Paul Beaton and Euan Thorburn eye Rally GB after Scottish championship win
PAUL Beaton and Euan Thorburn have their sights on Rally GB after winning their second Scottish Rally Championship.
Inverness co-driver Beaton and Thorburn finished second overall behind runaway winner David Bogie in the Grampian Stages, but their margin of victory over Jock Armstrong, reigning champion and second in the championship, of 24 seconds – finishing on 42:15 – was enough to give them the title.
The prize for their title victory is automatic entry into the national stages of Rally GB, a World Rally Championship event, in Wales in October, with the duo prepared to pay to be upgraded to the international class and compete against the world’s best.
They achieved what they set out to do by winning the Scottish title and now have their sights on the next challenge.
“We did it in 2014 in the international part and it was one of our favourite rallies,” said Beaton. “It will cost a little bit extra but that’s where we want to be.
“You’re racing against the best guys in the world and that blew us away last time. You find that extra second or two per mile and definitely up your game.
“We need to strike while the iron is hot with sponsorship and get something on the table. The British championship is where it’s at just now and we need the infrastructure behind us to do the deal. We don’t want to be scrimping and saving – we want to be competing and winning it.”
The pair have not been off the SRC podium all season and have won two of the six rallies.
Bogie’s win was his third of the season but as he has been competing in the 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,” said co-driver Beaton. “This was a more controlled.
“Without taking anything away from the other boys, the feeling is no-one can match the pace of ourselves or David.
“We knew what we had to do at the weekend and we didn’t want to get into a big battle with David. When you know the championship is hinging on it, you’re listening for everything to make sure nothing goes wrong.”
Beaton’s fellow Inverness driver Donnie MacDonald came ninth overall in his Ford Fiesta R5, finishing the rally in 44:06.