Mixed fortunes for rally crews

There were mixed fortunes for local competitors on Sunday’s Jim Clark Reivers Rally, the only tarmac round and the mid-way point in the MSA Scottish Rally Championship.

Port William crew Fraser Wilson and Steven Broll powered their Mitsubishi EVO 6 to 21st overall on the Duns-based event, which comprised five stages on closed public roads across Berwickshire.

The wet conditions on the opening Bothwell stage caught many drivers unawares and tyre choice proved critical.

Wilson and Broll made it through in 41st place overall, and were 36th equal fastest on the second run through, with the surface a little drier.

The CMS Motorsport duo steadily improved as the day wore on – they were 25th fastest through the fourth stage, Swinton 1.

At the finish, Wilson reflected on a steady, but largely uneventful, day. “The first stage was very tricky, and there were a few hairy moments, but nothing to worry about. It’s been a case of improving our pace in the car on tarmac. We’ll now concentrate on getting back on the gravel for the RSAC Scottish rally in Dumfries in three week.”

There was disappointment for Newton Stewart navigator Laura Marshall, who had been hoping for a good haul of class points alongside Lanarkshire driver Graeme Smith in his Honda Civic. Their challenge ended on the final stage when the car developed mechanical problems.

Meanwhile, Laura’s uncle, Stephen Maxwell, was co-driving for young Alec Brown from the Isle of Mull in his Citreon Saxo.

On Saturday, they took part in the National Rally, and at one point skidded off and ended up “parked” on a farmer’s front lawn – much to his dismay.

There was less drama for the pair on the Reivers, where they ended the day a respectable 43rd overall out of 60 classified finishers.

Meanwhile, Newton Stewart’s Mark McCulloch was forced to retire early from the Challenge Rally – part of the British Rally Championship – when his Proton Satria started overheating.

Local garage proprietor Jim McDowall also came away from the weekend empty handed after his Ford Focus developed a mechanical problem on the National event.

Elsewhere, the hopes of defending Scottish champion David Bogie of a fourth straight victory this season were dashed when the gearbox of his MG Metro 6R4 failed on the opening Reivers stage.

The Dumfries driver will be back in action on his home event, the RSAC Scottish Rally, on Saturday June 30.

For news of all SRC events, go to www.scottishrallychampionship.co.uk <http://www.scottishrallychampionship.co.uk/>