David Bogie and Kevin Rae helped the JR Motorsports team to the lead in the MSA British Rally Championship standings with a first podium finish on the second round of the year in Kielder.
Team-mates Daniel Sigurdarson and Andy Bull finished sixth – a great achievement considering their similar Lico-sponsored car was only completed hours before the start – with the combined results from the Pirelli International seeing Team JRM Lico shoot into the lead of the teams' championship.
Starting and finishing at Carlisle Racecourse, all of the event's 12 timed special stages took place over the infamous gravel roads in Kielder Forest, with two stages on Friday night and the remaining ten on Saturday providing a total of 102 competitive miles.
Following their fifth-place finish on the opening round, the JR Motorsports team had worked hard on the development of Bogie's new Lancer Evo X – and their efforts paid off as he reported the engine was far more responsive right from the start.
With a tough rally ahead and the reputation of Kielder Forest on his mind, Bogie opted for a cautious approach to the opening stage. Determined to push harder through the second, his plan was foiled shortly after the start when he caught the car ahead - which was slowed by a puncture - and lost 15 seconds in the dust.
At the overnight halt the time sheets showed Bogie in sixth place and only 11 seconds away from a top three position.
Having battled up to fourth, Bogie climbed into a podium position when leader Guy Wilks was forced to retire after his car caught fire and held the place to the finish despite a scare on the final test when a rock damaged the rear differential casing and left the car with two-wheel drive.
“I am so pleased to have got the car back to the finish and to secure third place,” Bogie said. “It's great to have scored the first podium finish in the British Championship, not just for me, but for the JR Motorsports team as well. I know they have worked hard on the car and its performance and reliability this weekend proves that the Evo X has great potential.”
Besides a brief visit into a Northumberland ditch in the morning and also damaging the exhaust system, Sigurdarson and Bull's car also proved reliable and they crossed the line in sixth place. The combination of the team's two results launches Team JRM Lico into an eleven-point lead in the teams' championship, with Bogie third in the drivers' standings.