Duns duo Garry Pearson and Robbie Mitchell claimed second overall in the 2016 ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship, but for much of the year looked as if they would become the fourth different champions in as many years.
Whilst Mitchell did claim the co-drivers’ title, Pearson missed out on the overall drivers’ spoils by just a single point, with Castle Douglas ace Jock Armstrong taking his second consecutive Scottish Rally Championship title.
However, despite losing out on his first national title due to a melted rocker cover aboard his Dom Buckley RSC prepared Ford Fiesta R5, Garry is still holding his head up high in what was a remarkable first season in the car.
“I speak for us both in saying we’re immensely proud of what we’ve achieved this year,” he said.
“After all, Robbie and I couldn’t have done any better. Mechanical problems can happen in motorsport and all crews know that only too well.”
Coming into the season, the 2012 British Junior Champion had next to no experience of four-wheel-drive machinery so he had modest expectations despite driving a very competitive car.
“Our aim at the Snowman was a top 10 finish, at the Border Counties it was a top seven and we exceeded both,” added Pearson.
The Duns driver claimed two wins and a further two second places throughout the series, but says the highlight was watching his times improve, in a car he reckons is pretty closely matched with his rivals.
“The highlight would have to be the enjoyment of improving. We really are rookies in four-wheel-drive and after seven events in the category we feel we can go and challenge for wins, and that’s a great feeling,” he confirmed.
Despite coming so close to winning the championship, there will be no second stab at it for Pearson - at least for the time being.
“The SRC has been great and I’d highly recommend it, but I’ll be moving on in 2017,” he explained.
“I’d like to come back at some stage, but for now it has served a great purpose as a learning year for us and that’s what we set out to do.
“Special thanks to everyone involved in running the events and to all my sponsors and supporters, and Dom Buckley RSC.”