Bogie and Rae head strong “Scottish” entry
David Bogie holds a seven point advantage going into his home event and the mid-way stage in the eight-round ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship.
The Dumfries driver is top seed for next weekend’s RSAC Scottish Rally, which, after a seven year gap, is also a counter in the British series.
The defending champion has twice won his local rally – in 2010 and 2012 – and, with two back-to-back victories so far this season in his Ford Focus WRC, is “quietly confident” of further success as he and Hawick co-driver Kevin Rae eye a fifth straight SRC title:
“The win on the last Jim Clark Reivers tarmac round, in the new car, was a huge boost for us. Now it’s back to gravel stages, and even though we’re approaching the mid-way point in the season, we’re still learning the Focus and making changes. We’re improving the suspension ahead of the “Scottish” to try to give the car more traction. The pace at the front will be as fierce as ever with the likes of Euan Thorburn, Jock Armstrong and Mike Faulkner. We also have the British championship contenders and it’ll be interesting to match their stage times with those competing in the SRC”.
Thorburn, runner-up in Dumfries twelve months ago, will be out to make amends after problems with his Focus WRC on the penultimate stage put paid to a potential consecutive victory on the Jim Clark Reivers, following a win on the previous day’s National rally. The Duns man will again have Paul Beaton of Inverness on the notes as he goes head to head with his Dumfries rival.
Armstrong and co-driver Kirsty Riddick – winners of the “Scottish” in 2011 – will be targeting a big points haul following disappointment on the tarmac round. They were on course for a podium place, when their Subaru Impreza picked up a puncture, knocking them back down the leaderboard.
A threat to the top three could come from Dave Weston Snr in a Subaru Impreza S11 WRC. The Aberdeen driver has teamed up with Jedburgh navigator Dave Robson, with whom he won the “Scottish” in a Ford Focus WRC in 2008.
Mike Faulkner and Peter Foy won the following year, and were runners-up in 2010 and again in 2011. The pair will be keen to get their current championship campaign back on track after a non-finish on the Reivers in their Mitsubishi EVO 9:
“There’s still plenty of work to do to get the car ready for next weekend. A suspension failure caused us to go off on the Jim Clark. Unfortunately, it’s also meant a full engine rebuild, as there was some damage when we lost oil pressure”, said Faulkner: “It’s all on track though, and we’re looking forward to getting back on gravel. The Scottish stages are very fast and require lots of commitment. They’ll suit the WRC cars, so it’ll be difficult to get on their pace, but we’ll give it a go. Once again it’ll be hotly contested, with a host of drivers capable of a top-five finish – such is the calibre of the SRC at the moment”.
Banchory’s Quintin Milne, co-driven by Martin Forrest from Aberdeen, and Barry Groundwater of Stonehaven, with Elgin’s Neil Shanks on the notes, will be among those gunning for a top-five place in their respective Mitsubishi EVO 9’s. The two crews sit second and third respectively in the overall championship standings, and share the same points total.
The Inverness pairing of Donnie MacDonald and Andrew Falconer, who finished sixth on the “Scottish” last year, have had a positive start to their current campaign, and occupy fourth spot in the drivers’ and co-drivers’ standings, while Aberdeenshire’s Chris Collie and Lisa Watson, runners-up on the Granite City Rally, return to the fray in their Mitsubishi EVO 6.
Alistair and Colin Inglis start tenth in their EVO 5 – the Angus-based duo recording their best-ever SRC result on the Jim Clark Reivers, with a fourth place overall.
The Group N challenge pits John McClory and David Hood, in a Subaru Impreza N15, against local driver Rory Young, co-driven by Allan Cathers, in a Mitsubishi EVO 5. John Morrison from Conon Bridge, who has a nine point lead over McClory after taking GpN honours on the Reivers, starts several places further back in his EVO 9, ahead of the EVO 8 of Fraser Wilson and Steven Broll, who were class winners on the Granite.
Among the 2WD entries, Coldstream’s Kieran Renton and Kelso navigator Carin Logan will be keen to extend their lead in the 1600cc category: they currently have a two-point advantage over Dalbeattie’s Iain Wilson and Keith Fremantle in a Vauxhall Nova. Alasdair S.Graham, co-driven by Lisa Stuart, will aim to build on his Reivers class victory in his Vauxhall Corsa, while Thornhill’s James Robertson, in a Citreon C2R2, and Honda Civic pilots Grant Inglis and Graeme Smith, will also be looking for a good points haul.
Iain Haining from Locharbriggs, alongside Haugh of Urr navigator Mairi Riddick, is targeting his fourth successive win in Class 3 behind the wheel of his Vauxhall Nova. The pair have a twelve-point cushion over second-placed Callum Atkinson in a Peugeot 205GTi. The “Pug” crews of Scott Peacock/Keith Riddick (who lead the 205 Ecosse Challenge); Graeme Sherry/Peter Weall; and Adrian Stewart/Peter Simmonds will also be looking for strong points finishes in Dumfries.
RSAC Scottish Rally: Top Ten Seeds – with car no:
1 David Bogie (Dumfries)/Kevin Rae (Hawick) Ford Focus WRC
2 Euan Thorburn (Duns)/Paul Beaton (Inverness) Ford Focus WRC
3 Jock Armstrong (Clarebrand)/Kirsty Riddick (Haugh of Urr) Subaru Impreza
4 Dave Weston (Aberdeen)/Dave Robson (Jedburgh) Subaru Impreza S11 WRC
5 Mike Faulkner (Kirtlebridge)/Peter Foy (Bingley) Mitsubishi EVO 9
6 Quintin Milne (Banchory)/Martin Forrest (Aberdeen) Mitsubishi EVO 9
7 Barry Groundwater (Stonehaven)/Neil Shanks (Elgin) Mitsubishi EVO 9
8 Donnie MacDonald (Inverness)/Andrew Falconer (Inverness) Mitsubishi EVO 9
9 Chris Collie (Portlethen)/Lisa Watson (Alford) Mitsubishi EVO 6
10 Alistair Inglis (Montrose)/Colin Inglis (Edzell) Mitsubishi EVO 5