Duns driver Garry Pearson celebrating first British Rally Championship win ever
The Borderer needed a podium placing at the Cambrian Rally to finish runner-up to France’s Adrien Fourmaux, already confirmed as champion after winning September’s Trackrod Rally Yorkshire, and, accompanied in his Melvyn Evans Motorsport-prepared Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 by co-driver Hannah McKillop, he finished second in the event overall and first among the championship drivers competing.
The 32-year-old was first in every stage among the championship contingent and won the final stage at the Llandudno-based rally, the seventh and last of the season, outright.
That was his first championship victory after racking up four podium places in the competition’s last four rounds.
“It’s been a long year to get to this point, but I’m delighted to get the job done,” said Pearson.
“I can’t believe I am now a British Rally Championship round winner. It feels amazing.
“So many legends have won events in the championship and now I can count myself amongst them. Spraying the champagne in Llandudno as a winner certainly meant a lot.
“We came here knowing we needed to secure second place in the championship, and I am absolutely delighted we managed to do it.
“It’s a result the entire team can be proud of. A lot of effort has gone into making this happen and I think we are seeing the fruits of our labour.
“The day was taken with a bit of caution. We had to be strategic in our approach and we stuck to that task well.
“It’ll take a long time for this to sink in, but our focus already turns to 2024.”
McKillop, 29, of Newstead, near Melrose, took on sidekick duties at the weekend as Pearson’s regular co-driver, Lancashire’s Daniel Barritt, was absent, like Fourmaux, 28, on World Rally Championship duty.
“Hannah did a fantastic job in the co-driver’s seat in place of Dan,” said Pearson, fifth in the championship last year.
“I’m really happy we could achieve this result together.”