PETE Hunter set the fastest times on the final two tests to win Saturday’s PJ Planthire and Groundworks Charterhall Stages Rally.
The St Boswells driver, co-driven by son Scott, powered his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 to clinch victory by 15 seconds ahead of the Subaru Impreza of Dom Buckley Jnr and his co-driver Doug Redpath from Duns.
Last year’s rally winners Gavin Ruler and David Everard finished third in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 3.
The wet conditions made it difficult for drivers on the slippy tarmac surface but it was young Buckley who set the early pace with fastest time on the opening stage.
Hunter was fastest on the second stage but Buckley hit back with fastest times on the next two to open up a 23 second lead.
However, on the penultimate test Buckley rolled his Impreza and although he managed to keep going he lost 23 seconds and it was all square going into the final stage.
Hunter pulled out all the stops to set the fastest time, 15 seconds quicker than Buckley, and claimed the victory.
A delighted Hunter said: “I just bought the car on Friday so it was the first time I had driven it in anger. I was well pleased with the win, considering the steering wheel ended up on my lap on stage three and we lost a bit of time.
“I must congratulate the organisers because they have put in a lot of hard work, getting the stages to the best I have seen them. Thanks also go to my service crew for all their work.”
Jock Threadgall and John Straughan took their Metro 6R4 to seventh overall and a class win and they were also first rear-wheel-drive car.
Coldstream’s Des Campbell and Alex Orr in a Peugeot 206 were top front-wheel drive car in eighth place and also won their class. Hawick’s Ian Baumgart and Barry Hogg were ninth in their Subaru Impreza.
Kelso’s Carin Logan and Berwick co-driver Christine Sanderson were 24th in their Citroen Saxo. Carin also won the award for top lady driver.
Father and daughter crew of Garry and Hollie Wilson from Duns were 27th and third in class in their Opel Manta.
z Dumfries driver David Bogie, co-driven by Hawick’s Kevin Rae finished an excellent second overall in the British Rally Championship in north Wales at the weekend in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10 and still lead the overall championship by two points.