Garry Pearson believes that his chances of being Scottish Rally champion in 2019 lie firmly with his result this weekend.
The Duns driver will take part in Saturday’s Dunoon Presents Argyll Rally and will be on “maximum attack” in a bid to keep his title hopes alive.
Pearson currently lies seventh in the Scottish Rally Championship title race but, when dropped scores are applied, he sits in second spot and just five points shy of the series leader.
A top result at the Dunoon based Argyll Rally will see him sit in a prime position for the final two rounds of the season.
Local driver Pearson has enjoyed a positive start to his full SRC campaign in 2019 which has seen the 27-year challenge the top spot from the opening round.
Opening his account with second place at the Border Counties Rally in February, the result could have easily been one better, just a spin keeping him away from the top step of the podium.
A non-finish in Elgin put him on the back foot, but Pearson and Welsh co-driver Dale Bowen bounced back in style at the RSAC Scottish Rally.
The pair took their Asset Alliance Group, RAVENOL and George Anderson Builders backed Ford Fiesta R5 to third.
Inspired by a test in the brand-new Ford Fiesta R5 courtesy of M-Sport Ford last week, Pearson plans to switch it up a gear for the super-fast Argyll stages.
“I was very lucky to have been invited to M-Sport last week to test the new Fiesta R5,” he said.
“It was an amazing experience, huge thanks to them for the opportunity.
“The car felt very different to the current model I’m driving and that required an adaptive approach and driving style during the day.
“Although it was an asphalt test, it certainly helped with seat time.”
Pearson and the team at Don Buckley RSC have also been making some changes to his car ahead of the event and Pearson knows that only a top result will do.
“It may sound like there is some pressure on me in Argyll, but actually there isn’t” he said.
“It’s Euan’s (Thorburn) championship to lose so if anything, the pressure is on him and his team to continue performing.
“We know that we still need a decent haul of points going into the final two rounds so a good result is imperative for us.
“We’ll be on maximum attack on the stages that’s for sure.
“They are not that well known for any of us in the series so it’s quite a level playing field and we have been working hard with RAVENOL and Dom Buckley RSC to make some upgrades to the car too so we’re keen to see how they help our performance.
“Dale and I love a challenge like this so can’t wait to get into it.”
The Argyll Rally returned to the British Rallying calendar for the first time in over 10 years in 2017 and contains classic Scottish stages, similar to those used in the 1970s.
The event contains over 42 miles of competitive driving, spread across eight stages from the rally base in Dunoon.