The CARS Recovery Granite City Rally last Saturday was one of the closest fought rallies in Scotland in recent years. Calum Buchanan made amends after his disappointment in the Borders by winning the 2-wheel drive category with a margin of 19 secs and with it a sweet victory in Class 8, finishing 24th overall in his Mk 2 Escort.
“It’s been a pretty good day for us despite a puncture, which lost us around a minute. But we’re happy with the class win”, said Buchanan.
John Morrison finished 13th O/A on this occasion in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 after 44 Special Stage miles in the Kincardineshire forests.
The 2006 Scottish champion Dave Weston pipped current title-holder David Bogie by a single second to win his home event.
The result denied Bogie his third straight Scottish championship win of the season, and ended a remarkable run of eight successive victories in the SRC stretching back to the Granite of 2010.
However, the Dumfries driver still leads the series by eight points after three rounds.
David Wilson of Alness took the final podium spot on a tie-break, after he and 2009 Granite winner Mike Faulkner finished with an identical total time.
Throughout the rally it was nip and tuck between the two front runners: Weston two seconds quicker than Bogie on SS5 Durris, and the pair posting identical times for the fastest run through the final Fetteresso test,with Wilson a further five seconds back in his Mitsubishi Evo 9.
Weston, who had sat out the Border Counties after a first stage retirement on the season-opening Snowman, was delighted to be back on the top step of the podium with a hard-earned victory.
For his part Bogie was more than satisfied with his day’s work - although frustrated to have lost by such a slim margin:
“We pushed on right to the end, and ultimately it was so close - just one second - sometimes it’s better to lose by ten, perhaps fifteen seconds”, said Bogie: “But all credit to Dave - he drove very well, and we still lead the championship, so I’m happy”.
David Wilson was delighted with his third place finish, which he secured under tiebreak rules thanks to a quicker time through the first stage. The taste of champagne was all the sweeter following non-finishes on the Snowman and Border Counties.
Among the retirements was Calum Mackenzie - out on the penultimate stage in his Mitsubishi Lancer.
Of the 94 starters, there were 61 classified finishers.
The next round is the Jim Clark Memorial Rally held on closed public roads in Berwickshire next Month