McCulloch considering championship game plan
Dumfries driver Mark McCulloch has warned there is more to come from him and his Ford Fiesta R5 in the 2018 ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship (SRC) ahead of round four, the Dunoon Presents Argyll Rally.
McCulloch secured a late deal to drive a Fiesta R5 this season after campaigning a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX in 2017, and finds himself third in the championship and just three points shy of the lead after three of the championship’s six events.
“It still feels totally unreal to even have this chance in an R5 car, it’s madness really,” McCulloch admitted.
“I’m still trying to get the hang of the car properly as it’s so much better than I am at the moment, but hopefully event by event we will get braver and trust what the car can do more and more.”
McCulloch hadn’t even sat in the Fiesta in the lead up to the Snowman Rally but was immediately on the pace with an equal fastest stage time on the opening stage of the season. After finishing just three seconds away from the podium on the Speyside Stages, he took a career best SRC finish of second on the Scottish Rally behind David Bogie.
“We’re looking forward to Argyll as it’s pretty much a new challenge for everyone so we go there hoping we can at the very least get some more points on the board,” McCulloch continued.
“We’re really enjoying competing in the Fiesta and hope to try and get a similar result as we did on the Scottish. The Scottish pretty much felt like a win for us as nobody can get near the experience, pace and consistency that Bogie has in these cars.
“Jock [Armstrong] will go very well in Argyll and will no doubt set the pace so we will just try and hang onto his coat tails as best we can and hopefully have a great battle with the rest of the guys.”
Dropped scores are still to be completely factored in, but McCulloch finds himself in a very strong championship position along with fellow Fiesta R5 driver Donnie MacDonald and the Ford Focus WRC of Andrew Gallacher.
“We’re obviously keeping an eye on the points,” he admitted, “but at the moment we are on the back foot after our troubles on the Snowman [where he finished 11th].
“For Argyll we are just going to try and get the best result we can possibly manage then after that we might need to think of a game plan for the last two rallies of the season.”
The 2018 ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship is partnered by Pirelli Motorsport, Reis Motorsport Insurance and KNC Groundworks Ltd.
The championship consists of seven forest events across Scotland, taking in over 300 competitive stage miles.
The next round of the SRC is the Dunoon Presents Argyll Rally on Saturday 23rd June.