David Bogie fastest man on eight wheels as he nets Jim Clark double

THE CAR changed, but the dominating form of the driver and navigator remained the same as David Bogie and Kevin Rae led the field in yesterday's Reivers Rally from start to finish to claim a terrific Jim Clark Rally 'double'.

The 23-year-old from Dumfries started the season by winning the Snowman and Border Counties titles, but slipped to second last time out behind Dave Weston's Ford Focus World Rally Car, ending a run of eight successive titles going back to last year's Granite. But if rivals sensed an opportunity to attack they were put firmly in their place across more than 200 miles of Berwickshire's most testing closed public roads. Bogie won the international rally part of the Jim Clark event run over Friday night and Saturday, which was also the fourth round of the MSA Dulux British Championship, holding off a late surge from Ulster driver Jonny Greer, with co-driver Dai Roberts, to open up a 12-point lead over Elfyn Evans, son of last year's Jim Clark Rally winner Gwyndaf, in the title race.

Yesterday, he was back on the Berwickshire roads Clark knew well for the Reivers Rally, which was the Scottish Rally counter, swapping his Mitsubishi Evo 9 for his father John's Metro 6R4, a car born in the same year as David and with which his father won the same rally in 2002.

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He and Rae launched into the Reivers Rally with the fastest time over the opening stage by some 12 seconds from second seed Euan Thorburn, with Paul Beaton navigating, and increased his lead to 36 seconds by the halfway point of the eight stages. Thorburn and Beaton were second to him in the first four stages, and though they fell off a bit latterly, held on for second overall, but with Bogie and Rae a full minute and three seconds out in front. It was, however, something of a small miracle that the local driver had even appeared in the rally. Following the freak accident on the Granite City Rally, where a branch struck the car's 'kill' switch at the top of the windscreen, and puncture issues, Thorburn suffered throttle problems on Saturday and was forced to retire from the international rally with just four stages remaining, believing that his weekend might be over. However, his crew worked through the night to fix the car and appeared for the 9am start yesterday delighted to lead the charge against Bogie. He had good support from a fellow Duns youngster in Dougie Brydon, with David O'Brien co-driving, who roared up through the field from a starting point of 15th to sit fourth after the first stage in his Subaru Impreza, clocking three seconds slower than Thorburn.

Brydon had won his class on Saturday with a fourth place in the National Rally in his Subaru Impreza and the youngster repeated the feat by taking sixth yesterday and first in class. He was sitting third at one stage which was phenomenal with the disparity in cars at the head of the field, and it could have been better than sixth at the finish, but Brydon stopped to help another crew whose car had caught fire, probably costing himself two or three places, but he and Thorburn and their co-drivers were delighted to have flown the Berwickshire flag high.Jock Armstrong and Barry McNulty pushed through into third with a fine run in their Subaru Impreza and Mike Faulkner claimed fourth, with Peter Foy alongside in their Mitsubishi Evo 6.

Robbie Head, the former Scottish Champion and works driver making a return to the sport this year, with Berwickshire co-driver Claire Mole, nudged his Mitsubishi Evo 9 into fifth spot after starting at ninth, which was good run from the 'old head', and that keeps the Scottish title a good battle between Bogie, Thorburn, Faulkner and Head at the halfway stage in the MSA Scottish Championship.

Bogie now leads by 11 points from Thorburn on 107 points with Faulkner third on 106, and Head chasing on 98 points.

Kelso rugby player Dominic Buckley, following in the footsteps of his Jim Clark-winning father and grandfather, both also called Dominic, with evergreen navigator Doug Redpath, was progressing up the field until going off the road on stage six, forcing his retirement.