Thorburn wins rally as Argyll drivers impress
THE DUNOON Presents Argyll Rally made a successful debut last weekend as drivers and rally fans from around the country descended on Cowal for the fifth round of the Scottish Rally Championships on Saturday.
Despite the strong winds and showery rain, spectators turned out in droves to see Scotland’s top rally drivers hare round a selection of Argyll’s trickiest roads in as quick a time as possible. The stages proved tricky and the weather made for some interesting racing, although stage five at Glenbranter had to be cancelled - the weather perhaps not helping in that case.
After five rounds of intense racing, it was Euan Thorburn and co- driver Paul Beaton, from the borders who took top spot in their Ford Fiesta R5.
This win means Euan maintains his position at the top of the Scottish Rally Championship standings for in 2017.
Connel’s Shaun Sinclair steered his way to a third place finish overall with help from his co- driver Jamie Edwards, finishing just 31 seconds behind winner Thorburn. Sinclair finished second in the first stage of the day. Stephen Freddy Lockhart of Oban also had a consistent day’s racing, taking home ninth place.
Lochgilphead driver Alister MacArthur, with help from his co- driver Chris Robertson from Tarbert, finished in an impressive 23rd position in their Talbot Sunbeam, while Ali Galbraith, also from Lochgilphead, led his Ford Escort Mk2 to 38th position.
Furnace’s Douglas Watt who, with the help of Donald Munro of Inveraray in the passenger seat, finished in 43rd position, while the Furnace pair, Donald MacNeill and Cara MacNeill, had to retire after stage four.
Rounding up the results for the Mid Argyll drivers, Lochgilphead duo Duncan MacLean and Ian Parker finished 50th overall.
Aside from the racing, all the background workings of the rally proved to be a spectacle in itself. Dunoon stadium made for a make-shift pit stop as all the teams set up their repair and maintenance stations around the field, while the sight of gnarled rally cars travelling between stages was enough to get people out onto the streets, cameras in hand. Once Saturday’s racing had come to a close, the top three cars were paraded around Dunoon Stadium before being presented with their prizes.
Shaun Sinclair of Connel drove his Subaru Impreza to an overall third place finish.
Lochgilphead’s Alister MacArthur and co- driver Chris Robertson from Tarbert finished in an impressive 23rd place.