The race for the 2022 KNC Groundworks Scottish Rally Championship title is back on. Just when you thought David Bogie was on course for his 6th national title, the hiss of escaping air punctured his hopes.
Bogie’s Fiesta Rally2 punctured a front and rear tyre on the same side on the Castle O’er stage and with only one spare in the boot he was out. That set up one helluva scrap for the lead of the Dumfries & Galloway RSAC Scottish Rally with Michael Binnie and Claire Mole snatching a superb victory in the Evo9.
At the halfway point, just three seconds covered the top three with David Henderson and Chris Lees in second place ahead of Freddie Milne and Patrick Walsh. Henderson punctured in the very next stage after first service and this caused the Fiesta Rally2 to spin losing even more time, then it punctured again in SS5, but Milne was already out. A double puncture stopped his Rally2 in SS4. That pitched John Wink and Neil Shanks into the runner up position behind Binnie, then the Hyundai stopped and parked up mid Stage 5.
That put the Fiesta R5 of Joe Hegarty and David Turkington into runner-up contention with the similar car of Hugh Brunton and Drew Sturrock. Hegarty broke a driveshaft which then bust the steering in the final stage but somehow he manhandled the car through while Brunton momentarily lost concentration and his car appeared with some of the Galloway undergrowth adorning the front end.
Meanwhile Henderson was determined to finish on a high scorching through the final stage to snatch third place from Hegarty.
Binnie managed to hang on and was virtually speechless at the rally finish. “I don’t know how that just happened,” he said, “it didn’t feel quick but the times showed otherwise.” And no punctures!
There was also a fearful scrap going on for fifth place between the Lancers of Angus Lawrie/Paul Gribben and Willie Paterson/Tom Hynd. Despite bending a bottom front arm Lawrie squeaked a six second gap over Paterson who admitted to a double ‘off’ when he almost binned it in SS2.
Mark McCulloch and Michael Hendry might have done better in the Proton if they hadn’t lost over a minute with a puncture in SS2 and just managed to hang on to 7th place by one second from the Fiesta R5 of John Rintoul and Ross Hynd.
Top 2WD was the Escort Mk2 of Stuart Egglestone and Brian Hodgson in 9th place with the Fiesta R5 of Bob Adamson and Jamie Edwards rounding off the top ten. Only 27 seconds behind Egglestone was the FWD Peugeot Rally4 of Peter Stewart/Harry Marchbank in 11th place overall.
It wasn’t a particularly long rally, but it packed a lot of action and drama into its six stages with rain on the last two turning what was already a very tricky surface into a very tricky and slippery surface. At least the rain kept the dust down and the midges at home.
The quote of the rally came from Steven Brown co-driving the top Junior, Robert Proudlock in the Vauxhall Adam which finished 20th overall: “He (Robert) drove like a fanny on the first stage, and I co-drove like a fanny on the last one slowing him down!” This is only Robert’s fifth rally!
Full report in next Thursday’s ‘Motorsport News’.
1, Michael Binnie/Claire Mole (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo9) 42m 20s
2, Hugh Brunton/Drew Sturrock (Ford Fiesta R5) +45s
3, David Henderson/Chris Lees (Ford Fiesta Rally2) +1m 34s
4, Joe Hegarty/ David Turkington, Ford Fiesta R5) +2m 05s
5, Angus Lawrie/Paul Gribben (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo9) +2m 10s
6, William Patterson/Tom Hynd (Mitsubishi Evo9) +2m 16s
7, Mark McCulloch/Michael Hendry (Proton Satria Evo) 3m 30s
8, John Rintoul/Ross Hynd (Ford Fiesta R5) +3m 31s
9, Stuart Egglestone/Brian Hodgson (Ford Escort Mk2) +3m 40s
10, Robert Adamson/Jamie Edwards (Ford Fiesta Rally2) +3m 51s