Scottish Rally is 'critical' for title contenders

AFTER four rounds, the Hankook MSA Scottish Rally Championship is finely balanced as more than 100 crews prepare to battle it out on the classic forest stages of south-west Scotland.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 23rd June 2010, 12:56 pm
Updated Wednesday, 23rd June 2010, 12:56 pm

Reigning champion David Bogie, co-driven by Hawick's Kevin Rae in a Mitsubishi Evo 9, heads a top class field for Saturday's RSAC Scottish Rally based in Dumfries.

Fellow title contenders Jock Armstrong (Subaru Impreza) and 2009 "Scottish" winner Mike Faulkner (Mitsubishi Evo 6) are seeded second and third respectively, while current points leader Andy Horne starts fourth in his DAM 4100 Gti.

Fourteen points cover the top five drivers as the Hankook series enters the second half of the season, and, with the best six out of eight rounds deciding the final placings, several front-runners regard the Scottish as critical to their championship hopes.

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With two outright wins under his belt this year, including last month's Jim Clark Reivers tarmac round in a hired Ford Focus WRC, Bogie is keen to keep up the momentum on his home event.

"We'll be out to win the rally and take maximum SRC points, that's for sure", said Bogie, who currently sits just one point adrift of Horne in the overall points.

The 22-year-old Dumfries driver added: "After the damage sustained on the Pirelli International back in April, the car is getting a new engine fitted, and we hope to do a small test prior to the rally."

Current Hankook Group N leader Jock Armstrong trails Bogie by two points in the overall standings after finishing second of the SRC competitors on the Jim Clark Reivers.

The Castle Douglas ace will have 2008 Scottish Co-drivers' Champion Kirsty Riddick back on the notes for what, for both, is a home SRC round.

The Mk2 Escort of Malton's Steve Bannister and Hawick co-driver Louise Sutherland from Hawick round off the top ten for Saturday's event.

Newton Stewart's Craig McMiken and his Berwick co-driver Christine Sanderson will be looking for a good result in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10 while Duns driver Dale Robertson will have fellow 'Dinger' Dave O'Brien on the notes for the first time in his Mitsubishi Lancer.

Challenging for two-wheel-driver honours will be the Duns crew of Mike Horne and Robbie Mitchell in their Ford Escort Mk 2 while West Linton's John Boyd will be going flat out for a class win in his very nifty Ford Fiesta ST.

The Jedburgh crew of Thomas Heard and Paul Wood are entered in their Subaru Impreza and St Boswells driver Ross Hunter and Jedburgh's Eildon Hall are out again in their Honda Civic.

Duns rally driver Garry Pearson heads to Dumfries this weekend looking to maintain his position at the top of the Brick and Steel 205 Ecosse Challenge standings in his Peugeot 205 GTi.

The 18 year-old student leads the popular one-make series for aspiring rally stars after two rounds, and is targeting another strong result.

As well as going for 205 Ecosse Challenge honours, though, Garry is also targeting the top prize in the Hankook Scottish Rally Championship's junior title race.

St Boswells driver Sean Robson, also in a Peugeot 205 GTi, has the experienced Dave Robson from Jedburgh as co-driver for the Scottish.

Ahead of the main field, David Killin's Opel Kadette will lead off a strong entry of eleven "historics" which also includes the Dunbar crew of Peter and Dougie Humphrey in another Opel Kadette.

Competitors will tackle 45 miles through the Dumfriesshire forests, and the event will again feature the popular special spectator stage at Heathhall, close to the main service area.