Excitement is building in the Scottish Borders ahead of the Jim Clark Rally which will take place on Friday 8th and Saturday 9th of November 2019.
And just as the organising team behind this event are finalising their plans for the closed road rally, so too are many club members and local competitors.
That includes Cornhill on Tweed farmer, Michael Binnie. He finished 3rd overall in this year’s Scottish Rally Championship behind triple Scottish Champion Euan Thorburn and twice Scottish champion Jock Armstrong. However his appearance on the final round of this national series was in doubt as he was mid-harvest at the time and much was made in the motor sporting press of his pre-rally preparation – driving a combine harvester for many days and nights over a period of weeks!
It was no surprise that former rugby player Michael turned to motor sport as soon as he was of age as his Dad, Cameron Binnie, was a former multiple Scottish motor racing champion, but it was his Uncle Garry Wilson who introduced him to rallying.
“I was still at college when I saw the Jim Clark Rally in 2014 with my pals,” said Michael, “and since then it has been a life ambition to actually compete on the rally itself. I’m also quite apprehensive, it will be my first tarmac rally in the Mitsubishi Lancer which I used this year and last on the Scottish Championship forest rally series.”
His first memory of the rally was some time earlier: “I was about four years old when my family and another friend’s family went to watch the ‘Moon & Stars’ stage. It was around 2 in the morning and it was pouring with rain. We walked for miles, but I’ll never forget it.”
“The rally coming back will be good for the area. We notice an increase in traffic even around here at rally time, it will put us back on the map,” he added, “There’s nothing to beat the excited atmosphere in Duns Square when the rally comes to town.”