Thorburn and Beaton win again in BTRDA series

Euan Thorburn winning the Scottish Rally Championship section of the RSAC Scottish Rally.
Euan Thorburn winning the Scottish Rally Championship section of the RSAC Scottish Rally.
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Duns rally driver Euan Thorburn is on a winning run in this year’s prestigious BTRDA Rally Championship.

Once again co-driven by Paul Beaton from Inverness, Euan, at the wheel of his Ford Focus WRC, stormed to a comfortable victory in the sixth round of the series, the Nicky Grist Stages Rally in Wales.

Euan and Paul have been mainly contesting this year’s Scottish Rally Championship, but this year have been competing in the ten round BTRDA as well as they look to test themselves further afield.

So far in the series Euan and Paul have won the Cockermouth-based Malolm Wilson Stage and the Plains Rally in Wales.

The Nicky Grist Stages was based in and around the Brecon Beacons, and the duo faced a difficult time of it as the warm weather meant dusty conditions often resulted in them being unable to see the cars in front of them.

There was a moment of concern just near the finishing line on the third stage when a spin resulted in their Ford Focus WRC losing its front bumper and headlights, but they survived to lie second overall to Elfyn Evans, who is a works driver with the Ford rally team.

They were still keeping well within touching distance to the professional driver and were rewarded on the next stage when Elfyn’s Fiesta hit trouble, an engine warning light had come on which resulted in him having to pull out of the event.

Championship rival Connor McCloskey who was running in front of Thorburn and Beaton on the road, but third overall on the times, also crashed out as he rolled his S11 Subaru Impreza.

This left Thorburn and Beaton in first place - a position they would keep a hold of for the remainder of the event.

“With Connor and Elfyn going out, the dust wasn’t an issue anymore,” said Paul.

He added: “However, we had to borrow lights and a bumper off a fellow competitor or the organisers would not have let us back out due to the road safety laws.

“We wanted to try and take advantage of the dust free roads, but had fuel issues when both pumps in the car began to fail.

“It was a nerve wracking final three stages, but we got the win by well over a minute. This puts us in a strong position for the championship with three wins.”

The next round of the BTRDA series is the Woodpecker Stages in Ludlow on August 31 but prior to this they will be competing in the next round of the Scottish Championship, the McDonald and Munro Speyside Stages at Elgin.