Bogie wins Scottish BRC Round 3

The third round of the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship went right down to the wire on the final stage of the final day before local hero David Bogie and co-driver Kevin Rae won the RSAC Scottish Rally 19-20 May. Bogie had enjoyed a battle throughout with the fellow Skoda Fabia R5 driver Fredrik Ahlin until the Swedish driver was forced out of the event with a damaged radiator. Osian Pryce and Dale Furniss claimed second in their Ford Fiesta R5, while Marty McCormack and David Moynihan took third place on the podium.

Over 74 demanding gravel-miles awaited the BRC crews and the opening night was two passes of the Mount Joe stage with Tom Cave and James Morgan finishing with a 9.9 second overnight advantage in their Hyundai i20 R5. Not so lucky were Matt Edwards/Darren Garrod in their Ford Fiesta R5, the Hankook-backed pair set an impressive fourth-quickest time on the opening run before a large rock broke a suspension strut and wheel, putting them out of contention, but then Cave was forced out of the lead for the second event in a row, this time with a broken wheel, making the fight for the lead a two-horse race between CA1 Sport team-mates Ahlin and Bogie.

Descending rain made tyre choice extremely difficult on the gravel stages, but Bogie was a man on a mission on the afternoon loop of stages, reducing the deficit to 1.4 seconds with two speed tests remaining. A stage later and he had turned the tables, to lead Swedish star Ahlin by 0.1 seconds going into the final 8.11km showdown. Ahlins luck, however, would run out halfway through the stage when a rock made its way into the front of the Skoda, bursting a hole in the radiator. It was game over for the championship leader and Bogie rolled into the finish in the town centre to a huge round of applause. David had won his first BRC event since his championship-winning year in 2011.

Prestone MSA British Rally Championship Round 3

1. David Bogie/Kevin Rae Skoda Fabia R5 1:09:47.1
2. Osian Pryce/Dale Furniss Ford Fiesta R5 +0:48.5
3. Martin McCormack/David MoynihanSkoda Fabia R5 +1:01.9
4. Keith Cronin/Mikie Galvin Ford Fiesta R5 +1:09.9
5. Desi Henry/Liam Moyinhan Skoda Fabia R5 +2:13.4
6. Euan Thorburn/Paul Beaton Ford Fiesta R5 +2:34.5
7. Jamie Anderson/Ross Whittock Ford Fiesta R5 +8:06.6
8. Donnie Macdonald/Shanks Ford Fiesta R5 +8:39.8
9. Alex Laffey/Patrick Walsh Ford Fiesta R5 +9:33.9
10. Cameron Davies/Carron Tomlinson Peugeot 208 R2 +10:58.8

Prestone MSA British Rally Championship after round three

1.Fredrik Ahlin 55
2.Osian Pryce 51
3. Martin McCormack 30
4. David Bogie 25
5. Keith Cronin 24
6.Tom Cave 22
7. Rhys Yates 18
8. Matt Edwards 18
9. Jamie Anderson 16
10= Desi Henry 10
10= Euan Thorburn 10

21st May, 2017

Ogier wins for M-Sport in Portugal

Who would bet against Sebastien Ogier adding the 2017 World Rally Championship to his four WRC titles after he sealed victory in Portugal, his first win since his M Sport Ford debut in Monte Carlo in January. The French driver took control of the second half of a rally that had been wide open throughout its first leg as many as six different drivers had led in a constantly fluid battle at the front with under 10 seconds covering the battle.

That jostling group began to break up on Friday afternoon, when Jari-Matti Latvala rolled his Toyota while second, Kris Meeke broke his Citroens suspension while pushing to get back into the lead and Hayden Paddons Hyundai was stopped by an electrical problem for 11 minutes while a close third and Ott Tanak emerged in the lead, despite slightly damaging his M-Sport Ford on Fridays penultimate full length stage.

Ogier had been as low as eighth while running first on the road, but started making progress through Friday afternoons stages and a win on Saturdays opener brought him up to second behind his rally-leading team-mate but Tanak fought back with a blistering time on the next stage that brought his lead back up to six seconds, but then on the next stage he broke his Fiesta rear suspension and tumbled out of victory contention, leaving Ogier free to control the rest of the event.

Neuville made his way through to second ahead of Hyundai team mate Dani Sordo despite initially struggling with his smooth driving style on a rally that favoured a more sideways approach that left him a mystified 12th on Friday morning before he adjusted his approach and regained ground.
Tanak recovered to fourth and secured three bonus points for the fastest time on the Powerstage - ahead of Craig Breen, who was in the lead fight before breaking a damper in his Citroen on Friday afternoon. Elfyn Evans was also in the thick of things early on, before two punctures consigned him to sixth, not the only DMACK World Rally Car runner this time as Mads Ostberg had made an eleventh-hour switch for his privately-entered Ford but a puncture dropped Ostberg back on Friday and he finished eighth.

Toyotas first event with a three-car line-up brought seventh, ninth and 10th with Juho Hanninen, the delayed Latvala and Esapekka Lappi on his first start for the manufacturer and he matched Hanninens pace for much of the weekend until a holed intercooler then suspension damage cost him ground.
Meeke and Paddon spent the weekend running well down the order under Rally2 after their Friday dramas, while Stephane Lefebvre was also well outside the points in the third Citroen following a leg one crash. Andreas Mikkelsen had utterly dominated WRC2 for Skoda and held a lead of more than three minutes, before a roll on the Powerstage gifted victory to his team-mate Pontus Tidemand.

Top Ten Results
Position ..... Crew ..... Team ..... Time/Difference
1 Sebastien Ogier/J.Ingrassia M-Sport World Rally Team 3h42m55.7s
2 Thierry Neuville/N.Gilsoul Hyundai Motorsport 15.6s
3 Dani Sordo/M.Marti Hyundai Motorsport 1m01.7s
4 Ott Tanak/M.Jarveoja M-Sport World Rally Team 1m30.2s
5 Craig Breen/S.Martin Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT 1m57.4s
6 Elfyn Evans/D.Barritt M-Sport World Rally Team 3m10.6s
7 Juho Hanninen/K.Lindstrom Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC 3m48.9s
8 Mads Ostberg/O.Floene M-Sport World Rally Team 5m29.7s
9 Jari-Matti Latvala/M.Anttila Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC 5m43.6s
10 Esapekka Lappi/J.Ferm Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC 8m13.3s

21st May, 2017

Vodafone Rally de Portugal

Vodafone Rally de Portugal celebrates its 50th anniversary this year and is firmly established back in the north of the country for a third season. The rally is a WRC founding member from 1973, based in the city of Matosinhos, on the edge of Porto. from where it heads north and east for four days of spectacular gravel road action in stunning countryside.

After a Thursday evening start in front of the picturesque Castle of Guimar„es, the nearby rallycross circuit at Lousada hosts the opening competition. Huge crowds will pack the track for a series of head to head duels around the 3.36km stage. The action really gets serious on Friday when competitors journey up the coast towards the Spanish border for three stages near Viano do Castelo. The test of the same name has a new layout, while Caminha and Ponte de Lima are driven in the opposite direction to 2016.

After service back in Matosinhos, the loop is repeated before two runs through a new asphalt street test in the centre of Braga. Saturday is the longest leg with 154.56km of action. After a revised Vieira do Minho and the new Cabeceiras de Basto to the north east, the loop ends with the familiar Amarante, at 37.55km the longest of the weekend. All three stages are repeated in the afternoon.

The legendary Fafe forms the centrepiece of the finale on Sunday. After an opening pass through the 11.18km test, which finishes just after the famous jump, the new Luilhas and Montim lead into a second run through Fafe, which forms the closing live TV Power Stage.

The 19 stages comprise 349.17km in a total route of 1529.01km.

18th May, 2017

RSAC Scottish Rally

The Prestone MSA British Rally Championship visits Scotland this weekend for the third round of Britains premier rally series. The RSAC Scottish Rally will welcome the BRC top-crews, as they tackle the demanding gravel stages around Dumfries with over 74 competitive miles playing host to the exciting rallying showcase. Last time out in Cumbria the BRC teams faced the fast and flowing Kielder Forests with a fine balance between speed and bravery bringing fruitful awards to the crews. Four different drivers topped the time sheets on the eight stages and four tyre manufacturers featured in the top six finishing positions, underlining the variety and competitiveness of the 2017 season.

Championship leader Fredrik Ahlin comes into the Scottish Rally on a crest of a winning the opening two rounds. The Swede with his Norwegian co driver Torstein Eriksen have gelled with their new Skoda Fabia R5 and DMACK tyres, consequently the pair has a small cushion at the top of the BRC points standings. The Scottish Rally was the start of a nightmare period in Ahlins 2016 season, however that should not stop the Swedish sensation from going out on the attack to make it a hat trick of 2017 wins.

Pushing the Scandinavian pairing all the way on the Pirelli International Rally last time out was Osian Pryce and Dale Furniss in their Ford Fiesta R5. The Welsh pairing came within a handful of seconds before suffering handbrake problems, making the challenging chicanes hard work for the man from Machynlleth. Having secured a third and a second, Pryce will be gunning for a first BRC victory for his Spencer Sport team. Also out to make history is Tom Cave and his co-driver James Morgan. The Welsh duo put the brand new Hyundai i20 R5 through its paces for the first time in Cumbria and were right on the pace from the off, leading the event from the start before suspension failure put the hard chargers out of contention. The pair finished second last year on the Scottish Rally and will hope to secure their first BRC win together and the first for Hyundai since David Higgins in 2004.

Homegrown hero David Bogie with Kevin Rae alongside will have massive home support as they tackle stages on Davids doorstep. Bogie was running in a comfortable podium last year before radiator woes hit his Fabia R5. This year the Scot has built on his fine 2016 pace, taking four stages wins on the recent Pirelli Rally. Another Fabia crew who have found their form is Marty McCormack/David Moynihan. The Kumho-backed pair took their first podium in the Skoda on the previous event and will be hunting further success on the gravel of Scotland. As will Desi Henry and Liam Moynihan who secured a fine third overall last year. The Irish pairing have struggled so far this season but will hope history repeats itself by using the Scottish Rally to turn their season around.

A new location for the RSAC Scottish Rally this year and running a month earlier, now based in Lockerbie the rally will take in a couple of stages on Friday evening before a full day of stages on Saturday. Starting on the High Street, Dumfries at 19.00, the rally will finish in Moffat on Saturday at 17.00. Also a round of the Scottish Rally Championship the BRC crews will tackle 10 stages, totalling 75 miles.

18th May, 2017

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