After seven rounds, five different winners, and more than 300 stage miles, the 2009 Hankook MSA Scottish Rally Championship is set for a thrilling finish on the Colin McRae Forest Stages in Perthshire next Saturday.
Dumfries ace David Bogie is close to securing the overall title on the event which saw his maiden SRC win in 2007 – but he knows that any errors could put paid to his ambitions.
Borderer Euan Thorburn – who has already won Group N - is waiting in the wings should Bogie slip up on the classic forest stages, and Mike Faulkner still has a chance of snatching the crown, after a non-finish on the penultimate round, the Merrick Forest Stages.
However, it is Bogie who holds the strongest hand going into the Perth-based event and the 22-year-old, alongside co-driver Kevin Rae, will be looking at the bigger picture rather than outright victory.
"We plan to win the championship and not bother too much about times on the way", said Bogie: "But there's no doubt it's going to be a hard weekend".
Faulkner and navigator Peter Foy were both bitterly disappointed after their Mitsubishi Evo 6 crashed out on the first stage of the "Merrick" with a broken driveshaft.
The Kirtlebridge-based driver admitted that it had been "hard to pick themselves up" for the “McRae”, but that they were "now fired up to win".
Said Faulkner of their title chances: "First or second would do, so long as David doesn't finish in the top thirteen. But if David doesn't finish and we win, Euan would need to only finish third to take the title, so it could easily be one of the three of us".
He went on: "Realistically though, the championship has gone, so we are just going to put all that behind us and go out and enjoy ourselves and try to be the only crew to win three events this year. The Hankook championship has been fantastic this year and whatever happens, we want to finish on a high".