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WATCH: Action from Armstrong Galloway Hills Rally where there was more success for north crews in the latest round of the KNC Groundworks Scottish Rally Championship

By Craig Christie

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MORAY navigator Michael Hendry secured the Scottish 2WD title at Saturday's Armstrong Galloway Hills Rally alongside Dumfries driver Mark McCulloch.

Mark McCulloch and Michael Hendry celebrate their 2WD Scottish title success.
Mark McCulloch and Michael Hendry celebrate their 2WD Scottish title success.

The Aberlour-based co-driver had another fine day out in the Dumfries and Galloway event, a home event for Ford Escort Mk2 driver McCulloch as the pair finished 12th overall.

Elgin 63 Car Club crew John Wink and Neil Shanks just missed out on a podium place after another fine run in Huntly-based Wink's Hyundai i20 R5.

It was the penultimate round of the 2021 KNC Groundworks Scottish Rally Championship and there was a chance that the championship title could be decided.

Not in the title fight but many peoples' favourite for the rally win, David Bogie and John Rowan duly took their second win of the season.

A wrong set-up in the morning saw the winning pair losing time to the Fabia of Garry Pearson and Niall Burns. However, once the set-up was sorted they grabbed the lead and won by 29 seconds.

Fastest on stages 1 and 2, Duns driver Pearson was distracted in the third stage when the roof scoop flew off the car.

That distraction saw them drop six seconds to Bogie's Mini, but after that they would set second fastest times on all the remaining stages to take second place overall and strengthen their bid for what would be a first Scottish title.

With event sponsor and championship leader Jock Armstrong in trouble and top Evo challenger Michael Binnie from Cornhill-on-Tweed retiring, the final podium spot went down to the wire between the Moray crew of Wink and Shanks, and the Evo 7 of Alford’s Scott Beattie and former Scottish champion co-driver Paula Swinscoe from Lancashire.

Both gave it their all but it was the Mitsubishi that came out on top by just five seconds after a fantastic battle.

Bonar Bridge’s Michael Renton and Elgin co-driver John Shepheard took their third Andrew Wood Motorsport Subaru Cup win, and are now in prime position to take the cup title on the final round.

Michael Renton and John Shepheard were Subaru Cup winners.
Michael Renton and John Shepheard were Subaru Cup winners.

Elgin driver Brian Ross finished first in class 4 and 26th overall in only his second outing in a 2WD car, a Mk2 Escort.

Brian Ross in rally action.
Brian Ross in rally action.

Ross, who is backed by MKM Building Supplies, explained how he is doing his bit for the environment by competing with the support of carbonpositivemotorsport.com.

"We are able to run carbon positive, we have a positive effect on the environment through the use of carbon offsetting," he said.

"It's a different approach to that expected of motorsport but something we all need to try and promote to ensure we limit any environmental damage that would be caused without the process.

Huntly co-driver Andrew Stevenson was 21st overall in a Mitsubishi Evo 9 alongside Alford's Kevin Crawford.

Rothienorman's Aileen and John Forrest finished 53rd in their Evo 9.

The battle for the overall titles in the 2021 Championship is now a two-horse race going into the final round, the Carlisle Stages, between Jock Armstrong/Cameron Fair and Garry Pearson/Niall Burns.

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