PEAR­SON ON FORM TO EX­TEND TI­TLE LEAD

Two out­right wins in a row for Pear­son/mitchell make Duns crew the ti­tle favourites. By John Fife.

Motor Sport News - - Erc: Ypres Rally -

The RSAC Scot­tish Rally pro­vided another thrilling en­counter for the Scot­tish Rally Cham­pi­onship. At the fin­ish, 10 sec­onds sep­a­rated Garry Pear­son in first place from Jock Arm­strong, while 0.9 of a sec­ond was the gap to third placed Mike Faulkner.

Even more of a sur­prise was the fact that Pear­son emerged from the first stage at Twiglees 11th in class and 25th over­all. The Ford Fi­esta R5 had spun on the sandy sur­face and dropped nearly 20 sec­onds to its ri­vals.

Fastest of the SRC reg­is­tered Scots was there­fore Mike Faulkner. He took three sec­onds out of Arm­strong in the first stage, be­fore the Subaru driver took five out of Faulkner’s Lancer on the sec­ond. But as the driv­ers pulled into first ser­vice there was a wor­ried frown on Arm­strong’s face: “She’s over­heat­ing. The new ex­haust hasn’t been prop­erly shielded,” he ex­plained, “and there is tremen­dous heat build-up in­side the sump­guard.” That prob­lem was quickly solved. He did the next three stages with no sump­guard while holes were cut in it.

Mean­while Pear­son was on a charge, faster than his two main ri­vals on each of the three stages be­fore fi­nal ser­vice. Arm­strong re­joined the fray with half a sump­guard and was fastest on the penul­ti­mate test while Faulkner struck trou­ble: “My mis­fire’s back. It’s OK on down­hills but it’s miss­ing badly un­der load go­ing up hills.”

The last stage on the eastern side of Ae For­est was Faulkner ter­ri­tory, fast and flow­ing, com­mit­ment, de­mand­ing stuff, and he duly de­liv­ered. Faster than Arm­strong and Pear­son, but to no avail. Pear­son held on to his lead and Arm­strong clung on to sec­ond.

Mark Mccul­loch once again showed his po­ten­tial as fourth placed SRC con­tender, but was lucky too: “We put new tyres on for the last two stages, but had to put three old ones back on for the fi­nal stage, be­cause three had been badly cut.” He still man­aged to re­tain his points scor­ing po­si­tion ahead of Rory Young and Bruce Mccom­bie who also had a lucky es­cape: “We hit a huge stone on the in­side of a down­hill ‘right six’ in Gub­hill which threw us across the road into another huge stone.”

A con­tender for Driver of the Day must surely have been Greg Mcknight. It was his first time in a four-wheel-drive car and he fin­ished sixth in the Scot­tish points but 15th over­all in the rally.

Snow­man Rally win­ner Don­nie Macdon­ald had a bad day with loss of brakes on the first four stages in his Mit­subishi. He did man­age to re­gain some time in the af­ter­noon but fin­ished be­hind Barry Ground­wa­ter, Scott Mccom­bie and Ian Baum­gart.

An­gus Lawrie fin­ished top 1450cc driver and won his class in his Vaux­hall Corsa while Alex Cur­ran was top FWD 1600 con­tender in his Corsa and Ross Hughes scored his first class win in the Ju­nior Ecosse Citroen C2 se­ries.

Re­sults

1 Garry Pear­son/ Rory Mitchell (Ford Fi­esta R5) 54m10.4s; 2 Jock Arm­strong/ Paula Swin­scoe (Subaru Im­preza) +9.9s; 3 Mike Faulkner/ Peter Foy (Mit­subishi Lancer E9); 4 Mark Mccul­loch/ Michael Hendry (Lancer E9); 5 Rory Young/ Dave Rob­son (Fi­esta R5); 6 Bruce Mccom­bie/ Mark Fisher (Lancer E9); 7 Barry Ground­wa­ter/ Sean Don­nelly (Lancer E10); 8 Scott Mccom­bie/ Mark Fisher (Lancer E9); 9 Ian Baum­gart/ Mike Dick­son (Im­preza); 10 Don­nie Macdon­ald/ An­drew Fal­coner (Lancer E9). Class win­ners An­gus Lawrie/ Paul Gribben (Vaux­hall Corsa); Don­ald Peacock/ Scott Peacock (Peu­geot 205 GTI); Jim Robert­son/ Colin Maxwell (Citroen C2R2); An­drew Chalmers/ Martin Mac­cabe (Ford Es­cort Mk2); John Mor­ri­son/ Peter Carstairs (Lancer E9); Kevin Gray/ Daniel Christie (Vaux­hall As­tra); Keith Sea­ger/ Mark Runci­man (BMW 318 Ti Com­pact); Don­ald Brooker/ Rachel Brooker (BMW 130i); Faulkner/ Foy; Arm­strong/ Swin­scoe; Pear­son/ Mitchell.

Arm­strong: sec­ond SRC Win­ner re­cov­ered from spin to win

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