Dumfries rally star David Bogie overcomes food poising to take his second Armstrong Galloway Hills Rally win
Fresh from victory at last weekend’s Cambrian Rally in North Wales, Dumfries rally driver David Bogie took a start to finish victory on Sunday’s (25th October) Armstrong Galloway Hills Rally, recording his second ever win on the Castle Douglas based event. Bogie, with co-driver Kevin Rae set fastest time on each of the events six stages in his Ford Fiesta R5+ to emerge victors by 34 seconds from last year’s winners and local hero Jock Armstrong from Castle Douglas with Paula Swinscoe from Withnell alongside. The duo claimed second in their familiar orange Subaru Impreza. The Northern Ireland crew of Desi Henry and John Rowan rounded off the top three as they crossed the Irish Sea with their Skoda Fabia S2000, taking third.

Jock Armstrong from Castle Douglas with Paula Swinscoe from Withnell finish in 2nd position
Jock Armstrong from Castle Douglas with Paula Swinscoe from Withnell finish in 2nd position

Organisers Solway, Machars and East Ayrshire Car Clubs had attracted a large Irish contingent to the all-gravel rally thanks to the generous grant from the Dumfries and Galloway Council Major Events Strategic Fund but all eyes were firmly on the battle between number one and two seeds, Armstrong and Bogie. The result could have all been quite different even before the event had started as Bogie was stranded in Spain with food poising, hours before the event and would not be 100% fighting fit for the rally.
But there were no sign of any drop in performance as Bogie took first blood on the opening stage by four seconds and was never headed throughout the rest of the day. The Fiesta R5’s brake caliper was found to be cracked at service which was a momentary scare, but it proved not to be an issue and both Bogie and Rae were glad to make it to the finish in once piece. “The stages were fantastic today and they truly are some of the best in the country” said Bogie. “But I’m still not feeling right and I really need my bed right now. It’s been a great day and it’s always fun to battle with Jock (Armstrong) on his home stages but we just got the better of him today”.

Desi Henry and John Rowan complete the Rally in 3rd Position
Desi Henry and John Rowan complete the Rally in 3rd Position

Armstrong was on a mission for win number eight but would need to wait another year, as Bogie’s winning ways continued. The Castle Douglas resident was feeling in a generous mood at the finish. “I have to let Bogie win don’t I?” he said. “It will make a nice change to have a different name on the trophy other than mine! It’s been a good day though and we had a few turbo overheating issues which meant I had to watch the temperature. Aside from that we loved every second”.
Desi Henry was the first of the contenders home from across the Irish sea in third, his crowd pleasing Skoda Fabia suffering from a broken anti roll bar over the closing stages which hampered his attempt on second. Fourth place was Carryduff’s Jonny Greer with Haugh of Urr co-driver Kirsty Riddick who were in search of stage mileage ahead of their Wales Rally GB outing in November. However that fourth place could well have been reserved for Mark McCulloch from Newton Stewart and Michael Hendry from Dumfries who held the spot firmly all day, until a lost exhaust and anti-lag system sent them down the order to fifth on the penultimate test.

Chris Collie from Aberdeen and Neil Shanks from Elgin led the “best of the rest” Scottish charge taking sixth overall in their Mitsubishi Evo 6. Frazer Wilson from Port William and Craig Wallace from Kirriemuir were seventh in their Mitsubishi Evo 9 whilst Niall Henry and Damien Duffin from Northern Ireland took their Mitsubishi Evo 10 to eighth.
Irishmen Seamus O’Connell and Andy Richardson had the honour of being first two wheel drive crew home in ninth place who also netted them the Brian Allan Award. Local Mitsubishi pilot Rory Young from Kirkgunzeon and Allan Cathers from Brampton swapped their usual Ford Fiesta R5 for their older Evo 5 and rounded off the top ten after suffering bent steering in the morning loop.
Perhaps the most nail-biting battle of the event was the race for victory in the Ecosse Challenge with several crews able to seal the title during the day. In the end, Simon Hay and Callum Jeffray from Aberdeenshire took the spoils and the championship after a maximum points haul.

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Other local success came in the form of Greg and Chris McKnight from Penpont who took Class 8 victory in their Ford Escort Mk2. Alex Curran from Dumfries with Heather Grisedale alongside netted the Class 4 spoils in their Vauxhall Corsa with Scott and David Sloan from Dumfries taking Class 2 in their similar machine.
Michael Riddick, clerk of the course hailed the event a success and is already looking forward to next year. “Everyone has been thrilled with today’s rallying in the Galloway Hills and it’s certainly been a hit with competitors” he said. “Its thanks to our sponsors Armstrong Group, our stage sponsors, Forestry Commission Scotland and the backing of Dumfries and Galloway Council that everything ran so smoothly this year and I’m looking forward to building the number of crews joining us in 2016.”
For more information on the event and a full set of results, visit www.gallowayhillsrally.co.uk


Photos credit  to Frank Love – raceandrally.co.uk

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