David Bogie was again in dominant form on Saturday’s Brick and Steel Border Counties Rally to take his first win on the event, and his third major victory of the season.
The reigning Scottish champion was quickest through all four Wauchope/Kielder forest stages in his Mitsubishi Evo 9 to finish with a total time of 43 minutes 33 seconds, 34 seconds ahead of Mike Faulkner in an Evo 6. Duns driver Euan Thorburn was third, a further 34 seconds adrift, in his Evo 9.
It completed a “hat-trick” for Bogie and Hawick co-driver Kevin Rae following victories on the opening rounds of both the MSA Scottish and British championships.
The result also means that Bogie has now won each of the eight events which make up the Scottish series.
In perfect weather conditions, the defending double champions set the pace from the start on the Jedburgh-based event, which this year celebrated ten years of support from Brick and Steel.
Bogie was delighted with his second successive SRC win, which puts him five points ahead of Thorburn in the overall Scottish championship drivers’ standings, with Faulkner a further point behind in third.
“It’s nice to finally tick the box of a rally I’ve never won before”, said the Dumfries ace: “We had a small overshoot on stage two, but other than that it’s been a perfect day. It’s a very difficult rally, with the gravel at the side of the stages punishing the smallest mistake, so we made sure we kept it clean. The new suspension on the car performed really well, and it sets us up nicely for the next round of the British Championship (the Bulldog International) in two weeks time”.
Euan Thorburn was satisfied with his Border Counties outing. he said: “It’s not been a bad day for us at all, but there was no catching David.”
Now, like Bogie, the Duns-based driver will now prepare for the BRC second round.
Robbie Head, co-driven by Paxton’s Claire Mole, marked his second SRC outing since returning to competition with a fifth place finish in his Mitsubishi Evo 9 - two places up on his Snowman result.
“We probably didn’t have the best tyre choice on stage one, and then we had a bit of a tracking problem on the second stage, which made the car feel strange so I probably wasn’t commiting as much as I could”, said the Lanark-based Head. “However, after some adjustments, stages three and four went well, so it certainly shows an improvement”.
Rally sponsor John McClory, with David Hood on the notes, crowned their day with a 12th place finish in their Subaru Impreza N15.
Craig McMiken and his Berwick co-driver Christine Sanderson finished 18th overall in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9.
In the two-wheel drive category, Kielder specialist Steve Bannister, co-driven by Hawick’s Louise Sutherland, was first on the road in his Mk2 Escort, and by the end of SS3 was well on the way to a comfortable 2WD victory.
However, the Yorkshireman made a rare error while negotiating a corner on the final stage. The Escort flipped onto its roof, before spectators managed to right the battered car and send it on its way - minus the windscreen - to complete the course.
“We both knew it was a bad corner - we’d spoken about it before we went in - but we were just carrying too much speed. I think my side took the worst of it, but we’re both OK, that’s the main thing”, said Sutherland.
It meant the pair had to settle for 36th overall and second in the “historic” class behind the Mk1 of Peter Smith and Russ Langthorne.
Duns co-driver Dave O’Brien helped Peter Mayland to 38th overall and second in class in his Honda Civic Type R while Gareth White and Mike Dickson finished 42nd in their Citroen C2R2.
Lauder’s Nick Thorne and St Boswells co-driver Scott Hunter finished 46th overall and fourth in class, one place ahead of Maxton’s Craig Smith and Lauder co-driver Colin Smith in their Vauxhall Nova. They finished third in their class.
There were 66 finishers and 39 retirements.
Among the retirements were David Wilson and Jedburgh co-driver Dave Robson (engine); Duns crew Mike Horne and Robbie Mitchell (electrical), Richard Stewart and Kelso co-driver Carin Logan (fire); Tommy and Andrew Heard; Carl and Rob Tuer (mechanical); Sean and Ian Robson from St Boswells; Melrose driver James Thomson and Martin Heriot; Kelso’s Bruce Hay and James Braithwaite; Kenneth and Janet McRae (hit tree/rock).
The third round of the SRC is the CARS Recovery Granite City Rally in Aberdeen on April 16.