Local crews power to top 10

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Two Wigtownshire crews achieved top ten finishes on Saturday’s Colin McRae Stages, the final round of the MSA Scottish Rally Championship.

Mark McCulloch debuted his newly-acquired Subaru Impreza, while Fraser Wilson and Steven Broll achieved their best result of the season in their Mitsubishi EVO 6, with Broll winning the Scottish Junior co-drivers’ title. Newton Stewart’s Alex Curran also finished strongly among the 2WD competitors.

Wilson and Broll set themselves a steady pace – which included a ninth quickest time through the penultimate stage – in the hope of retaining the production-class Group N award they won on last year’s McRae.

In the event, they had to settle for second in GpN, but with several fancied front-runners failing to complete the six forest stages, the Port William duo were more than satisfied with their 10th-place finish overall in the CMS Motorsport-backed EVO.

The result also meant that Wilson secured the runners-up spot in the Group N Mitsubishi Scottish Cup, while Broll – who has been calling the notes for the past four years – clinched the SRC Junior Award scheme for co-drivers.

The only target McCulloch had in mind going into the weekend was to finish the event in his Impreza, having spent the season competing in two-wheel drive cars. It was also navigator Elliot Edmondson’s first rally in 4WD machinery.

McCulloch quickly got to grips with his newly-purchased car. He was eighth fastest through the third stage, Errochty; fifth quickest on SS5 Blackcraig; and seventh fastest on the final test, Craigvinean 2, despite a developing steering problem.

Said Mark: “It was all very last minute. We only finished working on the Impreza at 4pm on the Friday and then had to make it up to Aberfeldy to sign on and get the car through scrutineering. We didn’t even have time to put on our sponsor stickers, so it all looked a bit basic. Even so, we were happy with the result on Saturday, given the car is down on power. It certainly has potential – and once it’s been worked on over the winter months, I’ll be looking for top-10 finishes in next year’s Scottish championship.”

Alex Curran, with David McGeoch on the notes, had been aiming for a strong finish in the ultra-competitive 1600cc category, and so it proved. The Newton Stewart driver powered his Vauxhall Corsa Gsi to second in class and 21st place overall.

However, there was disappointment in the same class for Minnigaff navigator Laura Marshall and Lanarkshire driver Graeme Smith in a Honda Civic. Their challenge ended on the third stage.

Meanwhile, with a fourth successive Scottish championship title safely in his pocket, David Bogie, produced what was arguably the drive of the day by finishing third overall in a Ford Escort Mk2 – the first time the Dumfries ace had competed in one of the iconic rear-wheel drive cars.

For all SRC news and updates, go to www.scottishrallychampionship.co.uk.

McRae Stages: Dumfries and Galloway finishers, with total times:

3. David Bogie (Dumfries)/Kevin Rae (Hawick) Ford Escort Mk2 46 mins 45 secs

7. Mark McCulloch (Newton Stewart)/Elliot Edmondson (Olney) Subaru Impreza 48.04

10. Fraser Wilson (Port William)/Steven Broll (Newton Stewart) Mitsubishi EVO 6 49.02

19. Scott Peacock (Castle Douglas)/Keith Riddick (Haughof Urr) Peugeot 205 54.17

21. Alex Curran (Newton Stewart)/David McGeoch (Dumfries) Vauxhall Corsa Gsi 54.26

24. Robert Paterson (Dumfries)/Neil Richardson (London) Ford Escort Mk2 55.05