THORBURN TO SPEYSIDE IN PEUGEOT 208 R5
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.