Reigning BTRDA rally champion Euan Thorburn from Duns secured second place overall in Saturday’s Malcolm Wilson Rally.
Euan and co-driver Paul Beaton from Inverness started first on the road in their Fordf Focus WRC having won the rally last year. However, after the first stage that was all to change! Euan explained: “It was all going well until half way through the stage we lost all hydraulic pressure resulting in the gears sticking and we spun.”
On the remote service before the second stage the team worked hard to get the car fixed but could only patch it up as they did not have the correct part. A trip to M-Sport was called for while Euan and Paul headed off to the second and third stage’s of the day. The pair completed the two stages using a manual gearbox and managed to hold on to third position having only dropped 27 seconds to leader Paul Bird.
The team eventually managed to get the car fixed but overshot a junction on stage four losing more time to Bird.
With only four stages remaining Euan was 38 seconds off the lead but a determined Euan set fastest times on the next three stages dfespite a puncture on one of them.
With one stage remaining Euan was 15 second behind Bird. He was again fastest on the final stage but only took two seconds off Bird and had to be content with second overall.
Euan said: “At least I got some points on the board. After this morning, to finish second is good, but there was just too much to make up on Paul (Bird) in the afternoon. I did manage to take 2 seconds out of him on the final stage but it wasn’t nearly enough. The stage didn’t suit the car, there were too many long straights and I just didn’t have the power.”
Euan’s next event is the Border Counties Rally in Jedburgh on March 22, the second round of the Scottish Rally Championship. The Duns man will be looking for another good result to add to his win on the opening round, the Snowman Rally in Inverness.