Just 3.5 seconds decided the winners of this year's RSAC Scottish Rally. David Bogie and Kevin Rae just managed to sneak the victory in their Ford Fiesta R5 from the Ford Focus WRC of Euan Thorburn and Paul Beaton.
Thorburn got of to a bad start this morning with a fluffed stage start on the opening test of the day then a puncture, but he was quicker than his rival over the final two stages of the day and left to rue what might have been.
"I'm really pleased with that," said David, "I'm still learning and there's more to come. Keeping tyres on the car is difficult but that's down to the traction and excellent braking so I need to be careful of that. I didn't really know what to expect this morning and a podium was to be hoped for, but this, I didn't expect. "
"I lost it this morning," said a smiling Euan, "I'm pleased with my pace though, and I know I can fight. Those two last stages were 'drivers' stages' so it's good to know I can be competitive against the Fiesta."
In third place was a relieved Andy Horne in the Focus: "I had a good morning apart from two overshoots, but it was excellent this afternoon. I was told to be more aggressive with the car, so I drove it like my Metro - and it worked!"
In fourth place was Jock Armstrong who appeared at the finish with the rear offside wheel on the Subaru at a funny angle: "I just ran wide on a corner and rumbled over some rocks," said Jock, "they were big rocks!"
Mike Faulkner lost out on third when he encountered Milne regaining the road after changing a wheel: "I just came over a crest to find spectators pushing him out, and then had to follow him. I had to stop about 10 times just to let the dust clear to see where I was going."
Quintin Milne punctured a tyre and lost nearly 8 minutes in Twiglees then stopped at the pub on the way out of the stage. That was him finished for the day, not wanting to risk any further damage to the new Focus. Donnie MacDonald was another non-finisher in the Lancer when the car lost drive in the third stage and Andrew Gallacher ditched his Lancer.
Leaderboard after 7 (of 7) stages:
1, David Bogie, 41m 33.8s
2, Euan Thorburn, 41m 37.3s
3, Andy Horne, 43m 26.8s
4, Jock Armstrong, 43m 46.4s
5, Mike Faulkner, 44m 08.2s
6, Barry Groundwater, 44m 29.0s
7, Steven Clark, 44m 48.1s
8, Dougal Brown, 45m 06.9s
9, Chris Collie, 46m 15.0s
10, Matthew Robinson, 46m 19.0s
11, Craig McMiken, 46m 38.1s
12, Steve Bannister, 47m 02.6s