Some of the best drivers in Britain head for Galloway this weekend for the 46th staging of the Armstrong Galloway Hills Rally.
Organised by Solway, Macahars and East Ayrshire Car Clubs, Saturday’s rally will, for the first time, form the final round of the British Rally Championship, which will see a new champion crowned at the event’s finish ramp, as well as the returning KNC Groundworks Scottish Rally Championship.
The event also has a new format after moving south of its traditional Castle Douglas base to Dalbeattie, and a brand-new home at Jas P Wilson’s newly-built facility.
To house both British and Scottish Rally Championship contenders, there will be two separate routes for each series, with the BRC contenders battling out for the title honours over nine stages and 75 miles. The SRC crews have a more traditional format, with five stages and 44 miles on offer.
Reigning British Rally Champion Matt Edwards will lead the 75-mile rally away from Dalbeattie early on Saturday morning in his Ford Fiesta R5. Already crowned as the co-driver champion, Patrick Walsh will co-drive as the pairing enter a classic fight for the title with Hyundai i20 R5 pilot Tom Cave and Dale Bowen.
With the SRC championship sewn up on the previous round, Euan Thorburn and Paul Beaton won’t make the trip to Dalbeattie but this opens the door for plenty of pretenders keen to round out their season with a win.
Multiple Scottish champion David Bogie returns with John Rowan. But, when it comes to winning, Galloway Hills rallies, although nobody can touch local legend Jock Armstrong, from Castle Douglas, who has taken a record-breaking nine wins on home turf.
The Subaru Impreza man has Cameron Fair back in the hotseat and is aiming to make it 10 wins on an event he sponsors for the 20th year.