After a disastrous 2013 British Rally Championship, Garry Pearson from Duns starts this year’s campaign with fresh hope.
In fact he not only as fresh hope but also a new car and a new co-driver.
After the first event was cancelled in early April, the 2014 championship gets underway this weekend with the Richard Burns Foundation Pirelli Rally based in Carlisle.
When asked about his new car - a Peugeot 208 R2 - Garry told The Berwickshire News: “We have done some testing recently in Wales and although it was a long way to go, it was well worth it to fine tune the suspension - the car is now feeling really good so we are optimistic.”
Garry’s new co-driver is the experienced Dave Robson from Ancrum. Although Dave has co-driven for Garry in the British Championship before, he did read the notes for him several years ago for a few events in the Ecosse 205 Challenge so they are not strangers.
Garry and Dave are seeded at No 8 so they7 should get the best of the going before the stages begin to cut up. They are the only Peugeot in the top 30.
However, seeded at No 35 in a Peugeot 3205, is St Boswells driver Ross Hunter who will be co-driven by Josh Davison.
In the Historic section Hawick co-driver Louise Sutherland partners Malton’s Steve Bannister in a Mk 2 Ford Escort while Kelso’s Ian Watson and co-driver Mike Dickson are competing in their Ford Escort.
All the 85 miles of special stages on this weekend’s event are in the infamous Kielder Forest starting on Saturday morning and finishing back in Carlisle just after midday on Sunday. The yawning ditches and the twisty nature of the adjacent Kershope stages mean a true challenge for all the competitors.
Saturday’s stages are preceded by a bit of pomp and ceremony in Carlisle City Centre with the paradeand autograph session from 9.30am.