Port William rally crew Fraser Wilson and Steven Broll, along with Mark McCulloch from Newton Stewart, head east this weekend hoping to kickstart their respective campaigns on one of the toughest events in the ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship.
The Brick & Steel Border Counties Rally, based in Jedburgh, demands high levels of commitment through the Kielder Forest stages, with fast-flowing sections flanked on either side by big ditches.
McCulloch, co-driven by Elliot Edmondson from Milton Keynes, is seeded 25th in his Subaru Impreza. He has not competed in the event since 2010, when he had a top 20 finish, but is happy with the set up of his car. “We had a very good test at the Forrest Estate near Dalry the weekend before last, so we are as ready as we can be, and really looking forward to competing again,” he said.
Wilson and Broll start three places further back in their Clone Motorsport Group N Mitsubishi EVO 8. There have been engine issues with the car, but the team has worked hard to have it prepared in time for the event. Last year, the pair ended the day just outside the top 20 in an EVO 6, and will be keen to push higher up the leaderboard this weekend.
Meanwhile, Sandhead-based Jim Haugh will read the notes for former Solway Coast Rally winner Ian Paterson in his Subaru Impreza. The Dumfries driver is planning to contest the full Scottish championship this year.
In the 2WD classes, Newton Stewart’s Laura Marshall will again co-drive for Lanarkshire competitor Graeme Smith in his 1600cc Honda Civic.
The entry list of 90 crews is headed by four-time Scottish champion David Bogie from Dumfries, who is targeting his third consecutive win on the event.
However, he is still getting to grips with his ex-Colin Mcrae Ford Focus WRC and Borderer Euan Thorburn, who has a year’s experience of his Focus behind him, plus an impressive win on the Malcolm Wilson Rally earlier this month, will be aiming to build momentum.
Having missed out on the event last year, fourth seed Jock Armstrong from Castle Douglas returns to the Border Counties intent on a strong placing in his Subaru Impreza following two non-finishes in 2010 and 2011. He and co-driver Kirsty Riddick only contested three SRC rounds last season, but finished in the top three on each occasion.
Further details and a full entry list can be found at www.bordercountiesrally.co.uk.
For news of all SRC rounds, go to www.scottishrallychampionship.co.uk.
Border Counties Rally – Dumfries & Galloway top ten Seeds (4WD) with car no:
1 David Bogie (Dumfries)/Kevin Rae (Jedburgh) Ford Focus WRC
4 Jock Armstrong (Castle Douglas)/Kirsty Riddick (Haugh of Urr) Subaru Impreza
25 Mark McCulloch (Newton Stewart)/Elliott Edmondson (Milton Keynes) Subaru Impreza
28 Fraser Wilson (Port William)/Steven Broll (Port William) Mitsubishi Evo 8
31 Ian Paterson (Dumfries)/James Haugh (Sandhead) Subaru Impreza
34 Robert Harkness (Stewarton)/Mike Curry (Lockerbie) BMW 316i
40 Don Murray (Inverness)/ Stephen Marshall (Thornhill) Subaru Impreza
Dumfries & Galloway Top Ten Seeds (Classes 1-7 – to run at front of field) with car no:
107 Graeme Smith (Crossford)/Laura Marshall (Newton Stewart) Honda Civic
110 Iain Haining (Dumfries)/ Mairi Riddick (Haugh of Urr) Vauxhall Nova
114 Iain Wilson (Dalbeattie)/Keith Fremantle (Dalbeattie) Vauxhall Nova
117 James Robertson (Thornhill)/Colin Maxwell (Dumfries) Citroen C2R2
124 Charles Blair (Dumfries)/Mark Roberts (Dumfries) Peugeot 205 GTI
127 Scott Peacock (Bridge of Dee)/Keith Riddick (Haugh of Urr) Peugeot 205 GTI
135 Scott Sloan (Dumfries)/David Sloan (Dumfries) Vauxhaul Corsa
136 Blair Brown (Powmill)/Steven Clark (Gretna) Peugeot 205 GTI