JEDBURGH rally enthusiast Kevin Rae has made the history books after he and Dumfries driver David Bogie became the first team to lift both Scottish and British Rally Championships in the same year.
Bogie and co-driver Rae, who now lives in Hawick, crossed the finish line of the weekend’s International Rally Yorkshire in third place and, in doing so, became 2011 Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Champions.
The pair’s six podium finishes – three of them wins – from the season’s six rounds were more than enough to provide them with their first British title.
With the recent announcement that October’s International Rally Isle of Man had been cancelled, the Yorkshire event took on a completely different complexion, as suddenly it became the final round of the championship.
A delighted Rae told TheSouthern: “Last weekend was one of the most nerve-wracking events we’ve ever done.
“David and myself work well together, though, and trust each other 100 per cent in the car, which allows us to push hard when we need to.”
“It’s still taking time to sink in, but the last time the trophy came north of the border, it was Alistair McRae who won it in 1995, before that it was Colin McRae in ’91 and ’92 and before that Jimmy McRae winning it five times in ’81, ’82, ’84, ’87, and ’88, so for David and myself to be the next Scots to lift the British trophy it’s a pretty special feeling.”
Elfyn Evans and co-driver Andrew Edwards in the Pirelli Star Driver Subaru led last weekend’s event from the start and did all they could to try to lever the title away from Bogie and Rae. It was the Welshmen’s second rally win of the season, the result confirming them as runners-up in the championship, while Jonny Greer and Dai Roberts finished a strong second in the rally and third overall.
It was a good day all round for Borders competitors as Peter Taylor (whose family run the caravan site at Lilliardsedge), co-driven by Jedburgh’s Dave Robson, finished fifth overall and second two-wheel drive. Peter’s performance also earned him the Pirelli Star Driver nomination.
It was a successful weekend for Duns driver Garry Pearson and co-driver Laura Marshall from Newton Stewart as they clinched the Stars of the Future Award in the Dulux Trade British Rally Championship Challenge by winning their class.
Pearson managed a seventh overall and ensured there was no doubt to his dominance of the Stars of the Future and the RC 1 class by being fastest in these categories on every stage. He also secured fifth overall and the highest-placed Scotsman in the BRC Challenge.
Rae, in the meantime, can add his landmark achievement to one made back in August.
On lifting the Scottish title he also became the first co-driver to pick up three championship wins in a row.
A true Borderer, Rae, 34, went to Hobkirk Primary School before moving on to Jedburgh Grammar.
“He played rugby with Jed Thistle, progressing to Riverside before rallying started taking over his life.
He now works alongside his mum and dad in the family-run agricultural business and is in a relationship with fellow Jed co-driver Louise Sutherland.
He added: “I would like to thank my parents for their patience and support over the years, with me having a lot of time away rallying. They come along to most of the events so it’s great that they enjoy what I do too. I would also like to thank my girlfriend Louise for her support.”
Sutherland also picked up silverware last weekend when she and Malton’s Steve Bannister won the Historic Cup on the rally.