Rivals falter as local hero David Bogie wins home event on the final stage
Dumfries rally ace David Bogie took a dramatic home win at this weekend’s RSAC Scottish Rally, as closest rival Fredrick Ahlin retired on the final test of the gruelling event within sight of victory.
After 74 closely fought miles in the Dumfries and Galloway forests, Bogie and co-driver Kevin Rae entered the final test of the event separated by just 0.1 sec from Ahlin, but emerged from the stage victorious when a hole in the Norwegians radiator would mean he could go no further. The all-Welsh crew of Osian Pryce and Dale Furniss took a well-deserved second place with Marty McCormack and Dave Moynihan making the trip across the Irish Sea to round off the top three.
The event, supported by Dumfries & Galloway Council would see crews from the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship (BRC) and ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship (SRC) join the event to tackle classic stages in the Eskdalemuir and Ae forests.
Ahlin would start as pre event favourite thanks to his victory on the opening two rounds of the series but it would be Tom Cave and James Morgan who would take the first blood during Friday night’s double run through the Mount Joe test. With the second pass under the cover of darkness and descending fog, the rocky opening leg saw Cave’s Hyundai i20 R5 head Ahlin and Bogie’s Skoda Fabia R5’s going into the overnight halt.
Cave would not stay there for long however, the Welshman ripping a wheel off the new machine on the first stage of Saturday’s morning, putting him into retirement. Ahlin would have no problems stepping up to the lead and Bogie assumed second, marking the start of an epic battle for the win.
Stage by stage, Bogie chipped away at Ahlin’s lead and by stage seven, had overhauled his CA1 Sport team mate. As the next two stages passed, the lead swapped again and again until the final stage would see the deciding battle. With the tiniest of margins to play with, it could have gone either way.
But Bogie emerged from the stage, Ahlin didn’t and the Scotsman took a well earnt if not surprise victory.
“It’s been such a hard rally and to head into the final stage of the event with a gap as close as that is pretty amazing to be honest” said an elated Bogie. “It was tough on Fredrick not to battle to the end and the conditions have been so hard on everyone this weekend it really could have gone either way. The hardest part for me was seeing him parked up in the stage. Those last few miles were the hardest I’ve ever done but it’s good to win at home and for the BRC points”.
Some 48 seconds back, Pryce had done his own thing during the event and was there to take advantage at the finish, taking the runner up spot in his Fiesta R5. The Welshman had set some impressive times to mark his intentions on the remainder of the BRC season.
Another driver to quietly make headway through the event, McCormack was also pleased to make it onto the final step of the podium. Changes to the setup up over the closing stages transformed the car enabling him to get right on the pace of the front runners in his Skoda Fabia R5.
Irishman Keith Cronin with Mikie Galvin took fourth in their M-Sport Fiesta R5 with Desi Henry and Liam Moynihan rounding off the top five in their Skoda Fabia R5.
Scottish Rally Championship front runners Euan Thorburn and Paul Beaton ensured the held onto their Championship lead taking 6th overall in the National A event and first SRC crew home.
Castle Douglas driver Jock Armstrong and co-driver Paula Swinscoe took victory in the National B event which ran across six of the Saturday stages. Their result also bagged them second SRC crew home behind Thorburn which re-ignites the Subaru Impreza pilots championship hopes after a tough last round in Elgin.
Shaun Sinclair and Jamie Edwards took second spot in the National B event and third SRC crew home in their Subaru Impreza S14 WRC from the chasing Mike Faulkner and Peter Foy who rounded off the National B podium in their Mitsubishi Evo IX.
Almost 100 cars started the event which, after the traditional Dumfries ceremonial start, saw a shift to a new rally base in Lockerbie Lorry Park. The town of Moffat played host to the British Championship finish celebrations which drew hundreds of eager spectators all keen to watch local man Bogie spray his victory champagne in the high street. The Lord Lieutenant of Dumfriesshire, Fiona Armstrong was on hand to hand out the awards to the lucky victors.
All Images credit to: Eddie Kelly Photography