After a season on the sidelines, Duns rally driver Garry Pearson will be aiming to get his season off to the best possible start this weekend as he returns to the Scottish Rally Championship for the opening round of the 2019 series, Coogie Urquhart Snowman Rally (9th February).
Suffering a heart-breaking end to his 2016 championship campaign which saw him miss out on winning the title on the very last stage of the final round of the season, Pearson recently announced his intentions to contest the full series again in 2019 after a sporadic two years behind the wheel.
Despite being just 27 years old, Pearson is regarded as one of the most progressive rally drivers in Scotland and after several years rallying across the UK and Europe, returns to his home country behind the wheel of an Asset Alliance Group & George Anderson Builders backed Ford Fiesta R5.
The young pretender has forged a number of formidable partnerships this year, with Rally Sport Connections running the four-wheel-drive machine, Ravenol on board as Technical Partner and Pirelli becoming a tyre partner for the season. In a bid to take the title that has eluded him so far, Pearson and co-driver Dale Bowen have cited a podium result this weekend as the goal on their return.
Seven rounds lie ahead in the Scottish Championship with the now traditional blast around the forest stages near Inverness kicking off the series this weekend. A top quality entry list of over 75 crews will tackle the 44-mile event and with the weather in the highlands as unpredictable as ever, Pearson is remaining open-minded about what is in store on Saturday.
“The Snowman really is a great way to start the season off and is really like no other in the championship thanks to the high possibility of snow and ice, but I really don’t underestimate the need to get a good score on the board to help us through the year,” he says.
“I made my R5 debut on the snow having driven only two-wheel drive machines beforehand and only took two stages to set the fastest time, so the snow doesn’t phase me. This time around it will be about being consistent and being there at the end too”.
The Scottish Rally Championship is one of the most popular motorsport series in the UK and attracts crews from across the country and beyond to compete in the forests of Scotland. 2019 will see yet another ultra-competitive entry list all eager to take the spoils but Pearson feels he is ready to push for the top step of the podium.
“I really do have to make this work this season and I need to find the balance of being quick enough to win whilst still getting to the end of the events. We are literally swapping tenths of a second on these stages so there is very little margin for error. The first round is always the hardest because you don’t know where the pace is going to be, but I`ll do my own thing and keep evaluating my performance during the day. I`ll be doing my very best to be on that podium on Saturday night and I really haven’t looked forward to a rally this much for a long time”.
Pearson is supported by Asset Alliance Group, George Anderson Builders, Pirelli, Ravenol, Dom Buckley RSC and 3D Transport.