David Bogie set what he described as a "nice, quick, but cautious pace" to win the Jim Clark Reivers Rally - the fourth round of the Hankook MSA Scottish Championship.

The Dumfries driver powered his Mitsubishi Evo 9 through the Berwickshire lanes to finish fifteen seconds ahead of Euan Thorburn in a Subaru Impreza, with Willie Bonniwell, also in a Subaru, bagging the final podium spot, a further six seconds back.

Bogie, with co-driver Kevin Rae, was the fourth different winner in as many rounds this season.

The victory made up for an off at a hairpin on the final stage of the Granite City, which cost Bogie and Rae a potential win.

"It's been clean and tidy with no mistakes - it was very important for the championship that we got maximum points, "said Bogie at the finish in Duns town square, adding: "After losing the lead on the last stage of the Granite we knew what could happen, so we kind of turned down the speed a wee bit, and came up with the goods".

Bogie was fastest through the third stage and the final eighth test, Buxley 1 and Harehead 2, while Duns-resident Thorburn, and co-driver Claire Mole, set the quickest times on the sixth and seventh stages, Buxley 2 and Wedderburn 2.

However, while the Dumfries driver had a trouble-free day with his car, Thorburn's Subaru developed a mis-fire - similar to a problem encountered on the Granite.

It cost Thorburn and Mole more than 30 seconds on Buxley 1, and caused concerns for the support team at first service, but the pair were quickly back on the pace thereafter.

Thorburn reflected ruefully: "There just weren't enough stages left - we weren't far away in the end, but the time lost on Buxley cost us. Still it's a good result".

Oban's Willie Bonniwell, with Jedburgh's Dave Robson on the notes, had gone into the event determined to finish, after gearbox problems halted his championship challenge on the Granite City.

One second-equal and three third-fastest stage times suggested the Subaru Impreza pilot was not holding back, describing it as a "nice steady run".

"I wasn't expecting to catch Euan - it's his back yard - the most important thing was to make it to the end, and we've achieved that, it's been a great day," said Bonniwell.

As with last year's event, the dry conditions suited the 2-wheel drive Mk2 Escorts, with Yorkshireman Steve Bannister again the man to beat.

With co-driver Louise Sutherland from Hawick, the Malton-based farmer finished fifth overall, and fourth in the Scottish points - five seconds behind the Mitsubishi Lancer WRC of non SRC- registered competitor Ian Campbell.

Bannister's time-sheet included a second fastest run through Harehead 1 - five seconds shy of the Skoda Octavia WRC of Andy Fenwick, who was forced to retire with gearbox problems with three stages remaining while leading the event.

Said Bannister: "We're really chuffed to bits - the day's helped - it's been nice and dry for the 2WD's - so it couldn't be better.

Championship leader Jock Armstrong, with co-driver Kirsty Riddick, ended the day a further three seconds back in their Subaru Impreza N11 - the Castle Douglas driver having last competed on the Reivers in 2000.

"We've had a few gremlins with the car, and I haven't been here for some time, which is always a bit of a leveller, so I'm quite pleased with the result. The main thing is we still lead the series", said Armstrong.

Eighth-placed Keith Robathan of Alford and Irishmen Frank Kelly and Jason Harron both celebrated strong finishes in their respective Mk2 Escorts, the latter just one second ahead of Dumfries farmer Rory Young who, with navigator Allan Cathers of Carlisle, was returning to competition after sitting out the Granite.

"It's been a really enjoyable day", declared Young, adding: "It's always a difficult event to get into because it's the only tarmac rally we do in the Scottish championship season - so we start at a bit of a disadvantage, but it's great fun!".

Granite runners-up Barry Groundwater of Stonehaven and Jude Wylie from Jedburgh finished eleventh overall and eighth of the SRC-registered competitors in their Mitsubishi Evo 9, just two seconds ahead of Jimmy Girvan and Mike Ramsay in their Subaru Impreza - on a day which included what the 2008 champion described as a "360 degree pirouette" on the opening stage.

Among the notable retirements were Granite victors Mike Faulkner and Peter Foy - their Evo 6 suffering brake and gearbox problems; John and Jim Rintoul who crashed their Evo 6 on the second test of the day, causing the stage to be stopped; and Andy Horne and Jim Howie, who had another non-finish with early brakes failure in their DAM 4100 Gti .

Crews will now prepare for the fifth round of the Hankook series, the RSAC Scottish Rally, based in Dumfries, on June 27th.


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