Milne Masters snow and ice to win Border Counties

Quintin Milne at the Brick & Steel Border Counties Rally.
Quintin Milne at the Brick & Steel Border Counties Rally.

Quintin Milne battled “Arctic” conditions to win Saturday’s Brick and Steel Border Counties Rally – his second victory in the ARR Craib Scottish Rally Championship.

Co-driven by Martin Forrest from Aberdeen, the Banchory driver was fastest through three of the four special stages (the third stage was cancelled because of snow and access problems) to finish with a total time of 38 mins 27 secs in his Mitsubishi EVO 9.

Fellow Aberdeenshire driver Barry Groundwater, also in an EVO 9, was runner up, a further 1 min 7 secs further back, alongside navigator Neil Shanks from Elgin. The final podium spot went to County Durham’s Stephen Petch, co-driven by Michael Wilkinson, who was another nine seconds adrift in his EVO.

The opening stage won by one of the pre-event favourities, Euan Thorburn from Duns, in his Ford Focus WRC, while fourth seed Jock Armstrong was an early casualty, going off the road in his Subaru Impreza.

Malcolm Wilson Rally winner Thorburn, with Paul Beaton on the notes, then lost time after a spin.

With the Craik stage cancelled, crews moved on to Bewshaugh, where Milne again posted the fastest time.

The final Riccarton test was about whether Milne could keep his nose in front of the hard-charging Groundwater. In the event, the Banchory driver managed to slip and slide his car through in one piece to take the stage win by four seconds over his Stonehaven rival. At the conclusion, Petch was secure in third place overall, ahead of Bogie, MacDonald and Faulkner.

Event sponsor John McClory, co-driven by David Hood, took Group N honours in his Subaru Impreza N15, finishing seventh overall. The first 2WD car home was the Ford Escort Mk2 of Steve Bannister and Louise Sutherland: the Yorkshireman taking the historic class win by more than two minutes