It’s a rally exciting Borders line-up

2017 Border Counties winners Fredrik Ahlin and Torstein Eriksen in action (picture by Jakob Ebrey Photography).
2017 Border Counties winners Fredrik Ahlin and Torstein Eriksen in action (picture by Jakob Ebrey Photography).

After a successful debut at the opening round of the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship (BRC) last year, the Border Counties Rally will once again kick off the UK rally championship season.

Joining the BRC in March for the Jedburgh-based event will be the ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship (SRC), as two of the biggest rally series in the country descend on the Scottish Borders for the popular annual event.

Rally organisers Hawick and Border Car Club, and Whickham and District Motor Club, are anticipating a bumper entry as the event ‘tweaks’ its format for 2018.

In a change from last year, the event will comprise three sections, with competitors from the National A and B events, including BRC and SRC competitors, starting from Jedburgh town centre at around 8.30am on March 10.

Over 44 miles of competitive action in the south of Scotland and Tweed Valley lies ahead for the crews on the opening leg, with three service opportunities at Newtown St Boswells, before BRC contenders head to the overnight halt.

After a full day of rallying in the region, Scottish Rally Championship crews will spray the champagne at the ceremonial finish under the gaze of Jedburgh Abbey in the town at around 4pm that day.

The following day (March 11), British Rally Championship contenders will head back out for 36 miles south of Jedburgh and will be joined by the Clubman event. The ceremonial finish and prizegiving will then take place early that afternoon back in Jedburgh.

Aside from the British and Scottish championships, competitors from the Ecosse Challenge, Motoscope Northern Historic Championship and the Border Rally Challenge will also tackle the event, ensuring spectators will be in for a treat both in and out of the forests during the weekend.

Clerk of the Course Clayton Lackenby believed the change in format for the event would attract both competitors and rally fans to the region during the weekend.

“We are delighted that the British and Scottish Rally Championships are returning to Jedburgh this year and we think we have a fantastic set of stages on offer to challenge even the most experienced of crews,” he said.

“We have taken the best bits of last year’s event and made them even better.

“The stages are a combination of old and new, with some changes thrown into the mix, so it will be exciting for the spectators as well as the competitors.”