Euan Thorburn must have been kissed by angels on Hogmanay earlier this year. He's now
done five events, 3 BTRDA rallies and 2 SRC rallies and he's won them all. What a start to a year, what a start to a season.
Warm bright sunshine sparkled on the 90 plus cars as they left Elgin this morning for a hot, dry and stoory day in the forests. There wasn't much of breeze either but it did clear sufficiently for following cars except under the trees where it tended to hang. The sun also caught out a few bald nappers for those who hadn't thought to bring hats or sun cream!
Thorburn didn't have things all his own way on the McDonald & Munro Speyside Stages though. David Bogie was leading all the way till the 8th test when the Skoda's steering rack broke. Not only that, it happened in a very awkward and narrow place and the stricken machine blocked the stage holding up the next 8 cars till they got the car moved.
The CofC made a 'common sense' decison and awarded all of the affected cars the same
'notional time' based on the next fastest time which was set by one Donnie MsacDonald Esq. Good call, with a fair outcome, and the running order remained unaffected.
Bogie's trouble promoted 2nd placed Thorburn into the top spot and with two stages to go he wasn't going to risk his 5th victory on the trot.
In second placed was an equally surprised Jock Armstrong in the Subaru, while scoring
his best finish on an SRC round was Freddie Milne in the Mitsubishi. Also scoring his
career best result was Michael Binnie. His Lancer was only 5 seconds behind Milne at the finish.
John Wink recovered from a costly puncture on the 4th test to fight his way back into
the top six just 4 seconds ahead of Bruce McCombie in the Focus.
There were more excellent results with Chris Collie, after a 3 year lay off scoring an impressive 7th, despite a flattened exhaust in the Lancer and a burst brake pipe, and Thomas Gray was 8th in his Mitsubishi. The Lancers of Martin Scott and Keith Morris rounded off an unsual look to the top ten on this 2nd round of the KNC Groundworks Scottish Championship.
Speaking of MacDonald, he spent some quality time in a ditch today. "I was just
carrying too much speed into a downhill left hander and slid off into the ditch," said
Donnie, "by the time enough spectators had arrived to help me out I had lost 3 minutes
or so." No damage really and he carried on. Garry Pearson was another to suffer a
similar fate, the front o/s damage telling its own story although he dropped over 9
minutes in a spectator-free zone, although he did manage to get the car out, eventually.
Scott MacBeth was on course for a decent result till the Lancer puked its oil out of
the sump at the end of SS8 and Simon Hay indulged in an uncharacteristic roll.
1, Thorburn/Beaton, 39m 46s
2, Armstrong/Fair, 40m 27s
3, Milne/Walsh, 41m 15s
4, Binnie/Mole, 41m 20s
5, Wink/Forrest, 41m 26s
6, McCombie/Coutts, 41m 30s
7, Collie/McDonald, 41m 48s
8, Grayt/Marchbank, 42m 21s
9, Scott/Forsyth, 42m 24s
10, Morris/Mallin, 43m 33s