Garry Pearson has his eyes firmly set on a podium at this weekend’s RSAC Scottish Rally (18th May) and believes that a top result is the key to maintaining his 2019 KNC Groundworks Scottish Rally Championship aspirations.
The Duns driver is aiming to bounce back from a devastating non-finish at last month’s Speyside Stages and get his title hopes back on track as the third round of the season heads to the town of Moffat near Dumfries. Pearson, along with Welshman Dale Bowen in the co-driver’s seat, knows that a strong points haul this Saturday will be essential in retaining his chances to take his maiden Scottish Championship title.
The 27-year-old has had a positive start to the season after forming a partnership with Bowen at the tail end of 2018. With the main intention of clinching the coveted Scottish Championship crown and developing skills for future seasons, Pearson was well on track after taking second place in the snow and ice of the Border Counties Rally in Jedburgh in March.
His impressive form continued in Elgin where he was in line for yet another top result, sitting in third place at the halfway point of the rally. In his quest to hunt down another second or better placing, Pearson went on a charge in the afternoon’s loop of stages but was unlucky to put his Asset Alliance Group, RAVENOL and George Anderson Builders backed Ford Fiesta R5 onto its side after a rut caught him out and put him out of the rally.
His non-score means that every point will count during the remaining rounds of the series and he is well aware of the task ahead.
“Our comeback starts now,” said Pearson.
“Clearly we could have done with another podium last time out but when you are pushing hard to get results then inevitably these things can happen. The key thing is that we were on the pace and where we need to be and truthfully have been all season. So, I need to convert that speed into results and get our season pointing in the right direction.”
The Championship moves to South West Scotland this weekend and classic stages such as Ae and Castle O’er which have seen many British and world rally champions lift the trophy. Pearson won the SRC event in 2016 so has fond memories of the Eskdalemuir forest estate.
“I’ve had a strong showing in those forests in the past and won the SRC section back in 2016 so I feel much more confident heading there this weekend than if I was going somewhere for the first time. But the competition out front it as good as it gets so, we need to be realistic about our chances. I’m confident that we can grab a podium so that is the goal this weekend.
I have a great team around me, and some amazing support from my sponsors so all being well, we won’t be writing ourselves out of the Scottish Championship title fight just yet.”
Pearson is supported by Asset Alliance Group, George Anderson Builders, Pearsons of Duns, RAVENOL, Pirelli, Dom Buckley RSC, Faithful Tools, CPL, RL Smith, Hargreaves, Hotmax, Crailing Toft Potatoes, Bedmax and 3D Transport.