Heartache for Pearson at Otterburn
DUNS rally driver Garry Pearson endured heartbreak on the UTS Cheviot Keith Knox Rally when a late electrical problem denied him victory.
But the 19 year-old student can take heart from the fact he's still in with a chance of winning the Brick and Steel 205 Ecosse Challenge - as the times he set over the course of the Cheviot proved.
Pearson and Inverbervie co-driver Tom Hynd stole the march over their rivals over the early stages of the north-east England event, working out an advantage of 16 seconds over the first two damp and misty tests.
A couple of overshoots and brake problems frustrated Garry's progress over the tarmac roads of the Otterburn military ranges, leading to a ding-dong battle with fellow Borders junior driver Sean Robson as the youngsters traded fastest 205 times.
Garry and Tom went into the final Crow Stone 2 test just two seconds ahead of Sean and his co-driver Dave Robson, the Border Rally Sport team having worked hard to resolve the brake issues. Halfway through the 14-mile stage, however, after a heavy landing a wire from the engine came loose, bringing the Peugeot 205 GTi to a halt. Pearson and Hynd worked for eight minutes to fix the problem, and although the crew lost out on a Challenge win they recovered to finish fifth 205 and secure valuable championship points.
"To lose out on a win like this is just heartbreaking, especially after going so well all day," admits Pearson, who has taken maximum points on four Challenge rounds already this year. "But at least we were able to get the car going again and get some points, which could prove vital in a title race as close as this."
"I was also very encouraged by the speed we had on tarmac," the junior continues. "We know we could have been faster in some places, so to set the times we did was very encouraging."
"I was extremely impressed with Garry's speed, and know we could have been on for a very, very strong result," agrees co-driver Hynd. "It's awful to lose out on a win like this, but that's motorsport."
The next outing for the Border Rally Sport team will be the Kingdom Stages on Saturday, November 6, at Crail Airfield. The Kingdom is the final round of the Brick and Steel 205 Ecosse Challenge, and Garry Pearson and Tom Hynd can head to Fife knowing that a win will guarantee them the one-make series title.
Meanwhile, Duns driver Garry Wilson makes his long-awaited comeback in this weekend's IRC Rally of Scotland.
Garry, driving his Opel Manta for the first time in three years, will be co-driven by Fiona Gourlay, also from Duns.
They will compete in the National B event which starts from Aberfoyle on Sunday.
The main evernt starts on Friday from Scone Palace.