TALENTED young rally co-driver Laura Marshall from Minnigaff got her 2011 campaign off to dream start with an impressive fourth-place finish and first in class on last Saturday’s Rallye Sunseeker in the south of England.
The 17-year-old contested the national event alongside driver Garry Pearson from Duns.
The pair successfully negotiated eleven challenging forest stages across Dorset and Hampshire in a Subaru Impreza.
The result was all the more impressive in that it marked 19-year-old Garry’s rallying debut in a 4-wheel drive car, having won the prize-drive as part of the 2010 Scottish championship.
For the first few stages, it was a case of settling in and getting used to the unfamiliar car.
On the second test, they went against advice, and activated the “anti-lag”
system, which helps boost speed, but that resulted in a spin, losing the pair a valuable twenty seconds.
They quickly decided to switch off the device for the rest of the day, and their confidence grew.
As well as two third quickest stage times on SS9 and SS11, they were second fastest through the penultimate test, just 12 seconds shy of the pace set by veteran driver Roger Duckworth, who chalked up his third victory on the event in a Subaru Impreza WRC.
Said Laura: “We were both delighted with our fourth place finish. We’d set out on Saturday purely for a bit of fun, and to get the car home in one piece. This has given us a real boost for the rest of the season, and a lot of people have been impressed by Garry’s ability behind the wheel”.
The pair will now switch to Garry’s Border Rally Sport 1000cc Nissan Micra for the fiercely contested BRC Challenge.
It kicks off with the Bulldog Challenge Rally in North Wales on April 2nd.