The 2016 MSA British Rally Championship resumes this weekend with the RSAC Scottish Rally where Britain’s premier rallying series continues on gravel in the fast and challenging forests around Dumfries.
The BRC runners will not only have to fight each other for success, they will be joined by the MSA Scottish Rally Championship competitors, who hope their local knowledge will pay dividends over the classic stages.
The opening three rounds of the British Championship have seen three different winners take the spoils, with World Championship star Elfyn Evans, highly talented Irishman Josh Moffett and Swedish sensation Fredrik Ahlin each claiming the top spot over the course of the opening three events.
The Scottish Rally, is a one-day shoot-out for supremacy on the last all-gravel rally of the season. The event will take in 62 action-packed miles through the picturesque Scottish Lowlands, with crews starting and finishing the event in Dumfries town centre.
David Bogie will be hoping for the home advantage on round four of the series. The Skoda Fabia R5 driver, co-driven by Hawick’s Kevin Rae, lives in the area, and knows the stages like the back of his hand after four wins on the event including a dominant victory last year. The Scottish driver has scored two podiums this year, but will be eager to get himself back into the title race with a win on home soil next weekend.
Duns driver Euan Thorburn (Peugeot 208 T16) co-driven by Paul Beaton from Inverness will also be hoping for a strong showing on home ground.
Thorburn bagged a top five on the opening round but ever since has been dogged by unreliability. The Scottish Rally will hopefully see a turning point in the Peugeot driver’s fortune.
In the Scottish Championship, 2015 Champions Jock Armstrong and Paul Swinscoe head the SRC entry list in their Subaru Impreza. The Castle Douglas driver has enjoyed some great battles with Duns driver Garry Pearson throughout the season, and will be looking to overhaul the Fiesta driver.
However, Pearson and co-driver Robbie Mitchell head the championship after three rounds, and are looking forward to the Scottish.
Garry said: “When you’ve been in two wheel drive cars since 2008 and get the shock chance to drive an R5 you look forward to every single second in the car and the Scottish is no different.
“It’s nice to have the BRC in Scotland but we won’t be able to compare times as we have no recce, which is a shame.”
Other Borders competitors taking part are: Ian Baumgart (Hawick) and Mike Dickson (Gala), Subaru Impreza; Michael Binnie (Cornhill) and Claire Mole (Whitsome), Mitsibishi Evo 5; Blair Brown (Kinross) and Richard Simmonds (Duns), Ford Fiesta R2T; Gordon Murray (Perth) and David O’Brien, Ford Escort Mk2; James Gibb (Kilmarnock) and Ian Robson (St Boswells), Ford Fiesta; John McIlwraith (Canonbie) and Scott Young (Duns), Ford Escort RS; Gina Walker (Duns) and Edwin Cook (Lamplugh), Citroen C2; Alan Cowan (Duns) and Katie Stimpson (Haddenham), Vauxhall Astra; Andy Struhers (Libberton) and Alasdair McIlroy (Jedburgh), Citroen C2 VTS.