Josh Moffett and Andy Hayes won this weekend’s Jim Clark Rally in Duns in the Scottish Borders. The Irishman was lying second after Friday afternoon’s opening stage but over the remaining eight stages on Saturday, he overtook early leaders David Bogie and Kevin Rae to score his 7th straight win of the season.
This was Moffett’s first visit to the Scottish Borders event, although he did think there were some similarities to the events he had already contested this year across the water in Ireland and Northern Ireland: “We don’t have many rallies this late in the season back home,” said Moffett, “so usually the roads are bit cleaner. After the rain you have had over here, the roads were wet and with the water running off the fields it was carrying a lot of mud. Plus the cars were cutting corners and dragging more mud on to the road. Conditions were very tricky and very inconsistent, but it was a good rally. Some of the roads are very reminiscent of home but conditions made them very different too!”
Moffett was also driving a brand new car, the latest spec Ford Fiesta R5 from the Cumbrian M-Sport World Rally Championship team based in Dovenby: “Although it looks very similar to the current R5 this was one feels completely different, the engine, suspension and the brakes, but I’ve brought it back home in one piece and I’m happy,”added Moffett.
Bogie scored an exceptional runner-up place in his rear wheel drive Ford Escort Mk2. His remarkable pace split the four wheel drive machines of Moffett and third placed Dale Robertson and Stuart Loudon also in a Fiesta R5. Given the treacherously slippy conditions, Bogie’s result was truly outstanding: “It’s been good,” said Bogie, “there was ice on the early stages this morning after an overnight frost but once the sun came up there was grip to be had. However, as temperatures started to drop again this evening, it started to catch out many of the front runners. But we had good pace and just kept it going.”
Robertson’s third place was equally impressive. First time in the hired machine he was setting top six times from the start and with two stages to go he was lying 4th overall behind the Ford Focus of Hugh Hunter and Calvin Cooledge. On the penultimate test a determined charge through the Blackadder test saw him take 12 seconds out of Hunter to snatch 3rd place by 4 seconds. Hunter responded with a faster time through the final test at Fogo, but only 1 second faster. Not enough to catch Robertson.
Also first time out in a hired Fiesta R5, local man Ross Hunter (no relation to Hugh!) scored a superb 5th overall with Michael Binnie in an ‘old technology’ Mitsubishi Lancer rounding off the top six.
100 cars started the rally on Friday afternoon but only two third reached the finish with many falling victim to the slippery conditions. However, the return of the rally, albeit late in the season, excited and enthralled the large crowds who turned out to watch, and no doubt as temperatures plunged once again as darkness fell, are now looking forward to the rally’s return to its normal ‘warmer’ date in May next year when it will once again be a round of the Scottish Rally Championship, and the Protyre Motorsport UK Asphalt Rally Championship.
1, Josh Moffett/Andy Hayes (Ford Fiesta R5) 54m 34.7s
2, David Bogie/Kevin Rae (Ford Escort Mk2) +0.41.7
3, Dale Robertson/Stuart Loudon (Ford Fiesta R5) +47.8
4, Hugh Hunter/Calvin Cooledge (Ford Focus WRC) +0.50.3
5, Ross Hunter/Martin Woodcock (Ford Fiesta R5) +1.20.1
6, Michael Binnie/Claire Mole (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo9) +2.35.9
7, Andy Fenwick/Harry Marchbank (Ford Fiesta R5) +2.49.8
8, Stephen Simpson/Patrick Walsh (Ford Fiesta R5) +3.44.1
9, James Ford/Jack Morton (Ford Escort Mk2) +4.42.0
10, Gordon Morrison/Sean Donnelly (Ford Fiesta R5) +5.08.9
Photograph shows, from left to right:
Kevin Rae, David Bogie, Andy Hayes, Josh Moffett, Dale Robertson and Stuart Loudon
Report and photograph from the Jim Clark Rally Press Office, 9th Nov 2019