Borders rally set to attract spectators

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After surviving the Snowman Rally recently, which driver Stevie Brown described as “the most difficult event the series has seen for many years, Stevie and co-driver Jack Morton will tackle British rallyings most fearsome stages in this

Weekend’s Border Counties Rally on Saturday (March 17), the second round of the Scottish Rally Championship.

The national road show arrives in Jedburgh, where the population is set to double as teams and fans from throughout the UK make their way to the historic town on the Scottish border.

Behind the wheel of their Global Web backed Subaru Impreza, Brown and Morton will look to continue to build their strong championship campaign having finished 13th on the first round of the series on the Inverness based Snowman Rally.

“The Snowman was the first time Stevie and I had worked together and the first time I’ve co-driven in a four-wheel-drive car on gravel” said Jack. He continued: “We’re definitely going in to this event in a much stronger position now that we’ve got a bit of experience” explained the Legend Fires backed co-driver.

During the Snowman Rally, the pair experienced treacherously slippery conditions that would test even the most experienced crews, and at about the half-way point, in the six-mile test, the intercom system failed. This meant that Stevie could no longer hear the vital route notes to guide him through the narrow gravel track and then, during the 13 mile stage, freezing temperatures and snow showers made conditions extremely slippery. At the time Stevie, whose budget wouldn’t allow him to buy suitable tyres, said: “We’re on completely the wrong tyres for these conditions, there’s just no grip. We were in a few ditches in there. Afterwards, on the penultimate stage, when there was no snow, team Stevie and Jack showed that they still had the speed to challenge the top teams. Stevie said: “It was difficult to find the confidence in the penultimate stage having gone from a stage with such little grip to one where there was plenty. I suppose it’s all part of the learning.”

At the Snowman Rally, things were looking good but the final stage brought more challenges for the pair who were trying to climb back into the top ten. It was very slippy again as the stage was coated in a mix of slimy mud and icy slush, but Stevie was happy to get his car home undamaged.

He said the competition was going from strength to strength, reflected in the amount of spectators, which will be evident at Jedburgh on Saturday.

Many of the stages in this weekend’s event are based in the Kielder forest complex, where narrow roads lined with deep ditches mean there is no margin for error, with even the smallest of mistakes spelling disaster and why the complex has earned the nickname ‘Killer Kielder’. “The stages in this rally are tough for sure, that’s why it’s so important to put the work in before the event to make sure we’re happy with the notes” explained the JRRC Fitness backed driver.

With 80 teams lining up to start the 44 mile race on Saturday morning, the inaugural Colin McRae tribute award winner will face still competition from the country’s fastest drivers in a race that promises to push teams to the limit.