Five-time Scottish rally champion David Bogie took a dramatic victory at the third round of the Scottish Rally Championship, winning the Speyside Stages by over 40 seconds in his Skoda Fabia R5.
The Dumfries driver claimed a record-breaking eighth win in the Moray and Aberdeenshire forests but was challenged early on by reigning SRC champion Jock Armstrong. However, the slippery, flowing stages would later claim the Subaru Impreza pilot who would disappear down the order in the closing stages of the event.
Bogie was on the pace immediately, grabbing the lead after SS3, the first gravel test that followed the two tarmac spectator stages in Elgin’s Cooper Park. A puncture would see the Skoda driver lose his lead briefly to Armstrong who was on a charge in the opening loop. But Bogie soon turned a deficit into a healthy advantage and would never look back, to win eight of the event’s ten special stages.
“It’s been a good rally, with the car feeling great and no real moments to speak of” said Bogie at the finish. “The nature of these stages makes them so enjoyable to drive, they’re very fast and flowing with good medium speed corners. It feels like a home event to me as I know so many people up here so I couldn’t ask for better preparation ahead of the Pirelli [next weekend].”
Euan Thorburn brought his Ford Fiesta R5 home in second place to take a third consecutive podium in as many starts this season. Third SRC driver home was Mike Faulkner in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX, repeating his podium result from the Border Counties Rally.
Shaun Sinclair took fourth overall in his Subaru Impreza S14 WRC, five seconds down on Faulkner’s Mitsubishi.
Mark McCulloch made it back to Elgin seventh overall, with an unnerving noise and a puncture slowing his Mitsubishi down. Donnie MacDonald grabbed eighth as he continues to acclimatise to his right-hand-drive Fiesta R5. Ninth went to Armstrong. The 3.8 miles of the Bin stage had not been used in over a decade and the Castle Douglas star would ditch his car near the start on the slippery surface, losing three minutes in the process.
The RSAC Scottish Rally, based in Dumfries, is next up on Saturday 20th May.