Duns drivers to the fore at season’s half-way point

Dale Robertson.
Dale Robertson.
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Duns drivers Dale Robertson and Garry Pearson have each enjoyed a great start to their respective 2016 ARR Craib Scottish Rally Championship campaigns as the championship hits the half way mark.

Dale, driving a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolutuon IX, sits third in the championship standings whilst Garry in a Ford Fiesta R5 tops the table after three rounds of the championship.

Co-driven by Stuart Loudon, he got his season off to an incredible start with second overall in treacherous conditions on his first rally back in the SRC since 2014.

Dale said: “The season has gone well so far apart from the broken drivershaft on the Border Counties. We are third overall and not far away from the top cars.

“The car is great this year, [Dom] Buckley’s have the gearbox and diffs just now as they’re re-building them for the second half of the season so it should be fresh and ready to go.”

Robertson and Loudon have only done three rallies together as they just paired up at the start of the year, but their relationship is working really well.

Dale said: “Stuart and I have gelled really well this season with a second overall on our first event together.

“In the second half of the season I think we can be in the top five with maybe another top three finish before the end but we need to remember it’s only a Group N car with a Group A restrictor on it.”

Garry Pearson meanwhile has been something of a giant-killer, coming into the season with next to no experience of his Ford Fiesta and very minimal experience in four wheel drive machinery.

He got his campaign off to a solid start with a fifth place on the Snowman Rally, before taking second overall courtesy of the tie break on the Border Counties and then claiming his first outright victory in the SRC on the Speyside Stages.

Garry said: “Winning the Speyside was a great feeling, big thanks to Dom Buckley RSC and M-Sport for such a competitve car. It only makes us more hungry though!”

Co-driver Robbie Mitchell added: “We’re very happy to find ourselves consistently near the front of the SRC field. The goal has to be to keep on as we are, to keep learning and working together.

“It was great to win an event but it won’t change our preparation or approach to every stage.”

The next round of the 2016 Scottish Rally Championship is the RSAC Scottish Rally in Dumfries on June 25. The event will see the Scottish crews do battle with the drivers from the MSA British Rally Championship for the first time in two years.

Robertson however, will not be competing on the Scottish Rally due to work commitments at the Highland Show, so will be using the event as his mandatory drop score. Pearson and Mitchell will be though, and are looking forward to it.

Garry said: “It’s nice to have the BRC in Scotland but we won’t be able to compare times with them as we have no recce, which is a shame.

“When you get the shock chance to drive an R5 you look forward to every single second in the car and the Scottish is no different.”