Scottish rally star Euan aims to get off to a flyer
THE 2016 MSA British Rally Championship resumes tomorrow (Saturday) in Scotland following an eight-week break
THE 2016 MSA British Rally Championship resumes tomorrow (Saturday) in Scotland following an eight-week break for the fourth round of the series.
Scottish star Euan Thorburn (Peugeot 208 T16) will be hoping for a strong showing on home ground. He bagged a top five finish on the opening round but ever since has been dogged by unreliability.
After a flat-out test through the Cumbrian forests last time out, the rally continues on gravel in the fast and challenging forests around Dumfries.
The British Rally Championship (BRC) runners will not only have to fight each other for success, they will be joined by the MSA Scottish Rally Championship competitors who hope their local knowledge will pay dividends over the classic stages.
The opening rounds have seen three different winners, with world championship star Elfyn Evans, talented Irishman Josh Moffett and Swedish hero Fredrik Ahlin each claiming the top spot.
The Scottish Rally will take in 62 action-packed miles through the Scottish lowlands, with crews starting and finishing the event in Dumfries town centre. The winner of the previous round, Ahlin moved into the championship lead in his Ford Fiesta R5 as he doubled his 25 points by tactically playing his “joker” on the Cumbrian stages.
In confident mood, Ahlin will be one of the favourites heading to Dumfries. The Swedish driver won’t have it his own way, however, as a chasing pack will all want to topple the 24-year-old.
Team-mate David Bogie will be hoping for the home advantage on round four of the series. The Skoda Fabia R5 driver knows the stages well after four wins on the event including a dominant victory last year.
The Scottish driver has scored two podiums this year, but will be eager to get himself back into the title race with a win on home soil next weekend.
BRC championship manager Iain Campbell is looking forward to the one-day shootout, which is set to rage through the forests of Scotland next weekend. “The RSAC Scottish Rally will be a real sprint for all our crews,” he said. “You cannot feed yourself gently into the event after the mid-season break — you have to go flat-out right from the off.
“With so many stage miles in one day, it will take its toll on not only the crews but the cars as well. The teams will have to find that balance of speed while keeping out of trouble.
“If you retire, that is it, there is no second chance or restart tomorrow. It is going to be a real challenge and we could well see a fourth different winner in as many events.”
The new-look BRC takes in seven events across the British Isles as it tours England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland before culminating on the iconic lanes of the Isle of Man. Asphalt special stages and gravel tests will see the country’s best drivers in the best cars fight for overall supremacy on the best events, while the action will feature throughout the year on Channel 4 and BT Sport.
The final event will count for double points, while each driver has one ‘Joker’ to play on one of the first six rounds. Selected a week before each round, a ‘Joker’ can only be played once and will enable a driver to double the points scored on that nominated event.
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