It’s a long way from Kirriemuir to Bournemouth but that’s exactly the journey Kirriemuir co-driver Craig Wallace had to undertake to take part in the first round of the British Rally Championship with his new team Border Rally Sport.
Driver Garry Pearson, the 2011 Star of the Future, and Craig have launched a challenge on the British Rally Championship in Class R1.
Garry and Craig will be in a newly built Renault Twingo R1 and as well as chasing class honours in the British Championship, they will be looking for results towards the Twingo Renaultsport R1 Trophy UK.
When asked of the challenges of rallying at this level Craig explained; “The events are much longer and harder on the car. There is no room for error and to finish an international event is an achievement.
“It’s also very hard on the crew in the car but it’s often the service crew who do the most work.
“The preparation and servicing is a major task and we have a great set up in the team.”
Commenting on the experience, Craig said: “I had never done the event before, although Garry had last year.
“It’s not particularly long but it is rough. Getting to the rally is a major event in itself. I had to work on the Wednesday so flew down that evening to meet up with the team to take part in the shakedown. It took the team nine hours with the van and trailer.”
On the rally itself, he added: “We planned to take it easy to get used to the car.
Garry was driving left hand drive for the first time. Add to that we had only limited time to build a rapport it was a tall order.
“We worked at all the issues we had but set our own pace to establish a good working system.
“Keith Cronin, double British champion, was in a similar car so we decided to pace ourselves against him and measure our improvement through the day.
“That worked well and we were pleased to finish 14th overall with a win in Class 10 and first in the Twingo R1 Championship.
“Garry also scored points in the junior championship but, alas, at 26 I am too old for that.”
Craig’s next event is the Bulldog International Rally in North Wales on March 23/24.