Jock makes Hills his­tory

Dumfries & Galloway Standard - - SPORTS -

Jock Arm­strong se­cured a record-break­ing ninth win on the Arm­strong Gal­loway Hills Rally on Satur­day.

The event spon­sor took vic­tory in his Subaru Im­preza, see­ing off new ARR Craib MSA Scot­tish Rally champ Euan Thor­burn with Shaun Sin­clair third.

Cas­tle Dou­glas ace Arm­strong, with new co-driver Cameron Fair, was the first of more than 80 crews to leave the start at Th­reave Gar­den and Es­tate to tackle 44 miles of clas­sic for­est tests.

He won all three tests be­fore the ser­vice halt, open­ing up a lead of 23 sec­onds.

How­ever, af­ter that Thor­burn and co-driver Paul Beaton came alive in their Ford Fi­esta R5, set­ting two fastest stage times to close the gap to just three sec­onds by the time the crews re­turned to the fin­ish at Cas­tle Dou­glas.

Arm­strong said: “There is noth­ing like the feel­ing of win­ning your home rally. The sup­port from ev­ery­one has been great to­day and we had a re­ally strong open­ing loop of stages. It took Cameron and I a wee while to get set­tled in but we had the mea­sure of the stages to­day and ev­ery­thing worked well.

“Nine time Arm­strong Gal­loway Hills Rally win­ner, sounds good doesn’t it?”

Thor­burn’s im­proved pace saw him take sec­ond ahead of Sin­clair and co-driver Jamie Ed­wards in their Subaru Im­preza WRC. Kirk­gun­zeon’s Rory Young took fourth in his Ford Fi­esta R5 with Al­lan Cathers on the notes – enough for his first podium spot as Thor­burn wasn’t reg­is­tered for se­ries points.

Dum­fries’ Mark McCul­loch came home fifth in his Mit­subishi Evo 9 with Michael Hendry along­side, one place ahead of five-time Scot­tish cham­pion David Bo­gie.

He took to the stages with reg­u­lar co-driver Kevin Rae in his Ford Es­cort Mk2, much to the de­light of the crowd.

Dal­beat­tie’s Iain Wil­son was sec­ond in class 10 and 10th over­all with Chris Wil­liams co-driv­ing his Subaru Im­preza. New Abbey’s Richard Dick­son and Cas­tle Dou­glas’ Roger Al­corn were third in the same class as they fin­ished 13th. Fourth was Canon­bie’s John McIl­wraith, who was 20th over­all in an­other Im­preza.

The Evo 9 of Port Wil­liam pair Fraser Wil­son and Craig Wal­lace were 21st over­all and sec­ond in class nine.

Cas­tle Dou­glas’ An­gus Lawrie won class three in his Vaux­hall Corsa co-driven by Paul Gribben. Sec­ond was Haugh of Urr’s Keith Rid­dick, co-driven by Steven Clark, in an MG ZR, with Pen­pont’s Jim Robert­son and Thorn­hill’s Mike Curry fourth in a Citroen C2R2.

Don­ald and Scott Pea­cock from Bridge of Dee took sec­ond in class two in a Peu­geot 205GTi. Dum­fries’ Niall Cowan Jnr and Thomas Bruce won class one in an MG ZR.

In class five, Dum­fries’ David Hay­ton was sec­ond in an Es­cort Mk1 with Cas­tle Dou­glas’ Alan McMor­ran and Al­bert Con­nelly fifth in their Chrysler Avenger.

The rally, or­gan­ised by Sol­way, Machars and East Ayr­shire Car Clubs, was able to at­tract a num­ber of en­tries from Ire­land thanks to the coun­cil’s ma­jor events strate­gic fund.

The first of those crews home was Bren­dan Cu­miskey and Ro­nan O’Kane, who were 11th over­all in their M-Sport Ford Fi­esta R5.

Clerk of the course Michael Rid­dick said: “It’s been a truly fan­tas­tic day and I`d like to thank all the hard work­ing and ded­i­cated vol­un­teers that helped make the event such a true suc­cess.

“The rally has brought so many peo­ple to the re­gion this week­end and the spec­ta­tor ar­eas were as full as I’ve ever seen them.

“Huge thanks must also go to our spon­sors The Arm­strong Group as well as Dum­fries and Gal­loway Coun­cil, Th­reave Gar­den and Es­tate and Forestry Com­mis­sion Scot­land for their sup­port. We look for­ward to see­ing ev­ery­one again next year for our 45th event.”

Cham­pagne cel­e­bra­tions Jock Arm­strong won his ninth Gal­loway Hills rally

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