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SRC: Local star Horne back for Speyside.

Scottish rally veteran Andy Horne is aiming to give the leading contestants 'a run for their money' when he returns to competition on the Gleaner Oil & Gas Speyside Stages on August 9.

The popular Inverness-based driver has been missing from the County Saab MSA Scottish Championship since crashing out of the second round - the Border Counties - back in April.

Since then he has had his DAM 4100 Gti (Metro 6R4) rebuilt, and is in confident mood ahead of the Elgin-based Speyside.

Fochabers-born Andy would like nothing more than to notch up a second victory on his home event, having previously won in 1998 - that result decided by a tiebreak after he finished in a dead heat with Jim Paterson. Electrical problems with the car forced early retirement from the rally last year.

When Horne, and regular co-driver Jim Howie, last competed four months ago, the championship was led by Jimmy Girvan - and nothing has changed in the interim, with the 1990 title-holder steadily adding to his points tally from one round to the next.

Girvan has shown remarkable consistency at the wheel of his 2.5 litre Subaru Impreza, building on his comeback season of last year.

Maximum SRC points on the Snowman and Border Counties; second in the points on the Granite; third on the Jim Clark Reivers; and second on the fifth round - the RSAC Scottish - at the end of June.

The Inverness restaurateur summed up the Dumfries result as 'the drive of the season so far', not least because he lost contact with regular co-driver Kirsty Riddick on the longest stage when their intercom failed.

The 1990 title-holder has conceded throughout that his main threat has been Dumfries-based Bogie in his hired Toyota Corolla WRC, and with the championship decided on the six best scores out of eight, that threat is still very real.

Even so, a couple of rounds back it looked as though Bogie's challenge was fading - the first half of his season dogged by punctures, gearbox problems and other mishaps. It was all the more frustrating for the young driver, given that he was consistently achieving fastest stage times.



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Andy Horne. DAM 4100 Gti. [Pic credit: RALLY-PHOTO.COM]
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