Just two points separate frontrunners Euan Thorburn and David Bogie going into the third round of the ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship in Aberdeen on Saturday, writes Sandy Brydon.
Defending champions Bogie and Hawick co-driver Kevin Rae will be targeting their fourth McCombie Builders Granite City Rally win, after a dominant display on the Border Counties last month in their Ford Focus WRC, while Duns ace Thorburn and navigator Paul Beaton from Inverness, also in a Focus, are looking to regain the upper hand following victory on the season-opener in Inverness.
The Granite has attracted an impressive entry of 110 crews, who will tackle 44 miles of classic forest stages in Kincardineshire.
Dale Robertson from Duns, co-driven by Tranent’s Paul Maguire, has had a disappointing start to his 2014 championship campaign in his recently acquired Mitsubishi EVO 9.
On both the Snowman and the Border Counties, a broken rear brake pipe has thwarted Robertson’s challenge and he is hoping for a change of fortune this weekend.
Ford Escort Mk2 maestro Steve Bannister, and Hawick navigator Louise Sutherland, will be looking for a repeat of their Border Counties victory in the 2WD category.
Coldstream’s Kieran Renton will have leading Jedburgh co-driver Dave Robson back on the notes as he targets top honours in the 1600cc class in his Ford Fiesta.
The same is true of Lauder’s Callum Atkinson, who is currently in a three-way tie at the top of the Class 7 championship in his Fiesta.
St Boswells’ navigator Scott Hunter will be alongside Scott MacBeth, who will be looking to repeat his Class 2 win last time out in a Vauxhall Nova while Jedburgh co-driver Paul Wood is on the notes for Glasgow’s Thaarique Fazal, also in a Peugeot.