Rallye Sunseeker: Series event summary
Bogie shines on Sunseeker
Reigning Scottish Rally Champions David Bogie and Kevin Rae took their first ever event victory in the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship as they won Rallye Sunseeker International, the new opening round of the British Isles premier rally series. The win is extra special for the pair, as it is the first for a Scot in the British Rally Championship since Alister McRae took a win on the Scottish Rally in June 1997.
As points follow places on the first round, their lead in the championship puts them in the enviable position of leading both British and Scottish series, having won the first round north of the border last weekend.
"It's been a dream of mine to win a round of the BRC for ages," he said at the finish on Bournemouth promenade; it means a huge amount to me. We had a great day but had a big scare three stages from home when we got mud on the screen. By the time it cleared we were flat out in fifth half way across a field!"
They ended the eleven-stage rally, based in Hampshire and Dorset, twenty two seconds clear of nearest rivals Tom Cave and Craig Parry, having been less than three seconds ahead early in the day.
Despite the ding-dong battle at the front going Bogie's way, Cave was pleased with his debut in the British Rally Championship. The Welsh youngster took three fastest stages times in his Mitsubishi and led the event after the second stage. But with just one event in the car before tackling the tricky south of England stages, he reckoned there was much more to come.
"The rhythm was good but in the end David (Bogie) was just too quick. We enjoyed the rally and I think we'll have a good result if we take the same approach in Wales."
It was the Welsh who took the final podium step; Pirelli Star Driver winners Elfyn Evans and Andrew Edwards making their competitive debut in their prize drive Subaru. The pair set some excellent stages times throughout the day, stopping the clocks ahead of everybody on stage ten, but his sensible approach to this fantastic prize opportunity meant a finish was his priority -- job done.
Dulux Trade MSA British Formula 2 Rally Championship
Estonians Siim Plangi defeated the odds and competition to take his maiden victory in the Dulux Trade British Rally Championship Formula Two category at his first attempt.
The Estonian is no stranger to the British Isles having competed in Scotland, but the young Renault driver took to the forest tracks of the south-coast like a duck to water. Plangi was pushed hard from the off by his Renault team-mate Mikko Pajunen, but showed his maturity by not buckling under the mounting pressure.
The Finn had to settle for second best at the Bournemouth podium and was left thinking what might have been had he not picked up a 30 second road penalty. The late check in to TC3 left him with an uphill task to try to rain in his Baltic teammate but it wasn't to be.
But with Renault Twingos dominating the top two steps on the podium, it proved a vital days rallying for the Autosport Technology run team which took maximum Championship points.
Another BRC debutant also made the podium in the form of 586 Sports' Callum Black. Black and co-driver Paul Wakely made an impressive step up from the Dulux Trade British Rally Championship support series on their first outing.
The reigning BRC Challenge champions had a difficult rally in their S1600 Swift, suffering from tyre choice problems early on, "We should have put the narrower tyres on this morning and we needed more time in the car in the build up to the event" said Black.
But the Northamptonshire local held his nerve to finish on the podium ahead of some more experienced crews.
However it is the well deserving crew of Siim Plangi and Marek Sarapuu that took the Dulux Trade MSA British Formula 2 Rally Championship spoils in Bournemouth, and head to the gravel of North Wales as the ones to beat.
Dulux Trade MSA British Teams Rally Championship
The Teams championship got underway with a bang with the Autosport Technology Renaults taking a clean sweep of maximum points. 586 Sports' single car entry was less of a disadvantage than lone driver Callum Black might at first have thought. His third place in the two wheel drive category was enough to place the team second ahead of the M-Sport Ford Rally Team.
M-Sport's two car team was halved when Craig Breen's team-mate John MacCrone suffered electrical failure. Sadly for Breen his Fiesta R2 also had problems, a cracked water pump costing him several minutes.
The Cumbrian outfit had more luck than Team C2R2 Max, both Citro0x00ebns retiring before the finish ramp on Saturday evening. Mark Donnelly broke a driveshaft early-on while Desi Henry's wheel studs sheared on the final stage.
Pirelli Star Driver
The first nomination for this, the richest prize in British rallying, went to newcomer to the series Siim Plangi. The Estonian youngster was a revelation on the stages in his Renault Twingo, eventually beating his Autosport Technology team mate Mikko Pajunen.
The PSD selection from each of this year's seven events come from BRC Formula 2 runners and judging by the level of competition on the new opening round, the judges will have plenty to choose from to put forward to the end of season shoot-out.
Reigning PSD champion Elfyn Evans had an excellent start to his 2011 campaign, gelling quickly with the Pirelli TEG Sport-run Impreza.
BRC on TV
Greenlight Television's coverage of the Rallye Sunseeker International can be seen on Sky Sports 2HD on Monday evening at 7pm or a news edit will be available on the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship YouTube channel soon after.
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