of the SRC runners.
Despite a scare when the power steering stopped working, the Duns crew were never headed again, finishing first ARR Craib Scottish registered crew for the second rally in succession.
Garry said: “Considering the time we dropped and the fact it was only our fourth event in the car and we did not make our own pace notes, we were happy with our times.”
Jedburgh-co-driver Dave Robson was on the notes for Dumfries driver Rory Young in a Ford Fiesta and they finished in 13th place overall
Hawick’s Ian Baumgart and Gala co-driver Mike Dickson enjoyed a good run in their Subaru Impreza finishing 21st overall and second in class.
Cornhill’s Michael Binnie, co-driven by Claire Mole of Whitsome turned a few heads before they were forced to retire with no brakes on their Mitsibishi Evo 5. Michael was just outside to top 20 overall and second in his class despite breaking a driveshaft on the third stage.
Kilmarnock’s James Gibb and St Boswells co-driver Ian Robson were 38th in their Ford Fiesta, just one place ahead of Kinross driver Blair Brown and Duns co-driver Richard Simmonds also in a Fiesta.
Another Duns co-driver David O’Brien was on the notes for Perth’s Gordon Murray and they took their rapid Ford Escort Mk2 to a class win and 40th overall. Canonbie’s John McIlwraith and Duns co-driver Scott Young finished 61st in their Ford Escort RS.
Among the non-finishers were Gina Walker (Duns) and Edwin Cook (Lamplugh) in their Citroen C2, Alan Cowan (Duns) and Katie Stimpson (Haddenham) in their Vauxhall Astra and Andy Struthers (Libberton) and Alasdair McIlroy (Jedburgh) in their Citroen C2 VTS.