Focus a ‘different beast’ admits Rae

HAWICK co-driver Kevin Rae admits he is in the dark about his chances this weekend in the opening event of the Scottish Rally Championship.

Alongside driver David Bogie, Rae has claimed four successive titles but a switch from their Mitsubishi Evo to the Ford Focus WRC has led to early season problems ahead of Saturday’s Brick & Steel Border Counties Rally around Wauchope, Craik and Kielder forests.

Aiming for his third straight Border rally win, 35-year-old Rae said: “We don’t really know how we are going to do on Saturday.

“We have been in the Evo for five seasons and we have done well but this car is a completely different beast.

“We are hoping it is just teething problems because the car has the potential to be better than the Evo.

“Our main competitor last season, Euan Thorburn, switched to the Focus last year and towards the end of the season we were struggling to keep up with him.”

The Border Rally will be the first points scored in the championship this season, after the Snowman event was abandoned last month following the death of a spectator.

Rae added: “I see both Euan Thorburn and Jock Armstrong as our main competitors for the title again.”

Hawick’s Louise Sutherland is also in action on Saturday, co-driving for Steve Bannister in their Ford Escort Mk2 in the class one to seven category.

The rally begins in Jedburgh at 8.30am.