IF the Borders is steeped in motor sporting tradition, then there are few more so than the Buckley dynasty at Hassington.
Renowned throughout British rallying as one of the foremost rally car preparation and rally team management companies in the business, Dom Buckley Motorsport’s expertise was born in the white-hot heat of competition.
In 1984 Dom Buckley and Doug Redpath won the Jim Clark Rally in a self-prepared Ford Escort RS1800, then in 1998, Dom Buckley Jnr and Neil Ewing won only the second running of the UK mainland’s first closed public road rally in their Subaru Impreza.
Now it’s the turn of a third generation Dom Buckley, who will be contesting this year’s Jim Clark Reivers Rally, in another Subaru Impreza, with Doug Redpath on the maps again.
Oddly enough, ‘young’ Dom was a late starter. This will be the 22-year-old’s sixth rally. At present he is captain of the Kelso 7s rugby team and rallying has taken second place to his rugby career so far. Even so, his rallying record is mighty impressive.
To date, he has started six rallies and finished four, finishing third twice and second once, before taking his first outright victory on the local Charterhall Stages Rally two months ago!
The dynasty doesn’t stop there, either. In the early 2000s Neil Buckley (the middle Dom’s brother) successfully campaigned a Mitsubishi Lancer in the British Championship, winning the British Group N title, but which just lacked the firepower to go for an outright win on his home event. He, too, combined a successful rugby playing career with his rallying, but like brother and father now helps to run this thriving family business which assists and supports rally teams right across the UK and Ireland and as far afield as Italy and Monte Carlo, Sweden and Barbados.
Can young Dom repeat his dad and grandad’s feat in the Jim Clark?
He’ll be up against four-times Scottish Rally Champion David Bogie, the fast and furious Jock Armstrong and top local driver Euan Thorburn, among many. Victory this year would be an entirely unexpected result, but the experience gained could give him a serious fighting chance next year. So look out for the yellow Subaru this weekend. Fairy tales sometimes happen.