YOUNG rally stars Garry Pearson and co-driver Laura Marshall from Minnigaff finally got the luck they had hoped for with a hard-earned class win on Saturday’s Pirelli Challenge Rally.
The duo finished with a spectacular four minute advantage over their nearest class rivals after a gruelling day on the “killer” Kielder forest stages in their Border Rally Sport Nissan Micra Super 1000.
However, the day was far from trouble free, with two punctures on the second, and longest, stage of the event posing an early problem.
Since he was only carrying one spare wheel, the 19-year-old Duns competitor had to drive the third stage on a punctured tyre, losing more than a minute, and damaging the rear quarter of the car.
After a service break, the final three special stages proved much better, and despite a bent front wishbone, the duo started to get a good feel for the car, and the dusty Kielder stages.
A small over-shoot and a spin on the famous Pundershaw test, saw Pearson take a more cautious approach on the last special stage.
The pair still managed an 8th fastest stage time which was slightly hampered when they caught up on the dust and passed a fellow Challenge competitor.
Pearson and Marshall eventually finished the day 12th overall, with Garry taking top honours in the Stars of the Future category.
Said Laura: “Saturday was a real test for both of us, with warm and dusty conditions and the two punctures so early on in the event. After service, we were able to push on, increasing our advantage, and we were both enjoying the car a lot more. It was great to come away with a class win after a non-finish on the Bulldog Rally”.
The next round on the BRC Challenge calendar is Garry’s home event - the Jim Clark Rally on the 27th and 28th May in Duns.