Tyred out in Counties

REIGNING Scottish champions David Bogie and Hawick co-driver Kevin Rae were left regretting a wrong choice of tyres at last weekend’s Brick and Steel Border Counties Rally.

The pair had to be content with fourth slot overall, but still managed to pick up the third-place championship points as Durham’s Stephen Petch is not registered in the Scottish Rally Championship.

Quintin Milne battled Arctic conditions to win Saturday’s Jedburgh-based event – his second victory overall in the SRC.

Co-driven by Martin Forrest from Aberdeen, the Banchory driver was fastest through three of the four special stages (the third stage was cancelled because of snow and access problems) to finish with a total time of 38 minutes 27 seconds in his Mitsubishi Evo 9.

Fellow Aberdeenshire driver Barry Groundwater, also in an Evo 9, was runner-up, a further one minute and seven seconds back, alongside navigator Neil Shanks from Elgin. The final podium spot went to Petch, co-driven by Michael Wilkinson, who was another nine seconds adrift in his Evo.

The opening stage was won by one of the pre-event favourites, Euan Thorburn, in his Ford Focus WRC.

But the Duns competitor and his Inverness co-driver were left disappointed with 11th place overall. After setting the quickest time on the opening stage a wrong tyre choice cost them dearly. With the Craik stage cancelled, crews moved on to Bewshaugh, where Milne posted the fastest time.

The final Riccarton test was about whether Milne could keep his nose in front of the hard-charging Groundwater. In the event, the Banchory driver managed to slide his car through in one piece to take the stage win by four seconds over his Stonehaven rival.

Leitholm’s Kieran Renton, co-driven by Carin Logan from Kelso, finished second in the 1600cc category, and in 23rd place overall, with their Ford Fiesta R2.

Lauder driver Callum Atkinson, partnered by Craig Forsyth from Kelso in a Peugeot 205 Gti, were runners-up in Class 3. They finished in 35th place overall.

Dale Robertson (Duns) and Tranent co-driver Paul McGuire were as high as second overall in their Mitsubishi Evo 9. However, an off on stage four dropped them down the leaderboard and they eventually finished 20th.