Scotland’s brightest young rally ace, 21-year-old David Bogie, starts his British Rally Championship bid in Wales today when he tackles the opening round of the series, the Bulldog International Rally of North Wales.
The Dumfries youngster, who currently leads the Hankook Scottish Rally Championship after two rounds, will drive his Mitsubishi Evo X in the tough event which has attracted 180 entries and which starts today in Llangollen.
“This is a big step up for me,” the softly-spoken driver, who dominated the British Mitsubishi Championship last year, admitted. “I know a lot of people will be watching to see how I get on, so I’m conscious I have to prove myself.
“We’ve been working hard to make sure we’re on the pace, but I’m not putting pressure on myself to get the win this weekend. I’m going to take things gradually, but definitely by the end of the season I want to be pushing for wins.
“It’s a brand new car, so it’s an unknown quantity and I definitely don’t want to do anything stupid,” Bogie, whose first outright Scottish Championship win came in the 2007 McRae Stages in Perth, continued, “but I know we’ll be competitive.”
Bogie’s debut of fire sees him go wheel-to-wheel with some of the most established rally drivers in the UK who will contest the six-round championship which includes the Duns-based Jim Clark International Rally in May.
Seven former British champs — including Welshman Gwyndaf Evans and Manx brothers David and Mark Higgins — are amongst the main challengers Bogie will face. In addition, the young Scot faces competition from international drivers from Australia, Sweden, New Zealand and Finland.
“I’m under no illusion how tough this weekend’s going to be,” Bogie, who will be co-driven by Kevin Rae, acknowledged, “but I know I’m fast enough to be competitive and if everything clicks, then who knows what we might achieve.”