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Strong Pack Chase Reivers' Glory
Posted by: newsla on May 22, 2013 - 06:31 AM
WRC Rally News 2010
Strong Pack Chase Reivers' Glory

Competitors in the ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship are readying themselves for the only tarmac event in the eight-round series – the Jim Clark Reivers Rally on Sunday June 2nd.


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Last year's winner Euan Thorburn will have local support as he attempts to kick-start his Scottish campaign on the fast Berwickshire stages after a non-finish in his Ford Focus WRC on last month's Granite City Rally. The Duns' driver received a confidence boost in the run-up to his home event with a win on the Plains Rally in Wales alongside co-driver Paul Beaton from Inverness.

Reigning Scottish champion David Bogie, meanwhile, is targetting a fourth Reivers victory behind the wheel of his ex-Colin McRae Focus WRC. The Dumfries-based driver, co-driven by Kevin Rae from Hawick, leads the championship by one point from Quintin Milne after a dominant display on the Granite.

On last year's Reivers, the gearbox of Bogie's MG Metro 6R4 failed on the opening test, but twelve months on the 25-year-old believes he has the machinery which could win him back the Reivers crown:

"It was great to get back to winning ways in Aberdeen", said Bogie: "Up until then we hadn't been able to assess the full potential of the Focus. Also with it being left-hand drive, we needed more time in the car. We've now had that and I'm sure the pace can increase as the season unfolds. I'm really looking forward to the Jim Clark. Obviously, the likes of Euan, Mike Faulkner (Reivers' runner-up in 2012), and Jock Armstrong (third in 2010 and 2011) are always a threat, but I'd like to think we can battle it out with the guys at the front".

With just seven points separating Bogie from sixth-placed Donnie MacDonald after two rounds, the high standard of competition in this year's SRC means a number of drivers could be in with a chance of a podium at the finish in Duns.
Among them, Faulkner and co-driver Peter Foy, whose second-place last year was preceded by a fourth overall in 2011. Faulkner was happy with the performance of his recently-acquired Mitsubishi EVO 9 on the Granite, where he finished third, but admitted he would have liked more time with the car before heading to Duns:

"We've still got quite a lot of work to do to get it right on the gravel. We could have done with another couple of events to sort it out properly, and then think about tackling the tarmac. The encouraging thing is that we know there's more to come from the car. I like the Jim Clark roads and it's another challenge to get the car set up for it and to get it right. As always on the Reivers, the weather will be a big factor in deciding tyre choice – you can easily get caught out from one stage to the next".

Castle Douglas crew Jock Armstrong and Kirsty Riddick have still to finish an event this year in their Subaru Impreza. They were on course for a podium place on the Granite, before their challenge ended abruptly with a blown engine.
Fifth seed Milne, winner of the Border Counties, and fourth on the Granite alongside navigator Martin Forrest, was in line for a big points haul on last year's Reivers, before his EVO 9 succumbed to mechanical problems.

Fellow Aberdeenshire-based driver Barry Groundwater goes into the Jim Clark weekend third in the championship - three points behind Milne. The Stonehaven competitor, with Neil Shanks of Elgin on the notes, took the final podium spot on last year's Reivers in his EVO 9.

Two local drivers - Dom Buckley and Dale Robertson – finished fourth and fifth respectively last year, and will be looking for another strong showing in front of home support. Buckley will again have Doug Redpath alongside him in his Subaru Impreza, while Robertson, driving an EVO 9, will be co-driven – as in 2012 - by Paul McGuire from Tranent.
Aberdeen's Chris Collie, with navigator Lisa Watson from Alford, heads to Duns off the back of a second-place finish on the Granite - his best ever SRC result – in his Mitsubishi EVO 6. The pair start one place in front of Donnie Macdonald and fellow Invernessian Andrew Falconer in an EVO 9.

Malton's Steve Bannister, with Louise Sutherland of Hawick on the notes, is the leading rear-wheel drive entry in his historic class Ford Escort Mk2 – one of eighteen Escorts entered for the rally - while John McClory and David Hood return to the fray in their Group N Subaru Impreza following, what was for them, a rare "off" on the Granite.

Among the 2WD entries, Ian Haining and Mairi Riddick (Vauxhall Nova) will be aiming to keep the momentum going after their Class 3 victory in Aberdeen, while in the 1600cc category, current joint leader Kieran Renton from Coldstream, co-driven by Kelso's Carin Logan, in a Ford Fiesta R2, will look to get his nose in front, ahead of, among others, Dalbeattie's Iain Wilson and Keith Fremantle in a Vauxhall Nova; Dumfriesshire duo James Robertson and Ian Crosbie in a Citreon C2R2; and Lanarkshire's Graeme Smith, with Laura Marshall navigating, in a Honda Civic.

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Also in WRC Rally News 2010:

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