Family Metro comes in handy for double-winning dynamic duo

Driver Robbie Head with co-driver Claire Mole at Cothill on the Fogo stage on Sunday as part of the Jim Clark Reivers Rally 2011.
Driver Robbie Head with co-driver Claire Mole at Cothill on the Fogo stage on Sunday as part of the Jim Clark Reivers Rally 2011.
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DEFENDING Scottish champions David Bogie and Kevin Rae capped a “perfect” weekend by winning Sunday’s Jim Clark Reivers Rally for the third successive year.

It was also their third victory of the 2011 MSA Scottish Rally Championship and followed their triumph the previous day in the fourth round of the Dulux Trade British Rally Championship – which they also lead.

Driver Euan Thorburn and co-driver Paul Beaton at the Harehead stage on Sunday as part of the Jim Clark Reivers Rally 2011.

Driver Euan Thorburn and co-driver Paul Beaton at the Harehead stage on Sunday as part of the Jim Clark Reivers Rally 2011.

The Reivers win was all the more notable in that Bogie had switched from his familiar Mitsubishi Evo 9 – used for the BRC round – to his family’s 24-year-old MG Metro 6R4, in which his father John had taken top honours on the tarmac event in 2002.

Bogie and Rae dominated the event from the start, finishing the seven completed stages (SS7 was cancelled because of an accident) in a time of 47 minutes and three seconds.

Duns driver Euan Thorburn, co-driven by Paul Beaton, were runners-up, one minute and 11 seconds adrift, while Jock Armstrong and navigator Barry McNulty secured the final podium spot, another 10 seconds back.

The result means that after four rounds, Bogie now has an 11-point lead over Thorburn. Mike Faulkner is a further one point behind in third.

Driver Steve Bannister and Louise Sutherland drive through Harehead stage on Sunday as part of the Jim Clark Reivers Rally 2011.

Driver Steve Bannister and Louise Sutherland drive through Harehead stage on Sunday as part of the Jim Clark Reivers Rally 2011.

At the finish before an appreciative crowd in Duns town centre, Bogie reflected on a remarkable weekend.

He said: “To come to the Jim Clark and win the International Rally and the Reivers is just awesome, to be honest – it’s hard to put into words.” he said.

“When we came here at the end of last week we were targeting one event at a time. If I’d won one I’d have been delighted. To get both is really something. It also sets us up well for the Donegal Rally next month, when we’ll again be using the Metro.”

Thorburn pondered on what might have been on his home event, and admitted there had been too many unforced errors to threaten the winning duo. But given he had had to retire his Evo from the previous day’s International Rally with throttle problems, he was happy enough.

“David was in a class of his own, but we held in there and it’s good points for the championship,” he told us.

Robbie Head and Paxton co-driver Claire Mole finsihed in fifth place in their Mitsubishi Evo 9.

Head, who has now finished fifth on each of the past three rounds, had the distinction of winning the first Jim Clark Rally over closed public roads in 1997.

The Duns crew of Douglas Brydon and David O’Brien showed their expertise on tarmac with a fine sixth place overall and a class win in their Subaru Impreza.

The first two-wheel drive car home was the historic-spec Ford Escort Mk2 of Steve Bannister and Louise Sutherland from Hawick who rounded off the top 10, and took a class win.

Arguably one of the most remarkable recoveries of the day was that of Alness ace David Wilson and navigator Dave Robson from Jedburgh in their Mitsubishi Evo 9. The pair survived a 100mph crash on the second stage, with the car landing back on the road facing the wrong way (“All I remember is trees and greenery”, said Robson), yet went on to finish 26th overall.

Other local results: Giles Brooksbank (West Linton) and Jane Nicol (Duns), 22nd, Subaru Impreza WRC; Des Campbell (Coldstream) and Alex Orr (Hutton), 30th overall and second in class, Vauxhall Corsa; Martin Elsdon (Hawick) and John Frew, 31st overall and second in class, Ford Escort Mk2; Gareth White and Mike Dickson (both St Boswells), 32nd overall and third in class, Citroen C2 R2 Max.