Melvyn Evans' outright win on the Jim Clark National Rally, the fourth round of the Richard Egger Insurance MSA Asphalt Rally Championship, has given the Llanwrda driver his fourth straight maximum points score.
Co-driver Sean Mullally, who was not available for the opening round on Epynt, now has three maximums to his credit and is in second place in his category.
Last year's Jim Clark National Rally winners, and defending MSA Asphalt Rally Champions, David Kynaston/Andy Russell set fastest time on the opening stage through Duns town centre but then their Audi A3 Quattro left the road on a tricky bend on the next. The car was too badly damaged to continue, allowing Evans' Subaru Impreza WRC into a lead it maintained throughout the remainder of the event.
Following problems on the Isle of Man a fortnight ago, this was the second consecutive retirement for Kynaston, leaving the Exeter driver with the prospect of needing good scores on each of the remaining three rounds of the series if he is to retain any chance of taking back-to-back titles.
David Mann/Alun Cook finished runners-up to Evans on the Jim Clark in their Subaru Impreza WRC. An excellent run over the closed public roads in the Scottish Borders saw them keep up the pressure on the leader and this result sees Mann maintain his second place in the drivers' points table, while Cook still tops the Co-drivers. However, he will be absent from the next round of the Championship as he is getting married on the same weekend.
Returning to the series after missing the last couple of events, Simon Mauger/ Brian Cammack brought their Ford Escort MkII back to the finish at Kelso Racecourse in third place after another excellent run. Improving on their fifth in 2008, their car was beset with brake problems but the result is ample proof that there wasn't too much wrong with it.
Right behind them – five seconds adrift after 100 miles of stages – was the Darrian T90 GTR of Washington James/Dai Roberts, bringing to an end a barren spell, in terms of results, for the driver. In recognition of a storming drive, he was awarded the 'John Horton Motorsport Management Star Drive' salver as the cars passed over the finish line at the Racecourse.
Also celebrating a finish after a patchy start to the season were John Stone/Lee Carter in their Legend Motorsport MG Metro 6R4. The pair had been running as high as second overall on last year's rally before problems intervened, but both theirs and team-mate Mark Jasper's similar car have been plagued with gearbox and transmission problems in the interim. Consequently, on what is always a very tough event, Stone was justly pleased to open his Asphalt Championship account in such a way.
Having had to wait until the Manx a fortnight ago to record their first finish of the season, David Hardie/John McCulloch (Subaru Impreza) repeated the exercise with a top ten finish on what, for the Dumfries-based crew, is their 'home' event.