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The RSAC Scottish Rally makes a welcome return to the British motorsport calendar this weekend [23 July], as a blistering array of top-flight drivers will battle for honours throughout a challenging day in the Dumfries and Galloway forests.

The 76th running of the rally will take an impressive list of competitors through classic stages in the Castle O’er, Ae and Twiglees forest complexes during an action-packed day of flat-out competition.

Contenders in the KNC Groundworks Scottish Rally Championship, HRCR Northern Historic Gravel Championship and Army Land Rover Challenge will make up the majority of the field as they not only go head-to-head for the prestigious accolade but also maximum points for their season-long campaigns.

Leading the high-quality field away with number one on the doors will be the record-breaking local hotshot, David Bogie. Stepping into a Ford Fiesta Rally2 for the first time this weekend, the Dumfries driver has a staggering seven Scottish Rally wins to his name and will be aiming for an eighth with co-driver John Rowan alongside. They will also be aiming for a fourth Scottish Rally Championship maximum score in a row, having won the opening three events of the SRC season.

But it’s giant-killer Michael Binnie that will be chasing him down as the number two seed in his Mitsubishi Evo IX. The Cornhill driver has stood on the podium of each SRC round so far this season and is long overdue a win despite his ageing machine. Duns’ co-driver Claire Mole is on the notes and the pairing could well take the top spot in Moffat.

Fan-favourite Jock Armstrong is no stranger to the Scottish either, winning the SRC section of the event in 2017 and taking second place last time around. Back in his familiar bright-orange Subaru Impreza with co-driver Cammy Fair alongside, the Castle Douglas driver is well placed for a good result.

Behind the top three seeds, Freddie Milne will be very keen to have a trouble-free run in the forests this weekend. Along with co-driver Patrick Walsh, Milne is capable of a scintillating pace but needs to reign in his Fiesta R5 to turn that into a positive result, with small issues keeping the pairing away from the top step of the podium.

David Henderson and Chris Lees have enjoyed a busy year behind the wheel and are getting to grips with their Fiesta Rally2 after second place in Argyll last month. A runner-up spot on the gravel in the Scottish Borders in their older R5 Fiesta shows they are more than capable on both surfaces.

Bruce McCombie brings the noise with his raucous Ford Focus WRC at car six with Michael Coutts on the notes, starting just ahead of Dumfries driver Mark McCulloch with co-driver Michael Hendry who will tackle the event in their impressive Proton Satria Evo.

John Wink and Neil Shanks will be aiming to continue their impressive finishing record in 2022 in their Hyundai i20 R5, whilst Hugh Brunton and Drew Sturrock and Northern Ireland crew Joe Hegarty and David Turkington both pilot Fiesta R5’s to round out the top ten.

After being forced to run behind closed doors in 2021 the event is delighted to welcome spectators to the rally and fans will get the opportunity to witness the cars in action on the stages as well as up-close during the day.

From its Lockerbie Lorry Park rally base, crews will head out to tackle 42 miles of stages, spread across six tests with spectators welcome at the Castle O’er stage, just south of Eskdalemuir on the B723 with the first car due at 10:15.

The Bob Milloy Ae test near Ae Village kicks off at 13:30 with the Jacqueline Mack Rivox stage, just off the B7076, north of the A74(M) rounding out the day at 15:40.

The now traditional mid-event Regroup in Moffat Town Centre takes place at around midday where fans can chat to the drivers and get close to the cars, before welcoming the finishers back from 16:00 for the champagne spray and finish celebrations.

For the twenty-fifth time, the Scottish Rally will be backed by Dumfries & Galloway Council and will form part of the Council’s seven ‘signature events,’ covering everything from Burns Suppers to arts festivals and World Championship Ice Hockey.

It’s understood to be the longest-running partnership between a rally and a local authority anywhere in Britain, with the Council supporting nearly one-third of all the Scottish Rallies run since the first in 1932.

Previous winners of the event include World Rally Championship legends such Colin McRae, Ari Vatanen, Hannu Mikkola and Stig Blomqvist.

More information, spectator details and timings can be found on the official rally website:

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