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VIDEO: Moray navigator in Scottish rally contention

By SPP Reporter

The Archiestown-based co-driver helped guide Dumfries driver Mark McCulloch to the runners-up spot in Saturday's RSAC Scottish Rally in Lockerbie – his best-ever finish.

Hendry is now third overall in the ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship rankings and in strong contention to pursue the leaders with three events to go.

Clear winner of Saturday's rally by over a minute was five-time Scottish champ David Bogie, who claimed the 50th rally victory of his career in his Skoda Fabia R5.

Bogie won't compete in enough events to win this year's championship with commitments further afield, and fellow contender Jock Armstrong well out of the podium positions as a puncture and no spare wheel meant he had to finish the rally on only three fully working tyres.

It was left to McCulloch and Hendry to compete with fellow challenger Freddie Milne and his co-driver Patrick Walsh for second place and resume the battle they held at the Speyside Stages.

Milne led by five seconds, before McCulloch and Hendry took a further two out of his rival in the penultimate stage to whittle the gap down to three seconds.

It was all set for a thrilling finale, but towards the end of the final 8.95 mile stage, Milne ran out of road and became beached at the side of the road, retiring from second place in the process.

It meant a first-ever second spot for Hendry to boost his chances of catching the leaders in the championship chase.

"To finish second to David Bogie who is a legend is the best we could have hoped for so we couldn't have done any better," said driver McCulloch.

Huntly's John Wink and Inverurie co-driver John Forrest had a good day in their Hyundai i20 R5 to net fourth, their best ever SRC finish, with Donnie MacDonald and Andrew Falconer's fifth place enough for them to wrestle the championship lead from Andrew Gallacher and Jane Nicol.

Elgin crew Brett McKenzie and James Ralph finished 19th out of the 4WD cars in the rally in their Subaru Impreza.

The other three Moray teams involved in the event failed to make the finish line. Mike Grant and Graham Kelman, both Elgin, were forced to retire as did Russell Kessack (Elgin) in a Citroen C2, while Alex Pirie (Drummuir) and Frazer Skene (Tomintoul) teamed up once again but also retired.

McCulloch and Hendry sit third in the provisional rankings, just three points behind leader MacDonald.

Next event is the Argyll Rally on Saturday June 23. With no driver apart from Bogie taking more than one podium across the first three events, the battle for the title is looking as unpredictable as ever.

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