NEWTON Stewart co-driver Laura Marshall marked a highly successful visit to Ireland at the weeked with a first in class on both the 4th and 5th rounds of the Dulux Trade BRC Challenge alongside Duns driver Garry Pearson.
All the more remarkable was that the pair finished 3rd overall in their 1000cc Nissan Micra on Friday’s leg of the Ulster rally - the first time a car in their class had finished so high up the leaderboard.
These were the most difficult stages of the double header event with heavy showers and darkness adding to the technicality of the corners. The diminutive Micra beat many more powerful cars, some who had succumbed to the conditions.
On Saturday’s 5th round, Pearson and Marshall soon realised that their trouble free run of the previous day wasn’t going to be repeated as half way through the first stage they were hit by gear selection problems, but managed to hold on to the class lead.
Easing off over the next stage, Pearson nursed the car back to service where the bad news was that the engine mountings had stripped their threads. A temporary repair was put in place, with Pearson being instructed to be easy on the clutch pedal.
The pair managed to maintain their position to the finish and returned to the podium - this time sixth overall and again first in class.
The points gained over the two events has moved Marshall up to 4th overall in the BRC Challenge rankings, with Pearson up to fifth overall in the drivers’ points.