Test day at Kirkcudbright

Mark McCulloch and James Haugh
Mark McCulloch and James Haugh

South of Scotland Car Club held a rally test day on Saturday at Kirkcudbright Tank Range.

it was a chance for local crews to test their cars suspension settings and tyres etc in preparation for next weekends Jim Clark Rally. Local crews Mark Mc Culloch and James Haugh in their Subaru Impreza, Jamie McDowall from Creetown in his Motorwise Ford Focus, and Jim Sharp from Sandhead in his Mitsubishi Evo all took part. So here’s to a successful rally next weekend, and hopefully they will return with some silverware.

Jim Clark preview

All set for tarmac challenge

Local rally crews will head to Duns in the Scottish Borders this weekend hoping for a strong showing on the only tarmac round of the ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship.

The Jim Clark Reivers Rally on Sunday is the final event in three days of high-speed action which takes place on closed public roads in Berwickshire – the only rally of its kind on the UK mainland.

Newton Stewart’s Mark McCulloch, with Jim Haugh from Sandhead on the notes, comes off the back of his best SRC result – sixth overall – on last month’s Granite City Rally, held in difficult foggy conditions. However, McCulloch knows the tarmac will present a very different challenge:

“The Jim Clark is one of my favourite events of the year but unfortunately it’s also my unluckiest - I’ve only had three finishes from seven starts”, said McCulloch: “A good points haul, hopefully in the top ten, would be a great result for us. Jim and I are working really well together, and we’ll be aiming to be on the pace right from the start”.

McCulloch starts one place ahead of Port William’s Fraser Wilson, who also tasted success on the previous round, taking top honours in the Group N category in his Mitsubishi EVO 9, alongside co-driver Jane Nicol. It meant that Wilson consolidated his position in second place in the GpN championship after three rounds.

The Jim Clark Reivers will be a new experience for SRC regular Craig McMiken from Newton Stewart, who will have navigator Craig Wallace alongside in his Mitsubishi EVO 9:

“It’s my first tarmac rally – so I’m doing it for a bit of fun, just to have done it. I don’t expect we’ll be competitive”, said McMiken.

Among the 2WD competitors, Minnigaff co-driver Laura Marshall will be back on the notes for young Ayr driver Derek Connell, in his Vauxhall Nova. The pair will be looking to keep up the momentum after an impressive Class 2 win on the Granite.

Meanwhile, local garage owner Jim McDowall from Creetown, co-driven by son Jamie, has entered his Hillman Avenger in the historic class.

At the top end of the entry list, multiple Scottish champion David Bogie from Dumfries heads to Duns determined to get his 2014 campaign back on track.

In 2013, Bogie chalked up his fourth win on the event alongside Hawick co-driver Kevin Rae in what was then a newly-acquired Ford Focus WRC.

Twelve months on, the 26-year-old trails Duns-based rival Euan Thorburn in the points after a non-finish in Aberdeenshire:

“The aim this weekend has to be to get back to winning ways after our engine problems on the Granite”, said Bogie: “Last year’s Reivers was the first tarmac event in the Focus, and we spent the whole day adjusting the suspension settings and getting a feel for the car. A year on we have far more experience of its capabilities in all conditions’.

Castle Douglas driver Jock Armstrong, with Paula Swinscoe on the notes, will start the Reivers at number three in his Subaru Impreza. It follows an impressive second place finish to Thorburn on the Granite. On last year’s tarmac round, Armstrong was sitting third behind Thorburn and Bogie when the car picked up a puncture, knocking him back to ninth overall in the final results.

Full event details can be found at www.jimclarkrally.com

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

Jim Clark Reivers Rally: Dumfries & Galloway competitors,with car no:

1 David Bogie (Dumfries)/Kevin Rae (Jedburgh) Ford Focus

3 Jock Armstrong (Castle Douglas)/Paula Swinscoe (Withnell) Subaru Impreza

5 Mike Faulkner (Kirtlebridge)/Peter Foy (Bingley) Mitsubishi EVO 9

14 Rory Young dumfries Allan Cathers carlisle Mitsubishi EVO 5 11

20 Mark McCulloch (Newton Stewart)/James Haugh (Sandhead) Subaru Impreza

21 Fraser Wilson (Newton Stewart)/ Jane Nicol (Duns) Mitsubishi EVO 9

23 Craig McMiken (Newton Stewart)/ Craig Wallace (Kirriemuir) Mitsubishi EVO 9

37 Iain Wilson (Dalbeattie)/Keith Fremantle (Dalbeattie) Vauxhall Nova

38 Robert Harkness (Stewarton)/Michael Curry (Lockerbie) BMW 316i

39 Ian Paterson (Dumfries)/Helen Brown (Dumfries) Subaru N10

41 Stephen Thompson (Kirkcudbright) David Crosbie (Penpont) Ford Escort Mk2

43 Lee Hastings (Dumfries)/ Drew Sturrock (Brechin) Subaru Impreza

44 Greg McKnight (Penpont)/Chris McKnight (Penpont) Ford Escort Mk2

47 Richard Stewart (Dumfries)/ David Cooper (Henley in Arden) Subaru Impreza

52 Iain Haining (Dumfries)/Mairi Riddick (Haugh of Urr) Vauxhall Nova

55 Stuart Paterson (Dumfries)/Allan Paterson (Dumfries) Subaru Impreza

57 Norman Macphail (Isle of Mull)/Robert Sherry (Newton Stewart) Ford Escort Mk2

58 Bruce Hay (Dumfries)/ Kenny Mcguire (Oban) Vauxhall Nova

60 Jim Robertson (Penpont)/Colin Maxwell (Dumfries) Citroen C2R2

69 Tommy Heard (Jedburgh)/Amanda Burney (Kirkcudbright) Suburu Impreza

75 Derek Connell (Ayr)/Laura Marshall (Newton Stewart) Vauxhall Corsa

77 Murray Coulthard (Twynholm)/Harry Marchbank (Thornhill) Vauxhall Nova

81 Angus Lawrie (Castle Douglas)/George Myatt (Dumfries) Vauxhall Nova

83 Peter Stewart (Dumfries)/Kenneth Marchbank (Thornhill) TBA

87 Jim McDowall (Creetown)/Jamie McDowall (Creetown) Hillman Avenger

94 Scott Peacock (Bridge of Dee)/ Sue Hynd (Inverbervie) Peugeot 205 GTI

99 Gary Parker (Lockerbie)/Lynn Parker (Lockerbie) Vauxhall Nova