TEENAGE co-driver Laura Marshall from Newton Stewart will get her first taste of Irish rallying this weekend.
The 18-year-old will navigate for Duns driver Garry Pearson on the two-day Toddsleap Ulster Challenge Rally - a round of the prestigious BRC Challenge.
The pair managed to salvage a ‘second in class’ on the Jim Clark Rally in June, despite a broken gearbox, and have high hopes of taking top honours on the closed public roads of Antrim in their Border Rally Sport Nissan Micra 1000.
“Garry has a four point lead in the drivers’ points in our class, and I’m thirteen points ahead in the co-drivers’ table, so we just need a good comfortable run and nothing too spectacular - I’d say an eighty percent push - and we should be fine”, said Laura.
“We certainly don’t want to be breaking gear-boxes like we did on the Jim Clark.”
She went on: “It’s the first time either of us has rallied in Ireland. There are approximately 40 stages miles on each of the two days, and the final stage on the first leg starts at around 10.30 in the evening so it’ll be dark.
“I’m really excited about it – I think that’ll be spectacular.
“However, the first stage on Saturday is 15 miles long - that’s twenty pages of notes - and that’s going some for me in the morning. I’m not looking forward to that one at all.”
As well as taking class honours this weekend, Garry can also increase his lead in the Stars of the Future category in which he currently has a four point advantage.
Meanwhile, in the International event, Dumfries ace David Bogie will be aiming to stay out in front in the British Rally Championship.
The 24-year-old – who has a twelve point lead over Welshman Elfyn Evans with three rounds remaining – is targetting an historic “double” in UK rallying, after winning his third successive Scottish championship earlier this month.