Inverness veteran Jimmy Girvan kick-started the defence of his Hankook Scottish Rally Championship by dominating the second round, the Border Counties Rally in Jedburgh.
The 51-year-old, who clinched last year’s title in the final event, powered his Subaru Impreza through the dust-shrouded stages in Kielder Forest to win by 17.6 seconds ahead of young pretender David Bogie.
However the 21-year-old from Dumfries, who tackles the first round of the British Rally Championship next weekend, couldn’t handle Girvan’s pace as the Highlander set fastest times in three of the five stages.
“Hats off to Jimmy,” Bogie, who now leads the title race by two points, said after climbing out of his Mitsubishi Evo 9. “He was really on fire today and it was impossible to maintain the pace he was setting.
“But I’ve bagged a whole load of championship points, so I’m happy with what I’ve got out of the weekend.” Girvan meanwhile was pleased to eradicate the misery of the opening round, the Snowman Rally last month, which he failed to finish.
“I know it’s early in the season, and there are still six rounds to go, but winning today was crucial in terms of my championship hopes,” Girvan, who dropped time after his car suffered a puncture on the third stage, admitted. “Everything worked perfectly today, apart from the puncture, and it’s great to get that winning feeling back.”
Gretna-based Mike Faulkner was third in his Mitsubishi, 12.7s behind Bogie and just 6.4s ahead of the Impreza piloted by Euan Thorburn from Duns.