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Welcome to the 2013 ARR Craib Scottish Rally Championship.
The season began in February with the Arnold Clark Snowman Rally
in the forests around Inverness.
But that was abandoned after the tragic death
of a spectator on stage one.
It's a rare occurrence in rallying,
but reminds everyone that it is a dangerous sport
and the safety of fans, drivers and crews is of the highest importance.
Organisers, competitors and spectators agreed
that rallying was unimportant compared to what had happened
so the Highland event was called off.
That meant the first round of the 2013 calendar
was the Brick and Steel Border Counties Rally in Jedburgh.
Although most of the usual suspects would be competing,
there had been one major change since last season.
Sensing his title might be under threat from a number of quarters,
four-time defending champion David Bogie had thrown down the gauntlet
and moved up from his trusty Evo IX to a Ford Focus World Rally Car.
I don't think it'll be the fastest driver that'll win today.
I think it's a case of keeping it on the road
and keeping out of trouble
and the result at the end could be a very strange result.
But, of course, with the previous round being cancelled
we're still in the first round of the championship
so I would be more than happy with a podium.
Perennial runner-up Mike Faulkner had also traded in
his Evo VI for a more powerful Evo IX.
A little bit more anxious than normal,
obviously we've not had any running in the car.
We had a problem with the engine again,
we tried to get a few miles a week ago,
and had a problem with the engine so we've not really done any miles,
and it's not the ideal conditions to be learning a new car,
but we'll give it a go.
In the Scottish Rally Championship, drivers get 30 points for a victory,
28 for second, 27 for third,
26 for fourth and so on down to one point for finishing 29th.
The Brick and Steel would prove to be a supreme test of ability.
Snow and ice had made conditions in the stages very unpredictable.
I really like the snow. You can push on the snow,
but snow tyres are easily punctured so you need a decent amount of snow.
I don't think there's quite enough for that,
so you've got to take the gamble.
In the mixed surfaces, you could get lots of late braking in on snow
and then you get an icy patch downhill, just carry you straight on
into the trees so it's reading the road the best you can
and softly, softly whilst going as quick you can.
Picking the right tyres could be the difference between winning
And the conditions were affecting the confidence
of even the best in the field.
As you can see, its more ice than snow so you're not going
to get a tyre working on ice so we'll just have to take it easy.
I'm not looking forward to it.
It's iced over today and its marbled over,
so it's looking for a bit of grip, but we'll see what happens.
We're on a snow tyre.
I think Euan behind us there is on a gravel tyre.
In all honesty, I don't know what the right tyre decision
will be for this, but I'm sure the time will tell.
The weather had made safety the most important consideration for event organisers.
So they put the four-wheel drive cars in first,
to make it easier for the smaller engined vehicles
to get through the stages.
Quintin Milne, who'd won the final round of the 2012 season in Perthshire,
didn't get off to the best of starts...
..only managing 17th position after a spin on the opening Hyndlee stage.
But a few of the other pre-rally favourites put in encouraging performances.
Barry Groundwater and Neil Shanks in their Evo IX
were fifth quickest of the SRC registered crews.
They were only one second slower than David Bogie and Kevin Rae in their new WRC.
Lack of seat-time in their Evo IX didn't seem to have slowed down
Mike Faulkner and Peter Foy, who were third quickest through Hyndlee.
There was a very impressive performance
from Duns' Dale Robertson and Paul McGuire
coming in second on the stage.
But leading the standings with a stellar drive through
the snow and ice were Euan Thorburn and Paul Beaton in their Focus WRC.
Maybe this was their chance to emerge from the shadow of Bogie and Rae.
Jock Armstrong and Kirsty Riddick were an early casualty,
going off the road in their Subaru Impreza.
Keep left over crest.
Stage two, Wauchope, was defining for three of the leading contenders.
Euan Thorburn lost time after a spin and slipped down to eighth overall.
First one, we had a fairly good run.
There wasn't much grip, but you could feel for it.
Second one was much the same until we had a spin
maybe halfway through, just a second gear left hand corner,
just got the power a bit too early and it just half spun in the middle
of the road, but I couldn't get reverse so it cost us a lot of time.
I think we dropped a minute and a half.
But it was a different story for Barry Groundwater.
He was 46 seconds quicker than Dale Robertson
and took a deserved lead in the event,
while Robertson had slipped down to third place.
I thought my times weren't all that great.
second stage was quite good, but certainly first one we were
really on and off but, ah, happy to still be here so far anyway.
Very, very slippy, you're just a passenger sometimes.
I would say we set a good time in the first stage,
we've taken it really steady cos we got a big scare in the end
of the first stage, so we taken it really steady in stage two, there.
We lost a wee bit of time, but we'll have a push again later on.
Wauchope was really all about Quintin Milne.
He scorched through the stage an astonishing 27 seconds faster
than Barry Groundwater.
That elevated him 15 places into second overall,
just nine seconds adrift of the Stonehaven driver.
I felt like a passenger on one,
and I spun it and had a couple of moments.
I was really not getting any feel for the car, the car was sliding out
but on stage two the snow tyres were really working and biting in.
And I pushed hard, I felt like I was on gravel. So, yeah...
It felt light in there and at times I've shown that.
And what of the defending champion?
David Bogie was lying fourth after two stages
and blamed himself for his position.
We went in to the first stage on a snow tyre
and there was no snow at all, it was just ice.
So, right from the first corner, we could tell we were on the wrong tyre choice.
It's a difficult decision to make, you're either right or wrong,
and in that case we were wrong.
We got on to a gravel tyre for the second stage,
but clearing the lines, clearing the snow banks out of the way,
just struggling a bit.
But, as I say, I don't think it'll be the fastest driver who'll win today,
but it's just a case of getting to the end and we'll be happy.
Deep snow drifts in Craik forced the organisers to cancel stage three,
giving crews extra time in the service area.
On stage four, Bewshaugh in Kielder Forest,
Milne again posted the fastest time
to take him into the overall lead.
Braking now, protect the side wall,
and then caution, press the second left seven,
David Bogie was second quickest and moved into second spot.
And although Barry Groundwater was also experiencing tyre problems,
his time kept him in with a shout of a podium place,
third, a minute and one second behind Milne.
Donnie MacDonald and Andrew Falconer from Inverness were making
a late charge up the standings and were lying fourth.
Mike Faulkner and Peter Foy in their new Evo IX
had suffered a puncture earlier and had slid down to fifth.
But they were a minute and a half down on third-placed Groundwater
and they were really left fighting for minor positions.
The final stage, Riccarton, was all about whether Milne
could keep his nerve and take the first victory of the 2013 season.
He could and he did, coming in six seconds faster
than the hard-charging Barry Groundwater, who'd put his tyre woes
behind him to record a very impressive second position.
But there had been some hairy moments for the Banchory ace.
Went clean through after flat out crests in fifth gear,
clean through into some ditches.
There was one moment we took out a couple of camera pods.
Fortunately I didn't damage the guy's camera,
but he's got some good footage, we were bouncing into ditches.
But you need a bit of luck sometimes and it held today
and I'm grateful of that.
When we came out of service and I saw tyre marks going up the side
of banks and ditches where Quintin had been,
I knew he was pushing hard. That was the difference.
I wanted to get to finish, I wasn't taking the risks that he was.
He was, fair play to him, he was doing very well today,
but he was driving the doors off that car today.
David Bogie had been quietly going about his business
without setting the heather on fire.
Wrong tyre choice early on had set him back,
but surefooted drives in the final two stages had moved him into third.
Very happy just to get to the end of this rally, the conditions
are probably the most difficult conditions I've ever driven in.
Just happy to get to the end, no damage, happy.
Event sponsor John McClory, with David Hood on the notes,
took top Group N class honours in his Subaru Impreza.
Cousins Kieran Renton and Carin Logan
won class four in a Ford Fiesta R2.
A normally challenging event was made much more so
by the weather conditions.
There couldn't be snow and ice at the next round,
the Granite City in Aberdeen? Could there?
As it turned out, the snow and ice in Aberdeenshire had melted
in the week or so leading up to the Coltel Granite City rally.
But that meant the drivers were still unsure how the stages would perform.
We had the test day on Thursday,
but it didn't use parts of the stage we were using in the rally,
but it was fairly good, it was fairly soft under the trees.
But most of the stages are quite exposed so the wind and the sun
has got to them and dried them out a fair bit,
but we'll just have to watch under the trees where the snow has been
and it has melted and made it soft, but it'll be the same for everyone
so looking forward to it.
I'm just glad that the Border Counties is out the way
and we can start looking forward. We aren't going to have the same conditions.
It might be slippy in places, but I think, on the whole,
stages will be very good and I think it'll lead to a good clean fight
and hopefully it's the quickest driver who wins today.
After his non-finish in Jedburgh, Jock Armstrong had taken
some extra steps to improve his performance.
So we've cut the tyre just to see if it'll help the grip in the back,
and see if it'll steer itself round the corner a bit easier.
We're willing to try anything today, not saying I'm grabbing at straws,
but its one of these scenarios where you're thinking,
"If it helps, it helps," and that's what it's all about so look out.
Quintin Milne's cavalier win in Jedburgh has forced many people
to take him seriously as a title contender this season,
although some have suggested curbing his swashbuckling style.
A load of folk have tried to give me advice to do that,
but I'm a firm believer in fortune favours the brave.
It doesn't always work out for you, but when you're up against machines
with launch control and stuff like that, you've got to go for it.
It's my home rally so if there's any one I don't mind bending it
on up at the front end of the field this is it. Not that I want to bend it, of course!
Mike Faulkner had his problems at the Border Counties
and there was another hitch at Aberdeen before he even got to the start line.
Main shaft in the gear box broke and spat all the bits out
the side of the casing so at one point we thought it was job over.
I got a call, I think it was on Thursday night quite late
saying that one of the cars, after trials, had broken parts
and had to get some parts urgently from Preston overnight
on Thursday, get them going again. He's sitting waiting to go today.
Barry Groundwater lent us his shed
and Wayne managed to locate the bits for us and get them
across to his dad who took them out to the motorway
and met an ARR Craib night truck coming up the road,
dropped them off at Dave Weston's
and Dave got them to us for nine o'clock in the morning yesterday
and Wayne built the box, we put it in in the afternoon,
and made scrutineering.
So we're here to fight another day.
Faulkner and Foy didn't get the start they were looking for.
A spin in the middle of stage one, Fetteresso,
lost them around 20 seconds and put them into ninth spot.
Into reverse, into reverse.
Local drivers were taking advantage of their knowledge.
Barry Groundwater from Stonehaven was lying eighth after the first test,
tied with Banchory's Bruce McCombie.
Very good stage there, really fast going.
I had a few moments, especially at the very last corner there,
it's very deceptive, but it's been OK.
Portlethen's Chris Collie driving an elderly Evo VI and Dave Weston Jr
from Aberdeen in an unfamiliar Evo IX were a further three seconds ahead.
Donnie Macdonald had recovered from a close call with a bridge
in the opening stage to stay in contention in fourth.
Quintin Milne from Banchory with Martin Forrest on the notes
was consolidating his win in Jedburgh. He was third overall.
I was giving it everything she's got there
and half of this stage is familiar for me,
I used to go through it on my bikes years ago.
I couldn't have gone harder in there but, uphill, world cars have got it on me,
but it's a long day and we've got a couple of stages
where we hope to risk some high speed stuff where we may
have a bit of an advantage so keep in there. Cheers!
But a real battle was developing at the top
with Jock Armstrong and Kirsty Riddick in second spot.
I nearly ended the rally.
We came to a... We had a lot of grip in the back
and we came to a left two, left three corner
and thought we're going to have to straight line it,
but luckily there's a right two so we just went right down
into deep ditch and carried us nice, it hooked it and that's where
-we'd won the rally nearly.
-That's where you nearly lost it!
Definitely, nearly lost it as well!
Armstrong was just five seconds behind David Bogie and Kevin Rae
who seemed to be getting to grips
with their new Ford Focus World Rally Car.
An early casualty was Duns' Euan Thorburn,
one of Bogie's main rivals.
-Euan, do you know what's happened?
Halfway through the stage the power just went.
Don't know what it is.
Turned out Euan had hit a rock which had flattened
the exhaust on his Ford Focus World Rally Car.
Game over for him and co-driver Paul Beaton.
Bogie and Armstrong traded times in stages two and three.
The Castle Douglas man
took three seconds out of the two-time Granite City winner
to reduce the deficit at the top
to just three seconds after Drumtochty.
But in stage three, Glenfarquhar, Bogie hit back
and increased his lead at the top over Armstrong to 12 seconds.
Quintin Milne was hanging on in third.
But his position was under increasing threat
from a sure-footed Chris Collie with Lisa Watson navigating.
Long right one.
He was gradually eating away at his opponent
and after the third stage he was only six seconds adrift.
Over the past, my rallies, I've got quicker in the afternoon,
just get a few stages under the belt.
So, get the car up to service, have a look,
see what condition the tyres are in and I think I fancy a wee push
if there's only six seconds in it.
After his solid start, Donnie MacDonald had slipped to fifth.
I can't believe we're still fifth, honestly.
So what's your plan for the rest of the afternoon?
Just try and get that 15 seconds back for third place,
in all honesty it's there.
The podium's there for a lot of boys, not just me, but honestly
I'm only interested in myself so just try and get that podium back.
The Invernesian was destined to finish the event in sixth place,
but Mike Faulkner was putting his first stage woes behind him
and had climbed from ninth position into sixth.
Going into the service halt in Aberdeen, it was getting very tight.
Bogie held a 12 second lead from Armstrong.
You're always greedy for the win aren't you?
We'll put him under a bit of pressure,
give him some psychological warfare as they say and get on with it.
Jock's a very good driver
so to lose two seconds in a stage is fine with me.
We had a pretty good run through stage three,
some of the notes just didn't come together very well but, as I say,
the more rallying you do, the more you expect everything to be perfect
and it's not just there yet, but happy and feel comfortable.
Only 25 seconds separated Quintin Milne in third
from Barry Groundwater in ninth place.
The only thing we can do is push harder and see if we can get away
with it, but really, it's so quick, there's no error for mistakes.
I thought we were pushing well in the morning,
but certainly we need to do a bit more.
What was shaping up to be a close-fought battle
at the front between the two south-west of Scotland competitors
came to an abrupt end.
-There's something wrong.
-I know there is.
Left four, 100.
-Right eight, what is it?
-It's a turbo blue or something, Kirsty.
-End of. We're out.
-We blew it.
A mile into stage four, Durris,
the engine of Armstrong's Impreza blew up and split in two.
I'll switch the engine off, the oil light's come on.
Something's blown up.
Bogie, though, went from strength to strength,
won the stage and stretched his lead over Milne
who'd climbed into second position by virtue of Armstrong's retirement.
Chris Collie made up the top three with another competitive performance through Durris.
But it was on stage five, Swanley, at 12 miles the longest in the event,
that the most dramatic manoeuvrings took place.
Milne, who'd begun the test in second,
crumbled and he dropped down the order to finish fourth.
An inspired drive by Mike Faulkner propelled him
into third position, a result he'd have bitten your hand off for
given his pre-event gearbox problems.
And what a performance from Chris Collie in his home event.
He and navigator Lisa Watson held off Faulkner's challenge
and claimed their first ever SRC podium place.
Still coming to terms with it, to be honest.
It's a day when it's all went well for me,
rode our luck a couple of times in some of the stages,
lost a little bit of time in the last two stages as well
with some wide moves on the corners and stuff.
I thought I might have dropped down a couple of places,
cos I knew it was so tight,
so to find out we were second is unbelievable.
There was no doubt about the winners of the 2013 Granite City Rally.
David Bogie and Kevin Rae were fastest through Swanley
and came in almost a minute and a half ahead of the rest of the field.
It was made easier, obviously, with Euan's retirement
today in the first stage and Jock's retirement towards the end.
That's not what we like to see, we'd rather we were all there
battling and the fastest man winning.
So, we'll go to the Jim Clark,
hopefully we'll all get a good clean run and let the fastest man win.
It's early days in the 2013 ARR Craib Scottish Rally Championship,
but after two events, defending champion David Bogie
has a slender lead over Quintin Milne.
Group N honours went to Wigtownshire duo Fraser Wilson and Steven Broll
who limped home after driving the last nine miles of the final stage
with no exhaust, power steering, water pump or alternator.
And Glasgow's Grant Inglis and Robert Gray
were winners of the 1600 class in a Honda Civic,
finishing 20 seconds ahead of their rivals.
The Jim Clark Reivers event is always one of the stiffest tests
in the Scottish Rally Championship calendar.
It's also the only contest in the series
where public roads are closed.
The SRC drivers aren't used to rallying on tarmac
so their all-round skills and adaptability will be tested
to the maximum over the four different stages,
each of which is used twice.
The sun's out so there's going to be lots of grip out there.
Good completion again so looking forward to getting back out
and if I can hang around about the top ten then I think
that's a good achievement today.
Euan Thorburn had successfully defended his National Rally title
around the same roads over the previous two days
so he was in blistering form going into the Reivers.
David is always going to be really quick, Jock, Mike, everyone else
will be fast so we're going to have to be on our game.
But after yesterday, confidence is high so hopefully we can push on.
Thorburn and David Bogie would be contesting the event
in matching Ford Focus World Rally Cars.
Bogie went out of the Clark after stage one last year,
but you couldn't discount him in his new motor.
We made a lot of suspension and diff' changes so, as I say,
we did a few miles last week in the car, not too many.
I would have liked more, but the initial feeling was very good
so we'll just have to get the first two stages out the way and really assess the job from there.
The Reivers is the one event where two-wheel drive cars
can compete with their four-wheel cousins,
if the conditions remain dry.
Steve Bannister in a Ford Escort
was top SRC competitor on the tarmac in 2008.
And he and Louise Sutherland were once again on sparkling form
pushing hard in a slightly less competitive historic version of their Mark 2.
By the end of the event he'd pulled up to ninth
and finished as the leading two-wheel drive competitor.
The Inglis brothers, Alistair and Colin, from Angus
put in a fine start to their day, lying eighth
after the first two tests in a Mitsubishi Evo V.
Two and flat left two narrows and tightens to three, OK?
Barry Groundwater from Stonehaven's had a dream start to the championship
and he was doing his chances of another good points haul no harm
Groundwater was three seconds behind Rory Young and Alan Cathers
who were taking part in their first event of the season.
Jock Armstrong, with Kirsty Riddick on the notes,
was 12 seconds in front of Young in third.
Three right minus.
Keep in. Three right plus.
But, as expected, the fight for ultimate supremacy was between local
favourite Euan Thorburn with Paul Beaton in the navigator's seat.
And defending champions David Bogie and Kevin Rae.
Bogie stalled his car on the start line of stage one.
Conceding the advantage to his rival.
Their times were dead level around stage two.
So, going into the first service halt,
-Thorburn held a 16-second lead.
-There's lots of chicanes
in these stages and it's easy to make a mistake
and 16 seconds sounds a lot, but not when you've got all these things
in front of you. So, we'll see what happens, we'll push on.
The launch control stalled on the start line on the first stage.
The second went a lot better.
Only regret, the soft compound tyre, should've been on a hard compound,
but we'll change tyres now and hopefully it'll be onwards and upwards for the rest of the day.
Chris Collie, who'd done so well in the previous round,
had a nightmare start in Bothwell, snapping one of the drive shafts
and almost being caught by Donnie MacDonald.
He still managed to limp into service,
18th of the SRC registered crews.
The shaft into the rear hub sheared so we had no drive at all really.
We had to go right up the gears to get any drive,
and without management service between the two stages,
I had to go back round and do stage two again with the snapped shaft.
I lost a lot of time there, but we have a spare shaft
that they're fitting and hopefully there's no more damage done,
we can get back out in the afternoon.
But Chris's driveshaft problems didn't end there.
Two more came to grief which made his final position of 12th in the SRC all the more remarkable.
Mike Faulkner had high hopes going into the event.
But his race was run in stage one when he hit a cattle grid.
It started really well, we had good times,
split times were good. We got to about three quarters through,
over a cattle grid with a bump
and it pitched the car into the side of the road,
which is quite peaty and boggy, and it broke the oil cooler
and meant we lost oil pressure and that was the end of that.
Langton may be less than two miles long,
but the stage has more hazards than most others in Scotland,
including the famous water splash.
Jock Armstrong picked up a puncture in stage four
and lost two minutes. Effectively ending his challenge in the Borders.
Disaster. Got a puncture at the front left
only two or three miles into the stage after Langton
which would be...whatever it is.
I had to do about four or five miles on a puncture.
Jock ended the day ninth of the SRC registered competitors.
I'm not laughing. End of.
By the end of the first run through Edrom,
the battle for the podium positions was narrowing.
Andy Horne in his Metro was just outside the top three,
lying fifth, but going really well.
We are happy with fifth, it's a brilliant place.
We came here hoping to get into the top ten.
If we can maintain fifth, I'll be delighted, really pleased.
After making the wrong tyre choice at the start, Quintin Milne was
knocking on the door in fourth and asking questions of the top three.
-How was that?
-Sweaty! Really great stages in this,
some mixed surfaces with some mud and stuff like that.
These tyres are right now, it's heating up.
It's a harder compound, but it's coming together now. We're having great fun.
I don't know where we're sitting, but it's all good fun.
Barry Groundwater had moved into third and was consolidating
that position, 13 seconds ahead of Milne.
Very quick, yeah, just no time to stop and think,
that's the thing, it's all go.
Thorburn and Beaton were still the crew to catch.
They'd actually extended their lead over main rivals Bogie and Rae
to 21 seconds with a repeat of the three-stage loop to come.
But it hadn't been plain sailing all the way.
Car reliability has been a recurring issue with Thorburn
and once again, he was facing problems.
We've got the electrical problem with the car,
but we got another intercom which is battery powered
which is separate to the car so we can hear each other now which helps.
Had a fair push through the last few and had a bit of problem there,
we ran wide and hit a bank and the wheel filled full of muck
and it gave us a real bad vibration through the steering wheel
and I thought we had a puncture for a while.
Bogie had hurt his back on a jump over a bridge in Blackadder.
The four-time Scottish champion had recovered,
and he wasn't giving up on overhauling Thorburn.
The back's OK, it was just jolted for a short period of time.
It was a seriously hard landing,
in all honesty, I should never have taken the bridge flat.
I wasn't really thinking clearly at the time, I don't think!
If we carry on at this pace then there's every likelihood
that one of us will make a mistake.
It can switch round very easy so hopefully it's not me.
The top three positions remained the same
after stage seven, Blackadder.
Barry Groundwater held onto third after the final test
for another podium finish.
But there was a dramatic twist at the top of the leaderboard.
Euan Thorburn emerged from Blackadder
still 20 seconds ahead of Bogie.
Yet again, he was undone by a mechanical malfunction.
A hydraulic oil pipe had broken in his Ford Focus WRC.
With the car repaired but not fully functional,
Thorburn lost 30 seconds in the final run through Edrom
and had to settle for second in the event.
Aye, we're gutted, we should have won today,
we can't take it away from him.
But, David drove well and he wasn't far away from us
and he picked up the spoils.
We'll go to the Scottish and try and win there and see what we can do.
Bogie and Rae recorded their fourth Jim Clark Reivers Rally victory
in the last five years,
and their second win in succession in this year's Championship.
We're very happy with the car, very well set up for tarmac.
The reliability so far has been very good, so...
Last year we used the Metro and we retired with gearbox failure
on the first stage so to come back in a new car and first tarmac rally,
it's really good to get a win again.
The top three in the championship remained the same after
the third event.
But Donnie MacDonald's seventh place in the Reivers
boosted him into fourth.
In other classes, Dumfries and Galloway crew Iain Haining
and Mairi Riddick had a trouble-free run on their way
to a third consecutive SRC victory in Class 3 in their Vauxhall Nova.
And Group N honours went to Conon Bridge driver John Morrison
with Elgin's Susan Shanks on the notes.
The RSAC Scottish Rally in Dumfries
was a return to home ground for David Bogie
and a chance for him to extend his lead in the championship.
But he'd be facing a big challenge from Euan Thorburn
who lost out to Bogie in his back yard at the Reivers.
We need to start our championship today.
We need to get a win, if not a good podium position,
We need to score in every round now, it's all about finishing
and finishing well now, for us.
We're out to win today, that's what we're here to do.
I've got a lot of friends and family around here,
I'd like to put on a good result for them.
Although it's my local rally,
I'm in these forests once a year, the same as everyone else,
so I would know the stages in Aberdeen or Elgin for example as well as here.
Jock Armstrong's another local favourite
and he DOES believe knowing the stages is a bonus.
It definitely gives the local drivers an advantage
as you can walk round about and tyre kick everyone else's car
and just go, "I'm one up on you". So, psychologically, it should be.
Stonehaven's Barry Groundwater was lying third in the championship
and was delighted with the way his season had been going.
You know, we've had a few good results so far.
I think today might even it out,
we've got really strong competition today,
so it's going to make it more interesting to see where we stand.
The two world rally cars set a cracking pace right from the start.
Bogie and Rae, who were looking for their third win
in the Dumfries event, set the second fastest time.
Just 0.7 of a second behind
stage winners Euan Thorburn and Paul Beaton.
There was an interesting battle going on behind THEM as well.
Northern raider Quintin Milne
was 13 seconds adrift of the leaders in third.
Keep right for bad jump. Big jump, I suppose.
Left two, keep right over jump. Right, right, right.
His swashbuckling style's a real crowd-pleaser!
Milne was keeping Jock Armstrong and Aberdeen's Chris Collie at bay.
They recorded exactly the same time
to put them into joint fourth after Windy Hill.
Barry Groundwater, with Neil Shanks on the notes,
knew he'd have to up his game
after coming in eighth of the SRC registered crews.
At just under 14 miles,
Stage two, Ae West, was the longest test in the rally.
Thorburn went into warp speed to take almost a second a mile
out of Bogie and give himself a lifeline into the title race.
Euan, talk it through. You must be quite happy at this stage?
Yeah, coming from Jim Clark back on to Scottish,
on to gravel, it took a bit getting used to on the first stage
but we had a good push through there and the second stage,
we had a go at it and took some time out of David. Going well so far.
You must have analysed every detail?
Can you pinpoint anything at all that's not gone quite to plan?
As I say, just a couple of errors, braking late into junctions
and when I slide the car round and losing a bit of time
we could probably have went for a better tyre choice,
but it's all ifs and buts. We just need to focus on this afternoon.
Milne was performing admirably increasing his lead
over Armstrong and Kirsty Riddick to almost nine seconds.
Chris Collie was hanging on in fifth. But he was having to fend off
the challenge of Barry Groundwater who'd moved up a couple of places.
I got a slow start this morning coming from the Jim Clark, being a tarmac rally,
just trying to get my braking and it's been difficult
to get back into it again, it's just been holding us up.
Nothing really other than driver error at the moment,
but we've got the likes of Quintin who's absolutely uncatchable today
so I'm just going to have to do my own thing today.
Heathhall is a big favourite with spectators.
It's less than a mile long, but there's plenty of action for fans.
Despite driving the short stage with his boot lid up,
Thorburn still outpaced his rivals
and increased his lead slightly going into stage four.
Bogie was second overall and looked to be safe in that position,
unless he had a major mishap on the final two tests.
Jock Armstrong and co-driver Kirsty Riddick upped their pace
from the morning and began to claw back time from Quintin Milne.
After Shaw Hill, the Castle Douglas driver was less
than two seconds behind Milne with an 11-mile stage to come.
Yet again Thorburn was fastest through Shaw Hill
and before the start of the final test, he was 19 seconds up on Bogie.
Further down the field,
Chris Collie was hanging onto fifth from Mike Faulkner.
While Barry Groundwater appeared to have blown
his chances of a top-five finish by dropping down to seventh -
a full 23 seconds behind Collie.
But, things do have a habit of changing around
on the final stage of an SRC event, and so it proved again.
Collie, with Lisa Watson navigating,
had a nightmare end to their day...
You've not got control, man.
..getting a puncture and snapping a driveshaft
four miles from the end of the stage.
It put paid to their hopes
and they dropped down to seventh in the standings.
The Aberdeenshire pair were leap-frogged
by Mike Faulkner and Peter Foy.
And, crucially for their championship, Barry Groundwater
and Neil Shanks finished the Scottish in fifth -
guaranteeing Groundwater third place so far in the title race.
Quintin Milne just managed to hold off the challenge
of Jock Armstrong to confirm third place -
another podium position to add to his win in Jedburgh.
To swap times with someone as talented as Jock means a lot to me,
so I feel like I'm getting somewhere.
Probably came for the first time,
and I should have done this before, my dad's advice,
cos he used to rally many years ago, was go testing.
Went down to Wales and did set-up for the first time,
up until now I've been using a base Proflex setting
from Alistair McRae's days, just a general click
that a lot of people start off on, and it's all I've ever known.
So, did a few little changes and, if anything, it's helped.
Or it's just a bit of luck today, either way, I'm delighted.
Not surprisingly, the two world rally cars dominated the event.
Bogie and Rae finishing second in their home rally.
19 seconds behind Thorburn and Beaton.
Bottle of water at my feet there, right from the stage start,
it was rolling about the pedals.
-That's the very one.
That was a bit frustrating.
To be honest, before we went into that stage,
we knew we were going to beat the Bogie time,
I think we've taken 15-20 seconds off it, so it's no gain at all.
That's interesting though. This thing stopped you driving properly
because it was stuck at your feet.
Yeah, it rolls underneath the brake and accelerator pedal
and the speeds in that stage are so, so quick
so it was a bit frustrating, but a lesson learned.
It was Thorburn who triumphed.
His first win of the season,
and one he desperately needed to keep his championship hopes alive.
We had a big push this morning, took a bit of time off of David
and we've held on to it. We've added it to every stage since
and we had a good push through there so I can't complain, good win.
What's been going right for you?
I don't know, we've had a run of bad luck
and things went against us. We've always had good pace,
today we got round, clean run, no issues really.
Yeah, enjoyed it, been brilliant.
-How pleased are you?
-We needed this today, obviously, to get our
-championship back on track so delighted to get the win.
Stewart Davidson with Breagha Dobney on the notes took
the Class-5 victory in a Ford Escort.
In the 1,600 Two-Wheel-Drive category in Dumfries,
Alasdair Graham from Paisley, co-driven by Laura Stuart
picked up his second consecutive class win.
At the halfway point in the 2013 ARR Craib Scottish Rally Championship
the leaderboard is beginning to take shape.
Quintin Milne's put in a superb performance
and is hot on the trail of David Bogie.
And it's been a strong effort too from Chris Collie
who might have been higher had it not been for mechanical problems.
So, a win for Euan Thorburn takes us neatly to the end
of the first four events of this year's eight-series championship.
We'll see you again for more thrilling action
as the 2013 title race heats up,
starting with the Speyside Stages in Elgin.
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