​Duns drivers Euan Thorburn, Garry Pearson and Dale Robertson all make top ten on home turf in Jim Clark Rally

Duns driver Euan Thorburn and navigator Paul Beaton won Sunday's Jim Clark Reivers' Rally for the second year running (Photo: Andrew Scott)Duns driver Euan Thorburn and navigator Paul Beaton won Sunday's Jim Clark Reivers' Rally for the second year running (Photo: Andrew Scott)
Duns driver Euan Thorburn and navigator Paul Beaton won Sunday's Jim Clark Reivers' Rally for the second year running (Photo: Andrew Scott)
​Duns drivers Euan Thorburn, Garry Pearson and Dale Robertson all managed top-ten finishes on home turf at the weekend’s Jim Clark Rally.

Thorburn was the only one to secure an overall podium place, finishing third in a total time of 1:15:27.9, with Paul Beaton, of Inverness, as co-driver, in a Volkswagen Polo GTi R5, but Pearson, accompanied by Daniel Barritt, was third among the British Rally Championship challengers competing, and sixth all told, in his Ford Fiesta Rally2 in 1:16:34.8.

Fellow Dinger Robertson and sidekick Douglas Redpath, of Kelso, were ninth overall in 1:19:39.5.​

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Four-time British Rally champion Keith Cronin, also driving a Rally2, was the British championship’s leading man and winner overall in 1:14:59.8, with Mikie Galvin as navigator.

Duns driver Garry Pearson and navigator Daniel Barritt finished third among the British Rally Championship challengers competing at this year's Jim Clark Rally and sixth overall (Photo: Tom Banks/British Rally Championship)Duns driver Garry Pearson and navigator Daniel Barritt finished third among the British Rally Championship challengers competing at this year's Jim Clark Rally and sixth overall (Photo: Tom Banks/British Rally Championship)
Duns driver Garry Pearson and navigator Daniel Barritt finished third among the British Rally Championship challengers competing at this year's Jim Clark Rally and sixth overall (Photo: Tom Banks/British Rally Championship)

That was his third win at the Borders rally, following previous first places in 2012 and 2022, making him the joint most successful driver in the 54-year history of the event, along with fellow Irishman Andrew Nesbitt and Roger Clark.

British championship front-runner William Creighton was second in 1:15:18.9, with Liam Regan as co-driver.

Irishman Creighton remains top of that competition’s leaderboard, on 57 points, after three rounds ahead of a two-month break, with Cronin rising to third, on 35, and Pearson, 32, also on the up, from sixth to fourth, on 30.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“This win gives us a fighting chance again, but it’s still a long championship,” said Cronin, 37.

Garry Pearson and Daniel Barritt competing in this year's Jim Clark Rally (Photo: Tom Banks/British Rally Championship)Garry Pearson and Daniel Barritt competing in this year's Jim Clark Rally (Photo: Tom Banks/British Rally Championship)
Garry Pearson and Daniel Barritt competing in this year's Jim Clark Rally (Photo: Tom Banks/British Rally Championship)

“It didn’t feel like we were doing anything extra special, but everything was working really well in the car.”

Thorburn also won Sunday’s Jim Clark Reivers’ Rally, doubling up as round two of this year’s Scottish Rally Championship.

That was the 37-year-old’s second victory at the one-day event on the bounce and it takes his tally of wins to a record-equalling four.

“This feels really good,” he said on Sunday.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Euan Thorburn taking part in Sunday's Jim Clark Reivers' Rally in his Volkswagen Polo GTi R5 (Photo: Andrew Scott)Euan Thorburn taking part in Sunday's Jim Clark Reivers' Rally in his Volkswagen Polo GTi R5 (Photo: Andrew Scott)
Euan Thorburn taking part in Sunday's Jim Clark Reivers' Rally in his Volkswagen Polo GTi R5 (Photo: Andrew Scott)

“We had a few moments but we knew we had it in us to pull it off.

“We really wanted to win this one, and after the podium yesterday, it’s been the perfect weekend.”

Pearson, now with Cumbrian-based M-Sport, was also pleased with his weekend’s work with Lancashire-born sidekick Barritt, saying: “I’m absolutely delighted to come away with a British championship podium at my home event, the Jim Clark Rally.

“All weekend, we stuck to our game-plan and kept it sensible, picking up positions as others were caught out. That patience certainly paid off for us with this result.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Duns driver Dale Robertson, with Douglas Redpath as navigator, managed a top-ten finish at this year's Jim Clark Rally (Photo: British Rally Championship)Duns driver Dale Robertson, with Douglas Redpath as navigator, managed a top-ten finish at this year's Jim Clark Rally (Photo: British Rally Championship)
Duns driver Dale Robertson, with Douglas Redpath as navigator, managed a top-ten finish at this year's Jim Clark Rally (Photo: British Rally Championship)

“Any podium in the British championship is always hard-earned, but it feels particularly special to grab one at home – our second in three years.

“We’ve made some really positive steps with the car, so thanks to all the team at M-Sport for their hard work. We’ll make sure we enjoy this one.”

The British championship now takes a two-month summer break before returning for round four, also in Scotland, on Friday and Saturday, August 9 and 10, at the Grampian Forest Rally.

A one-hour rally highlights show will be broadcast on ITV4 next Wednesday, June 5, at 8pm and it will be repeated on Sunday, June 9, at 7.55am and also available to view on the ITVX streaming service.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Named after two-time Formula One world champion and Chirnside farmer Clark, this year’s closed-road rally was the 47th since its first staging back in 1970, attracting a record field of 270.

The rally’s Langton splash made a comeback this year after its traditional ceremonial start in Duns town centre on Friday, followed by the same Abbey St Bathans stage used in recent years and a new one at Blackadder, all three stages being repeated to cover a total distance of 35 miles.

Saturday’s racing also began with a run through Langton before seven further stages at Edrom, Ayton and Fogo, covering 88 miles.

Besides the British championship, the main rally was part of the National Asphalt Rally Championship, Scottish Tarmack Rally Championship, North of England Tarmacadam Rally Championship and Association of North East and Cumbria Car Clubs Championship.

Sunday’s reivers’ rally consisted of 55 miles’ worth of stages at Westruther, Scott’s View at Bemersyde, Macks Mill at Gordon and Eccles.