Bogie scoops Scottish as MacDonald takes championship lead – Motorsport UK Scottish Rally Championship

20th May 2018

Bogie scoops Scottish as MacDonald takes championship lead

David Bogie recorded the 50th rally win of his career with victory on round three of the 2018 ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship, the RSAC Scottish Rally.

The five-time Scottish champion, co-driven by Kevin Rae, steered his Skoda Fabia R5 to five out of the six stage wins to head second placed Mark McCulloch and Michael Hendry by over a minute. Rory Young and Paul Beaton grabbed the final podium spot, 19 seconds back in third.

Based in Lockerbie, the Scottish Rally took the crews through classic forest tests including Twiglees, Castle O’er and Rivox, with the warm and sunny conditions generating significant dust trails that would linger under the trees, making the event even more challenging.

Bogie and Rae would draw first blood in SS1 but were closely chased by Jock Armstrong and Cameron Fair, who stopped the clocks just three seconds behind the Fabia in their Subaru Impreza.

Armstrong’s challenge would falter in SS2 however when having elected not to take a spare wheel, picked up a puncture in his Subaru meaning the 2015 and ’16 Scottish Champion was forced to complete the remainder of the test with only three fully working tyres.

The demise of Armstrong boosted Bogie’s lead to 28 seconds after just two stages, but the Dumfries driver wasn’t content with just cruising to the finish. Although he wouldn’t dominate the event like he did the Speyside last month, he eked out a further 40 seconds on his rivals to arrive at the finish in Moffat the winner of his home event for the second year in a row.

“It’s always nice to win your home rally, but this one is number 50 for me so that makes this pretty special,” Bogie said.

“It’s been a hard day. The recent dry spell of weather has made the conditions very tricky but I think it was a controlled drive. Our job was made easier when Jock got his puncture so after that it was a case of keeping the car straight, trying to avoid getting a puncture and netting this win.”

With Armstrong out of the podium fight, it was left to Freddie Milne and Mark McCulloch to resume their pulsating battle from the Speyside Stages.

Milne, co-driven by Patrick Walsh, was third fastest in the opening test and was instantly up to second in his Subaru Impreza WRC after Armstrong’s problems, but just seven seconds ahead of McCulloch’s Ford Fiesta R5.

After the repeat runs of Twiglees and Castle O’er, Milne’s advantage was down to five seconds, before McCulloch took a further two out of his rival in the penultimate stage to whittle the gap down to three seconds.

It was all set for a thrilling finale, but towards the end of the final 8.95 mile stage, Milne unfortunately ran out of road and became beached at the side of the road, retiring from second place in the process.
McCulloch was more than worthy of the position having hunted Milne down all day, and was left delighted with his best ever SRC result at the finish.

McCulloch delivered on early season promise to score best ever SRC result – Image: Lindsay Photo Sport

McCulloch was more than worthy of the position having hunted Milne down all day, and was left delighted with his best ever SRC result at the finish.

“We started off a bit steady to be honest but we then began to pick the pace up,” McCulloch said.

“We’re getting more and more confident with the car and had no steering problems today like the last two events so I have to thank the boys for that. The car’s great so I now just need to improve so we can go even quicker, but we’ll get there.

“To finish second to David Bogie who is a legend is the best we could have hoped for so we couldn’t have done any better.”

Rory Young and 2017 Scottish Co-driver’s Champion Paul Beaton took third on the very last stage in their Ford Fiesta R5, setting the second fastest time to complete a fine comeback drive.

Young, who was starting his first SRC event since last year’s Galloway Hills Rally, was eighth after SS1 with a puncture losing him time, but he soon began to reel the pack in.

An almighty run through SS5 saw him leapfrog John Wink and Donnie MacDonald from seventh into fourth place with the retirement of Lawrence Whyte, with Milne’s exit later elevating him onto the podium to repeat the result he scored at the end of last season.

“We need to try and get a little bit further up the podium!” Young joked.

“We were struggling to catch Mark to be honest and I feel so sorry for Freddie, he worked so hard for that position and he only just went off but that’s motorsport and it’s happened to us before so we’ll take this.

“We had a really rubbish first stage with the puncture that really damaged the front of the car, but after that we improved and the speed really came in the last two stages, it’s been really fun.

“Hopefully we’ll be at the Argyll as this championship is really close now with so many R5s.”

Young wants to do the rest of the season – Image: Lindsay Photo Sport

John Wink and John Forrest had a good day in their Hyundai i20 R5 to net fourth, their best ever SRC finish, with Donnie MacDonald and Andrew Falconer’s fifth place enough for them to wrestle the championship lead from Andrew Gallacher and Jane Nicol.

Bruce McCombie and Michael Coutts once again finished as the top Mitsubishi crew in sixth overall in their Evo IX, battling with a puncture of their own in SS1.

Gallacher and Nicol struggled to find the ultimate pace all day in their Ford Focus WRC, and were another crew to be set back with a puncture. Gallacher put new tyres on for the final loop but it didn’t have the desired effect as he only managed seventh.

Scott McCombie and Mark Fisher scored their best result in over a year with eighth overall in their Evo IX, ahead of the similar car of Michael Binnie and Claire Mole. Armstrong and Fair salvaged 10th.

McKnight stormed to his third 2WD win from three starts – Image: Lindsay Photo Sport

Greg McKnight and Harry Marchbank were the dominant force once again in the Scottish 2WD Championship, beating their nearest opposition by over two minutes in their Ford Escort Mk2.

Angus Lawrie returned to the SRC in his Vauxhall Corsa and took second alongside Paul Gribben, with Keith and Kirsty Riddick netting third in their MG ZR.

John Wink’s fourth place saw him take top Challengers honours, ahead of Keith Morris and Terry Mallin’s Mitsubishi Evo V who in turn beat Alan Dickson and Martin Forrest’s Evo IX by just 14 seconds.

Ally Currie and Grant MacNiven took the Junior honours in their Ford Fiesta ST, with Andy Struthers and Alasdair McIlroy second in a Citroen C2 with Niall Cowan Jr and Thomas Bruce third in their MG ZR.

John McIlwraith and Scott Young scored the Subaru Cup win for the second successive event with Brett McKenzie and James Ralph a close second.

The SRC now takes a five week break before returning with the Dunnon Presents Argyll Rally on Saturday 23rd June. With no driver apart from Bogie taking more than one podium across the first three events, the battle is looking as unpredictable as ever as the SRC heads into the second half of its season.

Provisional championship points after Rd.3:

Pos Driver Car Points
1 Donnie MacDonald Ford Fiesta R5 76
2 Andrew Gallacher Ford Focus WRC 75
3 Mark McCulloch Ford Fiesta R5 73
4 Bruce McCombie Mitsubishi Evo IX 70
5 David Bogie Skoda Fabia R5 60

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.

Keep up to date with all the latest news via the website, Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #SRC18.

Wink leads Challengers Championship after three rounds – Image: Lindsay Photo Sport