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british rally championship

Scottish Borders brace for best-ever Jim Clark Rally

The 2024 Beatson's Building Supplies Jim Clark Rally [May 24-26] promises to be the best in over a decade with more stages, more cars and world-class drivers tackling the famous closed-road event.

Hailed as one of the best stage rallies anywhere in the United Kingdom, the Jim Clark Rally has been a staple of the national motorsport calendar for over 50 years with 2024 set to be no exception as, across the weekend, the event welcomes the very best drivers from the Probite Motorsport UK British Rally Championship, Protyre Asphalt Rally Championship and Asset Alliance Group Scottish Rally Championship.

Sponsored by leading construction merchants Beatson's Building Supplies for the third successive year, the rally is once again based in the market town of Duns for all three days of spectacular action, but the organisers have upped the ante for this year's closed-road spectacular.

Catering for an extra 20 crews, 140 cars will take Friday evening's Ceremonial Start on Duns at 18:00 before tackling six daunting stages in the moorlands and lanes around the town. Making its return is the popular Langton Mill test and its famous water-splash, forming part of a new three-stage loop which will be repeated as the sun begins to set over the Scottish Borders.

Saturday's itinerary is largely unchanged from previous years, but another two passes of the Langton Mill stage help create a demanding schedule of eight stages which includes the likes of classic Jim Clark tests Ayton and Fogo. The winner of the 86-mile event will be crowned at the Duns Ceremonial Finish at 14:16.

Sunday's Reivers Rally is a meatier affair than the past with 58 miles of action split across seven stages with just one service halt back at Duns in the middle. The reworked Westruther stage starts and ends the day which also includes two visits to the beautiful vistas of Scott's View. The event starts and finishes in Duns at 09:30 and 15:54 respectively.

With last year's winner Adrien Fourmaux fully focused on his World Rally Championship programme with M-Sport Ford, 2019 European Rally champion Chris Ingram and co-driver Alex Kihurani will lead the field away in their Volkswagen Polo GTI R5. A proven pairing on asphalt with victory on the opening round of the British championship, Ingram returns to tackle the Jim Clark for the first time since 2013 when he drove a Renault Twingo R2.

One driver who has far more Jim Clark experience is Keith Cronin, who will line up as the second seed alongside co-driver Mikie Galvin in his Ford Fiesta Rally2. Cronin won the event as recently as 2022 and was the only one to challenge Fourmaux last year, so is a certain contender for a record-equalling third Jim Clark victory this time around.

Both however will face stern competition from the Fiestas of 2022 British Rally Champion Osian Pryce and 2023 Junior World Rally Champion William Creighton. Pryce arrives in Duns in red-hot form having won the most recent round of the British championship, while Creighton - who's been second on both BRC events thus far - is match-fit from the latest world championship round in Portugal.

Meirion Evans brings the fan favourite Toyota GR Yaris Rally2 to the party, while recent Manx Rally winner James Williams represents Hyundai. Williams will compete for both British and National Asphalt championship points in his i20, fending off competition from the likes of 2023 champion Callum Black (Fiesta), Neil Roskell (Fiesta), Mark Kelly (Skoda Fabia R5) and James Ford (Citroen C3 Rally2).

Fighting to uphold local honour are a trio of Duns drivers - Euan Thorburn, Garry Pearson and Dale Robertson - in state-of-the-art Rally2 cars. Volkswagen pilot Thorburn would appear best positioned to become the first Scottish Jim Clark winner since 2011 thanks to his overall podium last season, but Pearson too is a former Jim Clark podium finisher and will compete in the very latest Fiesta Rally2, run by the factory M-Sport outfit.

Robertson is also Fiesta mounted, and welcomes Kelso co-driver Douglas Redpath into the navigators' seat, 40 years since Redpath won the Jim Clark alongside Dominic Buckley Snr. Robertson is always fast on his local lanes but is down on seat time compared to his direct rivals as he hasn't competed since the Jim Clark last year.

Also flying the flag for Scotland is Max McRae - the latest talent from the world-famous McRae rallying dynasty. Co-driven by Cameron Fair, the 19-year-old is already a winner in the Junior European Rally Championship this year and showed well on his Rally2 debut in the BRC back in March. Like Pearson, McRae is armed with an M-Sport Fiesta with hopes to fare better than last year when he retired on the opening stage with mechanical gremlins.

The Reivers Rally has attracted a similarly stunning entry, with 2023 winner Thorburn aiming to draw level with old foe David Bogie as the event's most successful driver in history.

But the Polo pilot will be pushed hard by David Henderson (Fiesta Rally2), who came just 3.2 seconds away from beating Thorburn 12 months ago. Asphalt aces Kelly and Roskell will do battle with the very best from the Scottish championship, including Rory Young (Polo R5), Michael Binnie (Fiesta R5), Jock Armstrong (Skodaru) and Bogie (Ford Escort Mk2).

Spectators will have plenty of opportunities to watch the battles unfold with access to an array of stages, while Duns will be a hub of activity with a mid-day regroup on both Saturday and Sunday as well as the start and finish ceremonies, as well as a big screen in the town broadcasting live action from the stages.

Full spectator information is available on the Jim Clark Rally website HERE where the entry lists for both events can also be viewed.

External Credits:

MCR Motorsport Media / Jim Clark Rally


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