Delight as Berwickshire driver secures his first podium finish

Michael Binnie and Claire Mole in circuit action (picture by Frank Love)
Michael Binnie and Claire Mole in circuit action (picture by Frank Love)

Rally driver Michael Binnie claimed his first ever podium position with third place in last Saturday’s Armstrong Galloway Hills Rally.

The Cornhill-on-Tweed man, along with co-driver Claire Mole, from Duns, piloted the Mitsubishi Evo 9 around 45 competitive miles based in the forests of Dumfries and Galloway.

“Get in” was the short message on the Michael Binnie Rallying Facebook page after his success, with many of his friends and supporters posting messages of congratulation.

Five-time KNC Groundworks Scottish Rally Championship (SRC) champion David Bogie sealed a commanding victory in the weekend’s event, which was the final round of the series.

Co-driven by John Rowan, Bogie took victory by over a minute from local hero Jock Armstrong and Cameron Fair, who finished ahead of Michael and Claire.

Michael (26) had headed to the Galloway Hills in a scrap for a top three place in the championship. But his focus was solely on grabbing the best result he could. Locked in a fierce battle with the returning Rory Young and John Wink, Michael began to edge clear as the morning progressed.

Wink’s demise on SS3 Dunharberry gave him some breathing space but Michael and Claire charged on to take that first-ever SRC podium after finishing fourth on three previous occasions this season, despite just three of his brakes working on the final stage.

“It feels great,” said Michael. “We’ve been fourth three times this season by a handful of seconds so it’s unreal to get on the podium.

“We had some really stiff competition so we had to really drive the socks off the car, so it was awesome fun. I wanted to come out and produce a good result. I was up for it. I wanted a podium and we came out and got it.”

Michael, son of ex-championship winning racing driver Cameron Binnie, made his name in the world of karting before his rallying debut in the Border Counties in 2016.