Thorburn rues pipe problems

Mike Faulkner and Peter Foy powered to a superbly-judged victory on Saturday’s ProTune Remapping Merrick Stages Rally – their first win in the MSA Scottish Rally Championship for more than two years.

The Kirtlebridge-based driver, in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6, completed the six Galloway Forest stages 45 seconds ahead of Robbie Head and Berwickshire co-driver Claire Mole in an Evo 9. Wayne Sisson, also in an Evo 9, was third.

Euan Thorburn from Duns, who was tied for second in the championship with Faulkner going into the Merrick, fought his way back up the leaderboard following turbo-pipe problems on stage one to finish with the same overall time as Sisson – the Lancastrian taking the final podium spot thanks to the faster run on the opening test.

The event was marred by an accident on the final stage involving the Inverness crew of Dougal Brown and navigator Lewis Rochford in a Mitsubishi Evo 4. Twenty-seven-year-old Brown was airlifted to hospital in Dumfries where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries. Rochford suffered shock, but was otherwise unharmed.

The stage was cancelled as a result of the incident, with notional times being given to competitors who were running further down the field.

The final round of the MSA Scottish Rally Championship is the Colin McRae Forest Stages, based in Aberfeldy, on October 1.