Dumfries driver David Bogie secured an historic RSAC Scottish Rally victory last Saturday (24 July), taking his seventh win on the event and etching his name firmly into the record books on the 75th anniversary of the popular event.
Bogie and co-driver John Rowan stormed to fastest time on every single one of the event’s five stages to win by over a minute from their nearest rival. Threading their impressive MINI JCW WRC through the daunting stages in the Dumfries and Galloway forests, Bogie’s tally of wins surpasses the legendary Roger Clark who took six victories in the 1960’s and 70’s.
Castle Douglas ace Jock Armstrong made a successful debut on gravel in a new-for 2021 Ford Fiesta Rally2 to take second place with Cameron Fair alongside, as Duns pilot Garry Pearson rounded out an all-Scottish podium in third, driving a Skoda Fabia R5 and Niall Burns in the co-drivers seat.
Backed by Dumfries & Galloway Council and one of the Council’s seven ‘signature events’ held every year, the RSAC Scottish Rally had attracted around 140 crews from across the UK and beyond who would tackle classic forest stages in the region. Thanks to being a round of KNC Groundworks Scottish Rally Championship, MRF Tyres BTRDA Rally Series and Mixed Surface Challenge, a bumper entry headed into the Twiglees, Gill Knowe and Ae forests for 44 miles of competitive action.
Bogie was never beaten all day long. Edging a three-second gap over the opening Twiglees test, he would bolster that lead with every passing stage to take a dominant victory over his home stages.
“It’s always really nice to win your home rally and to make it a tally of seven victories makes me really proud” said Bogie.
“Never for a second do I think that my achievement is equal to Roger Clark’s, the events were very different back then with it being four or five days long, but it’s a nice record to have. It looked on paper like an easy result but it was a really challenging day. Once I got the first stage out the way and settled back into the MINI, I found a nice pace and John and I were working really well together as always.”
After a slow start, Armstrong bedded into his new steed and aside from the opening stage, was never outside of the top three times all day long to take a confident runner up spot and subsequently the lead of the Scottish Rally Championship.
Pearson was Bogie’s nearest challenger on the opening stage, showing no signs of needing to get used to the Skoda he only saw for the first time at Friday’s test. His impressive run was hampered with a puncture on the second stage and then catching the dust of another car on the third. But a fightback over the closing stages netted him a podium and first BTRDA crew home.
Rory Young and Allan Cathers scooped fourth in their Fiesta Rally2 after being out of action for over 12 months, entering into a day-long battle for the podium spots with Callum Black and James Wilson. Black lay second overall after the second test before a double puncture robbed them of an impressive result whilst Wilson and co-driver Arthur Kierans made the trip across the Irish Sea worthwhile to round out the top five.
The battle for two-wheel-drive honours also went the way of a Dumfries crew as Mark McCulloch and Michael Hendry took top spot in their Ford Escort MK2. Making the UK debut of the Peugeot 208 Rally4, Peter Stewart and Harry Marchbank pushed their brand-new machine to second spot with Dalbettie’s Iain Wilson taking third with Chris Williams alongside.
Niall Cowan Jnr was another Dumfries driver to take victory, taking his MG ZR to class M2 honours with Callum Shanks in the co-drivers seat. Meanwhile, rallying dad Niall Cowan Snr enjoyed a positive debut of a newly built MG3 to give the family a one-two, taking second in class with Chris Wareham on the notes.
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