Duns rally driver Euan Thorburn made a winning start to his 2015 season with victory in Saturday’s Malcolm Wilson Rally.
What made this victory a little surprising was that Euan was not even driving his own car and was not partnered by his usual co-driver Paul Beaton.
He was in fact drivng a Ford Focus WRC02 car belongling to Paul Benn an was being co-driven by Paul co-driver Richard Cooke.
In wet and slippery conditions, it was Paul Bird who flew through the opening four stages setting fastest time on them all to arrive back at the Penrith service area with a 15 second lead in the Dom Buckley IRS-prepared Ford Focus WRC07.
However, as Euan got more used to the car and co-driver he soon reined Bird in with fastest times on four of the next five stages to win by a comfortable 46 seconds with Bird finishing runner-up.
Euan said: “I can’t thank everyone enough, especially Paul Benn, letting me loose in his faultless car and also to Richard Cooke who hasn’t missed a beat on the notes all day! It was brilliant to get a win on my first rally of the year.”
After winning the Scottish title last year Euan has decided not to defend his crown and instead will contest a number of ‘foreign’ events this year starting with the Circuit of Ireland Rally next month (April 2-4).
He will also compete in the McRae Rally Challenge at Knockhill in May and added: “I’ll be driving my Ford Fiesta S2000 and it should provide a good test for it and a chance to try out the car on its tarmack suspension set-up. I’m planning to do more tarmac events this year including the Ypres Rally in Belgium in June.”