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Scot16 ElfynEvansOne of the biggest entries in the event’s 71 year history will descend on the market town of Dumfries this weekend, as crews from over 10 different countries tackle the RSAC Scottish Rally on Saturday 25th June. The popular event is shaping up to host one of the greatest battles in recent motorsport history as crews from the MSA British Rally Championship (BRC) and ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship (SRC) meet for the first time since 2014 to tackle classic Scottish stages in the Eskdalemuir and Ae forests.

Leading the field away will be World Rally Championship star Elfyn Evans who will be looking to overcome a run of bad luck in his Ford Fiesta R5 to take the overall and BRC honours in Scotland. The Welshman will be co-driven by fellow countryman Craig Parry. Championship leaders Fredrik Ahlin and Morten Erik Abrahamsen from Norway will be hot on the heels of Evans at number two seed and are fresh from their previous round victory in a similar Fiesta R5.  Breaking the Ford chain is local pilot David Bogie from Dumfries in his Skoda Fabia R5. Co-driven by Kevin Rae, the duo will start at three and are hoping to add their name to the winner’s trophy for a fifth time.

Tom Cave and James Morgan start at five with Irish crew Josh Moffat and John Rowan at six, both in Fiesta R5s. Belfast’s Jonathan Greer is at seven in his Citroen DS3 and is accompanied by popular Castle Douglas co-driver Kirsty Riddick.  The all Scottish crew of Euan Thorburn (Duns) and Paul Beaton (Inverness) bring their potent Peugeot 208 to Dumfries at car eight.

Scot16 JockArmstrongLikeable local hero Jock Armstrong (Castle Douglas) heads the SRC contingent in his bright orange Subaru Impreza at car nine, partnered by Paula Swinscoe. But they are closely followed by championship leader Garry Pearson and Robbie Mitchell from Duns in their Fiesta R5 who round off the top 10. Despite not having the benefit of a pre-event recce of the stages, the Scottish Championship frontrunners will undoubtedly be keeping an eye on the times of the BRC runners through the day. Other notable Dumfries entrants come in the form of SRC regulars Mark McCulloch in his Mitsubishi E9 at car 21 and Rory Young at 22 in his Ford Fiesta.

Matthew Robinson and Sam Collis are the first two-wheel-drive runners on the list at car 36 in their crowd pleasing Historic Fiat 131. The British Historic Championship front runners bring their stunning machine to Dumfries and their seeding number is an indication of the impressive field of cars ahead. Rob Duggan and Ger Conway from Killarney lead the BRC Junior field in their Vauxhall Adam with team mate Mattias Adielsson and Andreas Johansson right behind.

The RSAC Scottish Rally is also a round of the HRCR Motoscope Northern Historic Rally Championship, C2Motorsportparts.com Ecosse Challenge, The Border Challenge and Five of Clubs Rally Championship which have all provided many competitors all eager to sample the classis Scottish stages on offer.

Scot16 DavidBogieThe Dumfries and Galloway Council supported event has a new-look route which sees the combination of classic Scottish Rally tests alongside the new “Mount Joe” stage near Beattock.  The route, which sees competitors from both the Scottish and British series contesting identical stages, hosts a much awaited battle in the South West of Scotland and is based at Scotland’s Rural College Barony Campus just outside of Dumfries.  The venue provides Rally HQ, pre event scrutiny and documentation from around 1.30pm on Friday 24th June.

On Saturday 25th, crews will then leave the Dumfries town centre start at Whitesands from 8.00am to tackle over 60 competitive stage miles in the surrounding forests.  Spectators will have plenty of opportunity to watch the action unfold in the forests or at close quarters at the Heathhall service area on the outskirts of the town twice during the day.

The first chance comes with the Castle O’er stage at 9.20am, South West of Eskdalemuir village. Crews will then visit the Heathhall service area at around 11.00am before heading back out to Gubhill Rig near Ae Village at 12.10pm. The Rivox stage follows, just off the A74 at 1.15pm before returning to Heathhall service at 2.30pm. Gubhill Rig is then repeated (as Knockenshang) at 4.00pm with Rivox also seeing a return run (as Mount Joe) at 5.00pm. Those lucky enough to have completed the route will spray the champagne at the Dumfries finish podium celebrations from around 6.30pm in the town centre.

Scot16 GarryPearson1The full spectator information, more information and entry list is available at http://www.scottishrally.co.uk and in the spectator programme which is on sale now and throughout the event.

Keep up to date with the event news which will be updated live throughout the event via social media:
http://www.facebook.com/scottishrally
http://www.twitter.com/scottishrally

Images courtesy of Frank Love – Race and Rally Photography.

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