Thorburn eyes win in Border Counties

Euan Thorburn is hoping for his second win of the season in Saturday’s Brick and Steel Construction Border Counties Rally, writes Sandy Brydon.

Following his victory in the opening round of this year’s Scottish Rally Championship in Inverness, the Ford Focus WRC driver from Duns has a two-point lead in the ARR Craib-backed series over Aberdeenshire’s Quintin Milne, who battled snow and ice on the Kielder Forest stages to take the win in Jedburgh 12 months ago.

Once again, he will be co-driven by Paul Beaton from Inverness.

Defending champions David Bogie and Hawick co-driver Kevin Rae had to settle for fourth on the opening round in their Focus WRC – a puncture putting paid to any hopes of victory. However, Bogie is in confident mood: “We were fastest through four of the five stages, so the pace was certainly there – and that bodes well for the rest of the season. If we can go into the Border Counties with the same pace, then I see no reason why we can’t take the win.”

Dale Robertson from Duns, co-driven by Tranent’s Paul McGuire, currently sits fourth in the Group N category, 18 overall, in his new-for-2014 EVO 9. The pair lost time on the Snowman, when a brake pipe broke on the third stage, with six miles still to go.

Another Duns-based crew, father and daughter team Garry and Hollie Wilson, will aim to build on their top 20 finish on the Snowman, in a Mitsubishi EVO 5.

Jedburgh’s Tommy Heard, driving a Subaru Impreza at his local event has Amanda Burney from Kirkcudbright on the notes.

Other Borderers competing include Malton’s Steve Bannister, co-driven by Hawick’s Louise Sutherland; Colin Aitchison, co-driven by fellow Duns man Garry Pearson and Lauder’s Callum Atkinson, co-driven by Keith Riddick.

The first of nearly 100 cars will leave Abbey Place in Jedburgh at 8.30am on Saturday morning, with the leading competitors returning at around 2.30pm in the afternoon.

Full event details, including a seeded entry list, can be found at www.bordercountiesrally.co.uk. For news and updates of all SRC events, go to www.scottishrallychampionship.co.uk