Saturday 12 August 2017

Rally - Grampian champion

David Bogie won the Grampian Forest Rally but Euan Thorburn has clinched the ARR Craib Scottish Rally Championship title with one round to go.

It was a fast and furious day in the Grampian forests which were in excellent nick. One or two wee rain showers during the day and some rain yesterday ensured that dust wasn’t much of a problem, unless you caught the car in front!

After his Ypres shunt, the lads at CA1 Sport had to re-shell Bogie’s Skoda, and they did it in 4 days. From bare shell to firing it up and then David had a test at Sweet Lamb last week and he was ready to go today. And go he did, fastest on each of the day’s six stages: “Those were some of the best stages in Scotland,” he said, “they were even better second time through.”

Thorburn was almost a minute down on the leader: “All I had to do today was to beat Jock,” said Euan, “I turned the anti-lag down and drove in the middle of the road for the last two stages. Happy days.”

Paul Bird had to fight for third place, and a stirring time on the last stage just pipped Armstrong for third: “This is my first rally in a while,” said Paul, “and I came up here for the competition - because these lads are quick.” Nice compliment for Scottish rallying, eh? But he did have a Scottish co-driver, one Stuart Louden Esq.

As for Armstrong he finished fourth 1 second behind Bird: “I was just about off on the last two bends of the last stage,” said Jock, “that didn’t help.” Neither did a broken finger. Jock had a bandage on his right pinkie after an operation to insert pins into the bones and it was catching the wheel rim and his leg at times but he didn’t make excuses.

Shaun Sinclair finished fifth just 3 seconds behind Armstrong: “I’m disappointed,” said Shaun, “not with the car or anything else, I’m disappointed with ME.”

Rounding off the top six was Mike Faulkner, but there was no Quintin Milne. He was excluded before the rally start. It was alleged that he had been seen in the forest earlier in the week and Forest Enterprise took a dim view of that and reported the incident to the rally organisers.

Angus Lawrie was top 1600 after a good day but rival Keith Riddick spent some quality time examining the flora and fauna in Scottish ditch and he finished some 42 seconds behind Lawrie.

Leaderboard after 6 (of 6) stages:
1, David Bogie, 41m 17s
2, Euan Thorburn, 42m 15s
3, Paul Bird, 42m 38s
4, Jock Armstrong, 42m 39s
5, Shaun Sinclair, 42m 42s
6, Mike Faulkner, 42m 56s
7, Mark McCulloch, 43m 05s
8, Bruce McCombie, 43m 13s
9, Donnie MacDonald, 44m 06s
10, Michael Binnie, 44m 33s

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