David Bogie and Kevin Rae won the McDonald and Munro Speyside Stages Rally by 17 seconds from Euan Thorburn and Paul Beaton after a hard and fast day in the Moray forests.
"I'm really happy with that," said David in the Focus at the finish, fastest on 7 out of the 9 stages and I feel I'm getting on top of the car now. I made a couple of silly mistakes on the last stage. I saw Euan stalling on the start line of the last stage and of course things start running through your head. If it can happen to him, it can happen to me, and I was thinking about thse things when I should have been concentrating on my own driving."
Euan was upbeat, but disappointed: "There was nothing I could do about that. These shock absorbers had been rebuilt recently so the failure was unexpected. Then it stalled on the start line of the last stage. I think that was down to a sensor." The Focus was also sporting a bit of damage to the front n/s corner. "That was second time through Gartly," said Euan, " I hit a chicane!"
Quintin Milne managed to pip Jock Armstrong for third taking 9 seconds out of the Subaru driver over the final three stages, the Lancer just 4 seconds clear of Jock at the finish.
In fifth and sixth places, the Weston fight was resolved in favour of Snr, beating Jnr by 20 seconds after 43 miles of stages, that's less than half a second a mile! "I did the whole afternoon with no front diff," said Dave Snr, "we thought we had broken a shaft in the morning, but it turns out it was the diff."
Donnie MacDonald finished seventh and Mike Faulkner had a bit of a push over the final stages to grab a very relieved eighth: "I'm happier with the car to day," said Mike, "I feel we are making progress and had a bit of a push in the last stage." And then admitted: "We spun and stalled at the hairpin!"
Bruce McCombie had a good result with ninth and Barry Groundwater just made it into the top ten after his earlier brush with the scenery.
Calum MacKenzie was top 2WD in the MkII in 14th place although Matthew Robinson didn't finish, parked up by the side of the road in Stage 8. Kenny Wood was 2nd 2WD in the V6 Dolomite in 24th just ahead of the BMW of Robert Harkness.
Top Ten after 9 (of 9) stages:
1 Bogie, 42m 25s
2 Thorburn, 42m 42s
3 Milne, 44m 09s
4 Armstrong, 44m 13s
5 Weston Snr, 44m 23s
6 Weston jnr, 44m 43s
7 MacDonald, 45m 14s
8 Faulkner, 45m 35s
9 McCombie, 45m 38s
10 Groundwater, 46m 05s