Wigtown is abuzz with rally cars and anoraks tonight as over 75 cars and crews gather in the town ahead of tomorrow’s ProTune Remapping Merrick Stages Rally.
Much attention is being focussed on the expected Mike Faulkner/Euan Thorburn duel which is set to pick up where it left off on last month’s Gleaner Oil & Gas Speyside Stages. Last time, the duo went into the final stage neck and neck on times and only a wee mistake by Faulkner handed the victory to Thorburn. That nail-biting battle is set to resume again tomorrow in the forests of Glentrool.
Ahead of the rally, Mike Faulkner took part in the Media/Sponsor shakedown session earlier today, and completed four runs in his Mitsubishi Lancer EVO6: “The ground was wet, but the stage was good,” said Mike, “it’s set to rain again overnight, but that might even help to bind the surfaces tomorrow.”
When asked about tactics, Mike said: “We’re going for the win, that’s our mindset. It was on the Snowman - and every event since the Snowman.”
Lancer EVO8 driver, Euan Thorburn, is equally upbeat: “Mike’s the man to beat, and to beat him tomorrow means we’ll have to win the rally! So we have to go for the win. With two rounds to go we can’t just settle for points now,” said Euan.
They are both tied on 161 points each at present and holding joint second place in the Scottish Rally Championship, but with two rounds to go and dropped scores to consider, neither can afford to let up on their hectic pace.
It’s obvious that rally fever has hit Wigtown. The butcher just around the corner from the Town Hall where tonight’s documentation is taking place has a sign in the window – ‘Rally good mince pies’.
That sounds more like a challenge than an advertisement!