KNC Groundworks Scottish Rally Championship front-runner Garry Pearson will be aiming to start this weekends Speyside Stages where he left off at the Border Counties Rally last month, keeping his title hopes firmly alive in Elgin (20th April).
Pearson, 27 from Duns enjoyed an almost picture postcard return to the championship on the opening round of the season in Jedburgh, leading the rally on the opening two stages of the event before a time zapping spin saw him eventually cross the finish ramp in second overall.
The Asset Alliance Group & George Anderson Builders backed Ford Fiesta R5 pilot will head to the Highlands for round two of the championship, with mixed memories of his last finish on the event in 2016. Tying on times after a day’s action in the forest, Pearson would only lose out on the tiebreak, giving him second and missing out on his maiden rally win.
However, he has enjoyed a confidence-boosting return to the sport this season and along with co-driver Dale Bowen, the duo find themselves in second place in the Scottish Championship after the opening round in the Borders.
Pearson’s performance in the snow and ice of Kielder Forest was an impressive feat given that he had been out of a top-flight rally car since April 2018, but his eyes are firmly set on continuing his run of form.
“I really feel like I`m in a perfect position heading into the Speyside and if I can start where I left off at the Borders, we should be on for another good result,” he says.
“The competition in the SRC is some of the best in the country so to be at the sharp end of that is really encouraging, especially given my lack of seat time of late. But I need to make that stick on all the stages and get a good rhythm from the moment the flag drops on the first test. I’m feeling really confident right now, I have some great sponsors who are supporting me all the way, things are looking favourable this weekend”.
Whilst Pearson is aiming for a good result in the Highlands, he also has one eye on the SRC title which has so far eluded him in his career. Whilst he has a British title to his name in his Junior days, the Scottish Championship has been a goal of his from a young age.
“As I said before, the competition in the SRC is as good as it gets, and I know that winning the Scottish Championship means that you have beaten some of the best.
We are pressuring these guys that have been in front-running cars for years whilst to a degree, I`m still learning with each passing mile. We’re still underdogs, and trading times with them after 11 events in an R5 has been awesome fun so far. We’ll keep improving and keep the pressure on.”
The McDonald and Munro Speyside Stages starts on Saturday morning from Elgin high street and houses over 44 miles of competitive driving before finishing later that afternoon in the town.
Pearson is supported by Asset Alliance Group, George Anderson Builders, Pearsons of Duns, RAVENOL, Pirelli, Dom Buckley RSC, Faithful Tools, CPL, Hargreaves, Hotmax, Bedmax and 3D Transport.