PEARSON: PRESSURE ON ARMSTONG IN SRC
Garry Pearson heads into this weekend’s Scottish Rally Championship decider knowing that Jock Armstrong needs to win the event to take the title away from him.
Pearson – in his first year of four-wheel-drive rallying – has won two of the last three championship events, and believes he’s in prime position to take the title in his Ford Fiesta R5, which is prepared by Dom Buckley. If Armstrong wins, a second place finish would still score Pearson the overall championship.
“Jock’s under pressure as he has to win the event,” said Pearson. “In some ways it’s nice to do the last event knowing Jock has to win. It’s his home rally but if anything that’s a bit of added pressure as well. We’re quietly confident going to the event, anything can happen though. Jock will have his hands full with John Maccrone, he’s coming on leaps and bounds.”
Maccrone missed the RSAC Scottish Rally, and suffered a slow start to the season but the Scot – also in his first season in an R5 – was the highest finishing Scottish championship driver on the previous round of the series, the Grampian Rally.
Pearson believes the speed at which he was up to pace in the R5 is proof he can step up to a higher level. The Dunns-based driver is hoping to graduate to the British Rally Championship in 2017.
“I think it would be nice to have won it [the SRC], especially in our first year in four-wheel drive. It would help with sponsors and be a good boost for next year. We’ve proven a lot of pace this year.
“In terms of going forward I don’t think it will alter our plans too much if we do or don’t win.”
The event has once again run its free ferry competition for the third successive year. The Armstrong Galloway Hills Rally will fund the cost of one return ferry crossing per crew from Northern Ireland or Ireland entered in the 2016 event. More details are available on the event’s official website: gallowayhillsrally.co.uk.