Two years on from his maiden Scottish Rally Championship win, David Bogie secured the 2009 Hankook/MSA-backed series at the final round, the Colin McRae Forest Stages, after what he admitted had been a nerve-wracking and stressful day.
The 2007 victory came just weeks after the death of his friend and mentor, and Saturday's achievement, on an event full of incident and drama, was no less emotional as the 22-year old Dumfries driver became the youngest champion since McRae himself won the crown in 1988 at the age of 20.
"The Scottish championship is something I've aimed for since I started in rallying, it's been a box I've wanted to tick, and I've been so close these past two years", said Bogie, whose seventh-place points finish, alongside co-driver Kevin Rae, was enough to secure them the title, "You only have to look at some of the names on the trophy - among them Colin and Jimmy McRae – and that says it all. I'm over the moon."
Indeed, the moon was well up by the time the four-wheel drive cars arrived back at Perth Racecourse in the gathering dusk, after what had been a day of attrition for many competitors, following the cancellation of the first stage, cars sliding off in treacherous conditions and fallen trees all resulting in lengthy delays.
Overall victory went to Mark Higgins, who was fulfilling a promise to compete on the rally after missing last year's star-studded event. The three-times British champion, along with co-driver Rory Kennedy, turned in a consummate display, winning all four completed stages at the wheel of an ex-Carlos Sainz Subaru Impreza – the sister car to McRae's 1995 world title-winning machine.
Higgins and Kennedy finished 40 seconds ahead of 2008 BTRDA champions Hugh Hunter and Andy Marchbank, the pair making their second appearance on a Scottish round in their ex-McRae Ford Focus WRC 01.
Mike Faulkner and Peter Foy were third overall and first of the SRC-registered competitors in their Mitsubishi Evo 6 – the Kirtlebridge-based driver ruing the broken driveshaft which had led to an early exit on the penultimate round, the Merrick Forest Stages, and effectively put paid to any championship ambitions.
'Merrick' winners Jock Armstrong and Kirsty Riddick finished second in the points and fourth overall in their Subaru Impreza, while Calum Mackenzie, with Alan Clark on the notes, powered his Escort Mk2 to a hugely impressive final SRC podium spot, and top two-wheel drive honours.
The Oban duo of Shaun Sinclair and Chris Hamill consolidated their second place in the Group N championship in a Mitsubishi Evo 9, finishing nine seconds ahead of the Subaru Impreza of Euan Thorburn, who had already secured the GpN title. Like Faulkner, Thorburn, who was co-driven by Doug Redpath, had gone into the McRae with a mathematical chance of winning the championship, should Bogie hit problems.
Stonehaven's Barry Groundwater and David Wilson from Alness both finished in the top ten in their respective Evos.