12 Mar: Border Counties Preview

… Border Counties Rally, Sat 16th March …

One of the reasons that rallying is not regarded as a ‘safe bet’ for punters must be down to its sheer unpredictability. If the bookies can’t make a pound or two out of it then they’ll simply avoid it.

For instance, one would expect that Euan Thorburn would be the odds-on favourite for victory honours this weekend. He’s back at the wheel of a known and proven package, he’s won twice already this year and he’s virtually on home turf. Job done. Or so you might think.

He might be driving an ‘old’ WRC machine whilst ranged against him are a whole flock of Fiestas driven by the likes of Garry Pearson, Stephen Petch and Donnie MacDonald not to mention tarmac specialist Peter Taylor who will be back on gravel this weekend. Even more of an unknown is John Wink. He’s been getting steadily quicker in his Hyundai R5 and maybe this could be his year.

Bruce McCombie will make his long awaited appearance in a Focus WRC, while Mitsubishis in the hands of Freddie Milne and Michael Binnie could also pose a threat and maybe even Scott MacBeth first time on the loose with his new Evo.

And then of course, there is the elephant in the room, to coin a phrase. He might be Subaru Impreza mounted but the effervescent and unpredictable Jock Armstrong can do things with that car that would defy David Blaine trickery. And then there’s the enigma that is Chris Collie. He might be rusty but a liberal dose of WD40 in his oxters and underpants on Saturday morning could work wonders.

Given that spectating on forest rallies will become rather different and more static these days and no longer a sport where you can catch the top seeds at each stage before rushing ahead to another, it’s worth bearing in mind that there will be other drivers and antics to look out for further down the field when standing in one location for the duration.

Steve Bannister is always a treat to watch, while gunning for his 2WD crown will be the likes of Iain Wilson, Duncan MacDonald, Fraser MacNicol and our visitor from a far off land, Northern Ireland’s Paul McErlean.

Keep your eyes peeled also for John Rintoul in the Fabia, David Ross in the DAM and Carl Tuer’s Super Suzuki. Three very different machines and each crewed by a fair pedaller if all goes well on the day. Linzi Henderson will debut her new Fiesta R2 and Caroline Carslaw makes a return to the forests with her Fiesta, and they will join Nikki Addison (with the colourful wheels) and Aileen Forrest proving that rallying is not a sport simply for men – or for simple men as they might put it.

The battle of the ‘auld gits’, or rather, gentleman drivers, will be worthy of a watch too with Tom Coughtrie, Alistair Brearley, Ian Milne and Ernie Lee all vying for this unenviable title!

There’s a lot to look out for this weekend and not just the battle at the front. One thing about Scottish rallying, it provides entertainment all the way.


The rally will start from Abbey Place in Jedburgh at 08.30am on Saturday morning, flagged off by the winner of the local primary school’s rally car colouring competition. The first competitor is due back approximately 4.10pm where Jedburgh Royal British Legion Pipe Band will be on hand to welcome the winners and share the champagne!

SPECIAL STAGE 2 & 4 – SG Petch Pope’s Hill 1 & 2 (Stage 2, first car 10.01am / Stage 4, first car 12.47pm) To access Spectator Area, turn off the C200 and cross Kielder Dam. From there you will be directed to the parking area. There will be a short walk to post 12 with excellent viewing. Absolutely no parking on the dam. There will be toilet facilities.

SERVICE AREA – Greenside Car Park, nr Kielder (Service 1 first car 10.46am, Service 2 first car 1.36pm) There is very limited parking available. Take care as there will be competitor vehicles moving within the service area. As with all our venues we ask that you respect the land owners and put litter in bins or take with you. There will be toilets and catering facilities available.

SPECIAL STAGE 3 – Workwear Express Three Kings (Stage 3, first car 12.16pm) To access Spectator Area, turn off the A68 near Byrness onto the Forest Drive. From there you will be directed to the parking area. There will be a short walk to post 12 with excellent viewing. Please park far to the left as possible as a section of the road is also used by competitors to exit the stage. There will be toilet facilities.

SPECIAL STAGE 1, 5 & 6 – PLEASE NOTE there is no Spectator Access to these stages as there are no suitable spectator points or parking locations.

PLEASE ENSURE THAT ACCESS ROADS ARE KEPT CLEAR as they may be needed by Rescue Units in case of emergency. Please drive carefully.

Full Entry List:
1, Jock Armstrong/Cameron Fair (Subaru Impreza) 1998cc, Class 10
2, Euan Thorburn/Paul Beaton (Ford Focus WRC) 2000, 11
3, Garry Pearson/Dale Bowen (Ford Fiesta R5) 1600, 11
4, Stephen Petch/Michael Wilkinson (Ford Fiesta) 0, 11
5, Donnie MacDonald/Andrew Falconer (Ford Fiesta R5) 1600, 11
6, Peter Taylor/Andrew Roughead (Ford Fiesta WRC) 1600, 11
7, Mark McCulloch/Michael Hendry (Ford Fiesta R5) 1600, 11
8, Bruce McCombie/Michael Coutts (Ford Focus) 2000, 11
9, Freddie Milne/Steven Brown (Mitsubishi Evo9) 2000, 10
10, John Wink/John Forrest (Hyundai i20 R5) 1600, 11
11, Michael Binnie/Claire Mole (Mitsubishi Evo9) 2000, 9
12, Alan Dickson/Martin Forrest (Mitsubishi, Evo9) 2000, 10
14, Ian Baumgart/Richard Simmonds (Subaru Impreza) 1998, 9
15, Ian Bainbridge/Mark Fisher (Subaru Impreza) 1998, 10
16, Simon Hay/Calum Jaffray (Mitsubishi Evo6) 2000, 9
17, Steve Bannister/Callum Atkinson (Ford Escort Mk2) 1998, 5
18, Keith Morris/Terry Mallin (Mitsibushi Evo6) 1998, 10
19, Iain Wilson/Chris Williams (Ford Escort Mk2) 2100, 8
20, Chris Collie/Gary McDonald (Mitsubishi Evo8) 0, 10
21, Duncan MacDonald/Gordon Chalmers (Ford Escort Mk2) 2000, 7
22, John Rintoul/Ross Hynd (Skoda Fabia) 2500, 10
23, Scott MacBeth/Daniel Forsyth (Mitsubishi Evo9) 1998, 9
24, Paul McErlean/Paul McGahon (Ford Escort Mk2) 2000, 7
25, Thomas Gray/Harry Marchbank (Mitsubishi Evo) 2000, 9
26, Bobby Mitchell/Shannon Turnbull (Ford Fiesta ST) 1999, 6
27, David Ross/Kyle Mackintosh (DAM 4100) 3000, 10
28, Carl Tuer/Rob Tuer (Suzuki Swift Maxi 2000) 1998, 6
29, John McIlwraith/Heather Grisedale (Subaru Impreza) 1997, 9
30, Fraser MacNicol/Ricky Finlayson (Ford Escort Mk2) 2000, 4
31, John O’kane/Meghan O’kane (Ford Escort Mk2) 2000, 4
32, Gordon Murray/David O’Brien (Ford Escort Mk2) 2300, 8
33, Barry Lindsay/Caroline Lodge (Peugeot 206 Cup) 1587, 3
34, Steven Wood/Mary Wood (Ford Fiesta RWD) 1996, 7
35, Robert Adamson/Jane Nicol (Skoda Fabia S2000) 1998, 10
36, Douglas Watt/Ian Parker (Ford Escort Mk2) 2000, 4
37, Alex Pirie/Frazer Skene (Subaru Impreza) 1999, 9
38, David Brown/Steve Bielby (Ford RS 1800) 1998, 5
39, Andy Chalmers/Martin MacCabe (Subaru Impreza) 1998, 9
40, Paddy Munro/Keir Beaton (Ford, Escort Mk2) 1800, 4
41, James Campbell/Kevin MacIver (Talbot Sunbeam) 1600, 2
42, Kevin Crawford/Andrew Stevenson (Mitsubishi Evo9) 1997, 10
43, Chris Melling/TBA (BMW E30) 2793, 8
44, Luke R McLaren/Craig Wallace (Honda Civic R3) 2000, 6
45, Jan Budge/Bruce Lindsay (Subaru Impreza) 1998, 9
46, Mike Moates/Kenny Foggo (Subaru Impreza) 1999, 9
47, Tom Coughtrie/Ian Fraser (Mitsubishi Galant) 2025, 5
48, William Nicoll/Ian Shiells (Mitsubishi Evo6) 2000, 9
49, Donald Peacock/Keith Riddick (Peugeot 205 GTI) 1600, 2
50, Martin Crombie/David Law (Talbot Sunbeam) 1600, 2
51, Niall Cowan Jnr/Thomas Bruce (MG ZR) 1398, 1
52, Colin Patterson/Gary Clark (Ford Escort) 2000, 4
53, Richard Spink/Nigel Hutchinson (Ford Escort) 2000, 7
54, Dave Forrest/Charlie Carter (Ford Escort) 1998, 5
55, Kevin Gray/Daniel Christie (Suzuki Swift) 1998, 6
56, Max Redpath/Callum Redpath (Subaru Impreza) 2000, 9
57, Mick Plowman/Alan Ward (Ford Escort) 1998, 7
58, Scott Peacock/Robin Neil (MG ZR) 1398, 1
59, Stuart Cariss/Linda Cariss (Ford Escort Sport) 1600, 5
60, Alistair Brearley/Paul Barbet (Ford Escort RS) 1998, 7
61, Ryan Ingram/Stuart MacLean (Honda Civic) 1600, 3
62, Hector MacInnes/Jenny O’Kane (Subaru Impreza) 2000, 9
63, Linzi Henderson/Tom Hynd (Ford Fiesta) 1000, 6
64, Paul Collins/Robert Wood (Subaru Impreza) 0, 9
65, Rhuaridh Campbell/Michael Moates (Chrysler Sunbeam) 2000, 7
66, Ian Milne/Dawn Milne (Ford Escort Mk2) 1997, 5
67, John Marshall/Chris Pattison (MG ZR S1600) 1598, 3
68, Keith Davison/Henry Richardson (Chrysler Avenger) 1598, 5
69, Caroline Carslaw/Charley Sayer-Payne (Ford Fiesta R2) 1600, 3
70, Nikki Addison/Rachel Matheson (Peugeot 106 GTI) 1600, 3
71, Kevin Downes/Richard Wardle (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo8) 2000, 10
72, Ernie Lee/Patricia Milligan (BMW 325i) 2493, 5
73, Ben Jemison/James Dixon (Vauxhall Chevette HSR) 2300, 5
74, Fraser Smith/Ian MacDougall (Honda Civic) 1600, 3
75, Aileen Forrest/Pauline Patterson (Mitsubishi Evo5) 1997, 9
76, Jim Stephenson/Rob Brook (Talbot Sunbeam Ti) 1598, 5
77, Jamie McIntyre/Gerry Bryden (Ford Escort Mk2) 2499, 8
78, Jude MacDonald/Michael Cruickshank (Skoda Fabia R2) 1598, 3