Wigtownshire rally teams head to Perthshire this weekend for the penultimate round of the ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship.
The Colin McRae Forest Stages has attracted an entry of around 80 cars, with Newton Stewart’s Mark McCulloch seeded at No 12 in his Subaru Impreza, and Fraser Wilson and Steven Broll from Port William starting eight places further back in their Mitsubishi EVO 8.
McCulloch, who will again have Elliot Edmondson from Milton Keynes on the notes, currently sits 11th in the drivers’ championship after a season dogged by bad luck.
It was evident on the previous round, the GWF Energy Merrick Stages, where he was heading for a top eight finish before a puncture on the final Auchinleck test knocked him back down the leaderboard.
Wilson and Broll will be in the hunt for a clean run and a big points haul in the Group N category, after struggling to make it to the finish on the Merrick following two punctures on the last stage.
Wilson is second in the GpN drivers’ championship, just one point ahead of his nearest rival John McClory, while Broll is third in the co-drivers’ standings.
Sandhead’s Jim Haugh will also be back in action this weekend, co-driving for Dumfries garage owner Ian Paterson, in the distinctive Gulf Oil liveried Subaru Impreza.
They will start two places ahead of Newton Stewart navigator Laura Marshall and Lanarkshire’s Graeme Smith, who has swapped his Honda Civic for a Subaru Impreza.
Meanwhile, David Bogie from Dumfries will be aiming to clinch an unprecedented fifth successive Scottish title in Perthshire in his Ford Focus WRC, after being thwarted on the Merrick by Borders rival Euan Thorburn, who took victory by 44 seconds.
A puncture and spin on the final stage put paid to Bogie’s chances of wrapping up the championship with two rounds remaining.
“The Merrick result was obviously a big disappointment,” admitted Bogie. “But I love the McRae, and we’re going into the event determined to get the job done.”
Full event details can be found at www.coltnesscarclub.com
For news and updates of all SRC rounds, go to www.scottishrallychampionship.co.uk
Colin McRae Forest Stages: Dumfries and Galloway competitors with car number.
3. David Bogie (Dumfries)/Kevin Rae (Hawick) Ford Focus WRC
6. Mike Faulkner (Kirtlebridge)/Peter Foy (Bingley) Mitsubishi EVO 9
12. Mark McCulloch (Newton Stewart)/Elliot Edmondson (Milton Keynes) Subaru Impreza
21. Fraser Wilson (Port William)/Steven Broll (Newton Stewart) Mitsubishi EVO 8
26. Ian Paterson (Dumfries)/Jim Haugh (Stranraer) Subaru Impreza
28. Graeme Smith (Crossford)/Laura Marshall (Newton Stewart) Subaru Impreza
37. Robert Harkness (Kilmarnock)/Mike Currie (Lockerbie) BMW 316i
41. Ian Wilson (Dalbeattie)/Keith Fremantle (Dalbeattie) Vauxhall Nova
43. Iain Haining (Dumfries)/Mairi Riddick (Haugh of Urr) Vauxhall Nova
47. James Robertson (Thornhill)/Colin Maxwell (Dumfries) Citreon C2R2
50. Charles Blair (Dumfries)/Mark Roberts (Dumfries) Peugeot 205 Gti
57. Scott Peacock (Bridge of Dee)/Keith Riddick (Haugh of Urr) Peugeot 205GTi
58. Scott Sloan (Dumfries)/David Sloan (Dumfries) Vauxhall Corsa
H11. Andy Kelly (Greenock)/Roger Herron (Dumfries) Ford Escort Mk1