What a rally, what a finish. Jock Armstrong and Garry Pearson tied on times at the end of the final stage of today’s Brick & Steel Border Counties Rally. The tie decider was the first stage so whoever was fastest would take the victory and the points. It was the orange Subaru that did the business with Jock fastest on the opening stage by 12 seconds from Garry in the Fiesta R5.
In fact the whole top ten was close. That might sound a bit strange with 2 and half minutes between first and tenth, but the gap between each individual crew was close. That bodes well for the remaining five rounds of the ARR Craib series with every driver having someone to aim for.
At the finish, Jock said: “I was under pressure all day, but I didn’t know Garry had set the fastest time on SS5 before I went into the final stage! I could so easily have lost it. At the start of stage 4 I forgot to put it in gear before the Marshal started counting down. That cost me 2 or 3 seconds. It could so easily have cost me the rally.”
Even so, Garry was well chuffed with his pace: “I got a front puncture for the last half mile of the final stage, so it was really close. That was probably the result of going too hard over a fifth gear crest!”
Shaun Sinclair lost crucial time in SS5: “The car filled with dust inside, I couldn’t see a thing. It was worse than fog.”
Mike Faulkner was fourth, losing time in the final stage with a top end misfire, and couldn’t have gone any harder with Mark McCulloch unable to sort out his rear end handling finishing fifth. Bruce McCombie rounded off the top half dozen and Dale Robertson got back into the top ten after his early morning driveshaft problem to keep his championship hopes alive and Andrew Gallacher lost out with two punctures on the same side of the car in one stage.
John MacCrone was the big loser though when two turbo hose pipe clips came off forcing the Fiesta out of the running.
1, Jock Armstrong, 41mins 17 secs
2, Garry Pearson, 41m 17s
3, Shaun Sinclair, 41m 24s
4, Mike Faulkner, 42m 02s
5, Mark McCulloch, 43m 04s
6, Bruce McCombie, 43m 20s
7, Dale Robertson, 43m 26s
8, Donnie MacDonald, 43m 52s
9, Barry Groundwater, 43m 54s
10, Andrew Gallacher, 44m 03s