Duns driver Garry opts for new challenge in new car

Garry Pearson (right) and his co-driver Robbie Mitchell with their new Fiesta R5.

Garry Pearson (right) and his co-driver Robbie Mitchell with their new Fiesta R5.

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Former British Junior Rally Champion Garry Pearson is to drive a Ford Fiesta R5 in this year’s ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship.

The young Duns driver has made the decision not to compete in this year’s new look British Rally Championship and has opted for the Scottish Championship in a new car.

Pearson has been on the rallying scene since 2009 were he debuted in the 205 Ecosse Challenge. Since then he has progressed through the Scottish and British Championships as well as most recently a year in France rallying a Peugeot 208 R2.

Having taken quite a different path to some of his fellow competitors from the early days of his 205 rallying, Garry likes to be able to squeeze every last MPH out of each car before moving up a class.

Having campaigned R2s on the BRC in 2013 and 2014, there was a temptation to continue for one more year with the BRC’s lucrative Junior Prize up for grabs.

Garry’s father Monty Pearson said: “After some deliberation on the financial aspects, even if Garry were to win the 2016 BRC Junior Championship again with its contribution towards a run in the 2017 DMACK Fiesta Trophy (on five WRC rounds) there was still a considerable shortfall which would be difficult to make up – so we decided on a class upgrade.

“A move to an R3 was considered but as Garry was beating many of these cars last year when he competed in the 208 Peugeot Cup in France this wasn’t the logical route. So although the R5 is a considerable jump for him, it really was the most sensible step from R2.”

Garry will drive a Dom Buckley RSC Ford Fiesta R5 and be co-driven by Robbie Mitchell, also from Duns.

Robbie has been on the motorsport scene for as long as Garry can remember with Robbie himself welding the roll cage into Garry’s very first car, a Junior Autocross Nissan Micra.

Robbie has previously co-driven for former Scottish champion, Duns drivern Mike Horne (Escort Mk2), in the Scottish Championship and brings a wealth of experience to the team.

The Arnold Clark Jurys Inn Snowman Rally in Inverness will be the crew’s first event on February 20 where Pearson’s aim is to finish the event.

Garry told The Berwickshire News: “The mileage is key to us learning and adjusting to each other in the car, a lot will be very new and its a big learning curve for us both.”