Monday 18 February 2019

Rally - Weekend roundup

Saturday's Cambrian rally in North Wales was a busy affair with 140 crews tackling the opening round of both the British and BTRDA Championships as well as the Welsh Forest Championship.

Our lot did particularly well although David Bogie and John Rowan just missed out on winning the opening round of the BRC series by less than half a minute after 10 stages totalling some 66 miles. Local lad Matt Edwards took the victory with Draperstown's Marty McCormack half a minute behind Bogie.

Alex Laffey and Stuart Loudon finished just outside the top ten in 11th place overall while young Finlay Retson and not-so-young Tom Hynd did themselves proud with 18th overall first time out in the new Fiesta R2. Finlay also claimed first M-Sport Fiesta R2 home and 6th BRC Junior - and that was despite losing the front bumper against a tree in SS2!

John Morrison and Peter Carstairs were 20th in the Mitsubishi Lancer while the Sloan boys, Scott and David, lost out when the Peugeot's gearbox failed.

In the BTRDA event, there was more joy in the Scottish camp with Euan Thorburn and Paul Beaton scoring a very close fought victory first time out in their 'new' Ford Focus WRC. Just 3 seconds separated them from Ripon's Charlie Payne in the Fiesta after 7 stages totalling 45 miles.

Northern Ireland's Niall Henry completed the top three in his Citroen DS3 while Mark McCulloch and Michael Hendry enjoyed a fruitful trip south in the Ford Fiesta R5 finishing 6th o/a. Allan McDowall and Gavin Heseltine finished 25th overall and third in class in the Mk2 with Bobby Mitchell and Shannon Turnbull finishing 37th in their Ford Fiesta ST.

Not so lucky were Tom Coughtrie and Ian Fraser retiring the Mitsubishi Galant at first service while Taylor Gibb and Jane Nicol were forced out with a fuel leak in their Fiesta R2, and our own 'Flying Doctor' Steven Brown didn't get far co-driving the Fiesta ST of Rhydian Price when a driveshaft failed in SS3.

As for the Scottish rallying season itself, that gets underway this coming weekend on Sunday 24th Feb with the 9th running of the Grant Construction Rally at Knockhill Circuit near Dunfermline - more news to follow soon.

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