Saturday 22 February 2014

Rally - Thorburn wins

It was Euan Thorburn who opened the scoring on this year's ARR Craib Scottish Rally Championship when he won today's Arnold Clark Thistle Hotel Snowman Rally.

His winning margin was 34 seconds over Quintin Milne but afterwards Euan said: "That wasn't easy. A brake pipe into the caliper broke off in SS4 and we had to clamp it with a vice grip and 20 cable ties to get through Stage 5. It was heart in mouth stuff."

Quintin Milne was lucky too: "The diff pump failed for the last two stages and a wheel sensor failed. We had 3 spins and were nearly off in the final stage. It was so 'nearly' I told Martin to get ready, we're heading for the trees. Then somehow it just lowped out and back on to the road!"

Mike Faulkner took 15 seconds out of Milne on that last stage, but it wasn't enough and had to settle for third - by just 3 seconds!

David Bogie said there was no way he could come back after his puncture having lost too much time but settled for fourth and a car which only needs a spanner check before it's next outing. 

Barry Groundwater lost time in Stage 4 at the same point that caught everyone else out, heading for a firebreak dead ahead when the road swung right: "At least I didn't go as far up it as Mike Faulkner, he lost a lot of time there." And Donnie MacDonald failed to finish, spotted off the road in the final test.

Top Group N driver was Andrew Gallacher in 9th place ahead of John Morrison and Fraser Wilson.

Fortunately the rain held off, and spectators were spared a serious drooking, but the Snowman provided an excellent start to the 2014 forest season.

Leaderboard after 5 (of 5) stages:
1, E Thorburn, 44m 29s
2, Q Milne, 45m 03s
3, M Faulkner, 45m 06s
4, D Bogie, 45m 21s
5, B Groundwater, 47m 11s
6, D Brown, 47m 24s
7, B McCombie, 47m 45s
8, S Ronaldson, 47m 52s
9, A Gallacher, 47m 54s
10, M McCulloch, 48m 11s.

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