Current Scottish champion David Bogie hopes to hold his title for the fifth consecutive year by gaining good results at the Scottish Rally this weekend.
The 25-year-old from Dumfries, who has also held the British Championship title, previously won the Scottish Rally in 2010 and 2012 and hopes to put his Ford Focus at the top of the leaderboard by tonight.
Bogie holds a seven-point advantage going into his home event and the mid-way stage in the eight-round ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship.
Bogie said: “I’m feeling good. The Scottish is my local rally so it’s good just to be able to stay in my own bed the night before and have my friends and family around. We did a test in Wales yesterday because we had engine problems, so the boys prepped the car this morning and are sending it up now. It’s been a bit last minute. The test went well, engine is pulling well and the suspension is a lot better.
“The first two stages of the rally I know very well, the two new gallery stages I don’t really know at all so they are going to be difficult. But other than that the pace will be quick and competition will be tight, but that is what we want, good, fast competition.”
Ahead of the Scottish Rally in Dumfries the media stage was held in Greskine Forest yesterday with top drivers from across the UK and Ireland. Members of the media met with competitors, heard their experiences and took trips in rally cars around stages with top drivers from different championships.
After a seven-year break, the Scottish Rally is a counter in the British Rally Championship.
Competitors take to the 73-mile forest stage in Dumfries and Galloway throughout the course of the day. Mike Faulkner, who was at Greskine Forest, upgraded his Mitsubishi to an EVO 9 for the 2013 season and is hoping that the increased performance will better his runners-up position from 2011.
Faulkner said: “I’m feeling really good about the rally. I enjoy the Scottish Rally; I like the stages here in Dumfries. The competition is pretty stiff which is good for the Scottish Championship because it adds depth. Getting into the top five is a real achievement here.
“We are starting to get on top of the upgraded car. We thought we had got to the bottom of all the problems at the Granite City Rally but unfortunately the Jim Clarke didn’t go as well. We had a problem with the suspension that caused us to go off at high speed which damaged the engine. We had to have a full rebuild after that but we are ready to go again. Hopefully this is the time that gets our championship back on track.”