Rallying call to motor sport veterans

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Past winners and organisers of the Border Counties Rally – a highlight of the local motorsport calendar – are set to show they’ve not lost their talents when they get together in Jedburgh on Saturday, March 17, to compete in a 40th anniversary “special stage” of the event in aid of local charities.

The rally was first run by Hawick and Border Car Club in 1972 and to celebrate the milestone, current members are seeking out those involved over the past four decades.

The charity element, which involves crews steering and pushing a go-kart round a 50-metre track against the clock, should, in theory at least, be much less challenging than controlling a high speed rally car on miles of gravel road lined with trees.

It is open to all past competitors and intended to be a fun experience for participants and spectators alike.

“While it might a long time since some of the drivers and co-drivers have competed, I’m sure the competitive spirit will still be with them and this short stage will make an ideal come-back for some,” said Ancrum’s Dave Robson, who came up with the novel fundraising idea.

“Sadly we have lost touch with a lot of the past winners, competitors and organisers: the very people who are at the heart of the history of the Border Counties Rally. We hope this special event will encourage them to get in touch with us, or better still, put in an entry.”

Past winners of the rally include local drivers Alistair Brearley of Galashiels (1975/77), Ken Wood from Belses (1982/83/87), Hassington’s Dom Buckley (1999) and the only driver to win the event over three consecutive decades, Andrew Wood of Melrose (1984/1997/2000). The first ever winner, in 1972, was Kelso’s Alan McInroy.

The go-karting charity event takes place immediately after the prize-giving of the main rally, sponsored by Brick & Steel, at around 7.30pm.

Spectators are welcome to the special stage outside Jedburgh Town Hall and also to enjoy the finale of the weekend – a grand fireworks display over the town.

All monies raised from the celebratory event will be donated to the Borders Children’s Charity and the Great North Air Ambulance Service.

Full details of the event, and entry forms to download, are on www.bordercountiesrally.co.uk.