Jock Armstrong powered his Subaru Impreza to victory on Saturday’s opening round of the 2015 ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship in Inverness.
The Castle Douglas ace, co-driven by Paula Swinscoe, completed the five forest stages of the Arnold Clark Thistle Hotel Snowman Rally with a sixteen second advantage over the chasing pack.
“The Snowman was the first Scottish Championship rally I did 25 years ago, and I just love competing on the event, regardless of the weather”, said a delighted Armstrong, who last won the season-opener in 2010.
Newton Stewart’s Mark McCulloch, with Michael Hendry standing in for regular navigator Jim Haugh, got his championship campaign off to a strong start with a sixth-place finish overall in his recently-acquired Mitsubishi EVO 9. The result equalled his best ever result in the Scottish championship:
”I was really pleased to finish where we did on the first outing in the car, although there’s still a lot to learn”, said McCulloch: “It was a bit frantic in the lead up to the event, but on the day the car was faultless and that made all the effort worth while”.
McCulloch and Hendry also finished as runners up in the newly-introduced championship class 11 – which proved to be the most popular, with 34 competitors entered for the Snowman.
There was also a second in class for Alex Curran of Newton Stewart, who brought his Vauxhall Corsa home in 28th overall, alongside Cumbrian co-driver Heather Grisedale.
Top seed and former champion David Bogie from Dumfries was forced to retire his Ford Fiesta R5+ with clutch problems after two stages. There was also disappointment for Port William’s Fraser Wilson, co-driven by Craig Wallace, who hit a banking and lost a wheel on the third test, while sitting sixth overall in his Group N specification EVO 9.
Local crews will now prepare for the Border Counties Rally in Jedburgh on March 21st.
Full results can be found at www.flyingfinish.co.uk
For further news, go to www.scottishrallychampionship.co.uk