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Bri­tish Rally Cham­pi­onship driver Euan Thor­burn will give the Peu­geot 208 T16 R5 a Scot­tish Rally Cham­pi­onship de­but on this week­end’s Spey­side Stages.

The 2013 and 2014 Scot­tish cham­pion will look to warm up for the next round of the BRC at Carlisle by chal­leng­ing for an event he won in 2012.

Neil Shanks, clerk of the course for the event and mem­ber of the man­age­ment com­mit­tee for the SRC, said: “Euan won the event two years ago, it’s nice for an­other car not to be seen be­fore in Scot­tish ral­ly­ing to come over. It’s all stuff you can use to pro­mote the event, there’s a re­ally good buzz around and hope­fully the event de­liv­ers.”

Thor­burn – run by Dom Buckley – will face stern com­pe­ti­tion for the event win. Cham­pi­onship leader Garry Pear­son heads the cham­pi­onship in his Ford Fi­esta R5 and is seeded third, while just ahead is 2015 cham­pion Jock Arm­strong in his Teg-built Subaru Im­preza. Mike Faulkner (Lancer E9), Shaun Sin­clair (Fo­cus WRC) and John Maccrone (Fi­esta R5) are all fea­tured in the top 10 and could all mount chal­lenges for the vic­tory.

This year’s event has filled up its en­try for the first time in a num­ber of years, ac­cord­ing to Shanks.

“It’s been eight or nine years since we were last full,” he said. “I think we’ve ben­e­fited a lot from the dif­fer­ent time of year we’re run­ning, that’s prob­a­bly the big­gest sin­gle fac­tor.

“But at the same time more gen­er­ally there’s a good feel about Scot­tish ral­ly­ing at the mo­ment, so that’s help­ing. There’s been a lot of work put in to get to that. There’s been a con­stant in­crease and hope­fully it con­tin­ues.”

The El­gin event fea­tures 44 stage miles for the 120 crews to run on April 23, in­clud­ing the two pop­u­lar spec­ta­tor stages on as­phalt that open the event.

Thor­burn com­petes in the Bri­tish se­ries

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