There was a good result to be had on today’s Armstrong Galloway Hills Rally - for those who finished, for a surprising number didn’t. This had nothing to with attrition, more excessive zeal or speed, or both.
The Galloway forest roads were in excellent condition for this penultimate round of the KNC Groundworks Scottish Rally Championship and although David Bogie won, he won’t lift the national title this year as he’s only done 2 of the 4 events in this shortened season.
That means Garry Pearson is in prime position after a storming 2nd place overall in the Skoda Fabia R5. Both his main rivals struck trouble, Freddie Milne slipping off the road this morning and beaching his Fiesta, and Jock Armstrong lacked the fire we have come to expect. Although he was playing it down he had a ‘bump’ on his mountain bike two weeks ago which required a short visit to A&E and he wasn’t quite comfortable in the Fiesta. He finished 11th o/a.
Stephen Petch had an excellent run in to 3rd place overall ahead of Niall McCullagh with Scott Beattie again posting a good result in the Mitsubishi in 5th place overall while John Wink completed the top six in his Hyundai after fixing a grumbling wheel bearing at service.
Martin Cairns was 7th with Ian Forgan getting into the top ten in his Fiesta ahead of Niall Devine and an impressively 10th placed Angus Lawrie first time out in his Mitsubishi. Mark McCulloch was top 2WD in 12th place overall despite having to replace a leaking brake line in the Escort.
Given the pace of the rally there were no ‘cheap accidents’ today, most were of the more expensive variety due to the speeds involved. Amongst those who failed to reach the finish were Michael Binnie, Scott MacBeth, Rory Young and Keith Morris.
At the finish, MINI mounted David Bogie paid tribute to the organisers for a slick event with excellent stages, an opinion shared by the many Irish and Northern Irish crews who were using this event as a shakedown ahead of next weekend’s Bushwhacker ‘Grand Prix’.
Provisional Top Ten
1, Bogie/Rowan, 36m 57s
2, Pearson/Burns, 37m 26s
3, Petch/Wilkinson, 38m 08s
4, McCullagh/McCloskey, 39m 04s
5, Beattie/Swinscoe, 39m 22s
6, Wink/Shanks, 39m 27s
7, Cairns/Bustard, 39m 28s
8, Forgan/Lees, 39m 39s
9, Devine/McIntyre, 39m 48s
10, Lawrie/Gribben, 40m 01s
Note: There will be a full report in next week’s Motorsport News