Berwickshire driving duo maintain fine form in Scottish rally

Berwickshire pair Michael Binnie and Claire Mole are each in pole position after two rounds of the KNC Groundworks Motorsports 2022 UK Scottish Rally Championship.

By Ralph Mellon
Thursday, 28th April 2022, 9:42 am
Michael Binnie and Claire Mole on the road (picture by Alan Scott Photography / Ewan Mackenzie Photography)
Michael Binnie and Claire Mole on the road (picture by Alan Scott Photography / Ewan Mackenzie Photography)

After last weekend’s events in the north east, the top of the point standings are finely poised, with Binnie, of Cornhill-on-Tweed, and David Bogie, tied for first place, with Jock Armstrong one point behind.

Meanwhile, Mole, of Duns, leads the co-drivers’ standings by just one point from Cammy Fair.

The Borders duo backed up their Snowman win with a solid third place in the Elgin-based McDonald & Munro Speyside Stages.

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Binnie, pleasantly surprised to be as competitive as he was, really enjoyed a day-long battle with the Fiesta Rally2 cars of Freddie Milne/Patrick Walsh and David Henderson/Chris Lees.

Milne/Walsh dropped back to fifth overall after picking up a puncture and Binnie/Mole held on to the final podium place by just four seconds, after a late charge over the final two stages from Henderson/Lees.

The race, however, will be remembered for Dumfries driver Bogie taking an incredible 10th win.

Co-driven by experienced Irishman Barney Mitchell, the MINI WRC pilot trailed the leaders early on with a mysterious fault cutting the engine mid-stage.

This was traced to a fuelling issue and they charged from behind to take the win by 20 seconds at the finish.

Leading for most of the day, Jock Armstrong from Castle Douglas and Tobermory’s Cammy Fair took their second consecutive second place of the season.

Entries are now open for round three on May 29 – which sees the return of the Duns-based Jim Clark Reivers Rally to the championship.

Images courtesy of Alan Scott Photography & Ewan Mackenzie Photography

After blowing the engine on stage 1 of the Snowman, Castle Douglas’s Angus Lawrie had pulled off a superhuman effort to get a new one installed for the Speyside. With regular Annan co-driver Paul Gribben alongside, the Evo was embroiled in a battle with the similar car of team-mates and Challengers rivals William Paterson & Tom Hynd until the latter crew slipped back with a rear transmission issue later in the day. Angus & Paul built on their pace all day and finished a fine 10th overall to take a well-earned win in the Albyn Garage Challengers category

20th overall and Autoshop 2wd winners by over 2 minutes, the Penrith crew of Stuart Egglestone & Brian Hodgson were making their SRC debut in their historic spec Escort RS1800. Despite finding a 4-speed gearbox wasn’t really enough on these fast stages they nevertheless were involved in a day long battle with the more modern 2.5 litre Escort of Tore’s Thomas Gray until the latter’s propshaft cried enough on the penultimate stage.

Making amends for a terrible Snowman where they were OTL before the start, local man Scott Mutch was pleased to take the 5 Star Deliveries Subaru Cup win, with Greg McDonald alongside, ahead of round 1 winners Jordan Anderson & Clare Mackenzie, who endured a difficult day with a slipping clutch from the off and loose rear end. To do it on their home event in front of their friends & family was a bonus.

Top Moates Offshore Junior and a highly impressive 30th overall went to Robert Proudlock from Dumfries in his Vauxhall Adam. Continuing the battle with Justin Gunning’s Fiesta R2 from the 1st round, the two young chargers were separated by just 1 second after 5 stages before Justin and new co-driver Keith Fair’s event came to a premature end in a Gartly ditch. With the calming influence of Onich’s Steven Brown alongside Robert was absolutely delighted with his day out in the woods.

After being unimpressed with her own performance on the Snowman Inverurie’s Aileen Forrest was back on form on the Speyside. Navigated by husband John, Aileen would take the honours in the fiercely contested Ladies battle. With Snowman winner Ashleigh Morris retiring with clutch failure Aileen also moves into the Ladies points lead.

Taking the Haddo Energy Super Seniors honours by just under a minute, Thornhill’s Jim Robertson was another driver to bounce back after a disappointing Snowman. With the BDG Escort’s engine still sick Jim & co-driver Mike Curry had reverted back to the old faithful Pinto-engined car. Despite issues with the distributor Jim won the battle of the Jim’s, finishing ahead of fellow Mk2 pilot Jim McDowall.