Paul Beaton and Euan Thorburn eye Rally GB after Scottish championship win
PAUL Beaton and Euan Thorburn have their sights on Rally GB after winningtheir second Scottish Rally Championship.
Inverness co-driver Beaton and Thorburn finished second overall behindrunaway winner David Bogie in the Grampian Stages, but their margin ofvictory over Jock Armstrong, reigning champion and second in thechampionship, of 24 seconds – finishing on 42:15 – was enough to givethem the title.
The prize for their title victory is automatic entry into the nationalstages of Rally GB, a World Rally Championship event, in Wales inOctober, with the duo prepared to pay to be upgraded to theinternational class and compete against the world’s best.
They achieved what they set out to do by winning the Scottish title andnow have their sights on the next challenge.
“We did it in 2014 in the international part and it was one of ourfavourite rallies,” said Beaton. “It will cost a little bit extra butthat’s where we want to be.
“You’re racing against the best guys in the world and that blew us awaylast time. You find that extra second or two per mile and definitely upyour game.
“We need to strike while the iron is hot with sponsorship and getsomething on the table. The British championship is where it’s at justnow and we need the infrastructure behind us to do the deal. We don’twant to be scrimping and saving – we want to be competing and winningit.”
The pair have not been off the SRC podium all season and have won two ofthe six rallies.
Bogie’s win was his third of the season but as he has been competing inthe British championship as well, he has not entered all events.
This title triumph was not as sweet as their last one three years ago,given the titanic battle they had with Bogie that year to win it.
“It went down to the last race that time, winner takes all,” saidco-driver Beaton. “This was a more controlled.
“Without taking anything away from the other boys, the feeling is no-onecan match the pace of ourselves or David.
“We knew what we had to do at the weekend and we didn’t want to get intoa big battle with David. When you know the championship is hinging onit, you’re listening for everything to make sure nothing goes wrong.”
Beaton’s fellow Inverness driver Donnie MacDonald came ninth overall inhis Ford Fiesta R5, finishing the rally in 44:06.