Kumho Clubman battle of the borders preview

"Battle of the Borders for KUMHO regulars." The KUMHO Clubmans Rally Championship heads to Southern Scotland for its penultimate round, as the leading drivers visit Newton Stewart for the Park Systems Furniture Stages Rally. With just two...

"Battle of the Borders for KUMHO regulars."

The KUMHO Clubmans Rally Championship heads to Southern Scotland for its penultimate round, as the leading drivers visit Newton Stewart for the Park Systems Furniture Stages Rally. With just two rallies left in the competitive series, its still anyone's championship after four exciting rallies so far.

Leading the championship is Kent driver James Potter, who recently secured backing from men's grooming company "King of Shaves" after he and co-driver Andrew Hebron put in a tremendous performance to grab maximum points on the Swansea Bay Clubmans Rally. James will be looking for another excellent points haul in the Scottish forests, as he looks to increase his seven point lead over the similar Ford Escort RS of Alistair and Andrew Adams from Bewdley in the West Midlands.

Adams was left to rue his misfortune in Swansea. After catching dust from another competitor in tinder dry conditions, the Astra Stages Clubman winner suffered a puncture early in the rally, and did well to recover to finish inside the top ten. Adams will be determined to put the pressure on Potter as the series heads north for the second time this year.

Chasing them hard will be the flying Ffestiniog driver, Ieuan Rowlands. The rapid 1600cc class leader is more than a match for his more powerful rivals in his red white and green coloured Ford. Ieuan was disappointed to have a flattened exhaust on the Swansea Bay Rally, and will be looking to arrive in Scotland with all guns blazing. Rowlands committed driving style should suit the demanding Scottish roads and he'll be a driver to watch again.

Leading Scottish driver in the table is Allan McDowall. The Tarbolton man brings his immaculate and rare Opel Kadett to the event looking to maintain his consistent points scoring. A no score on the Mutiny Rally being the only blot on his copybook this season. Allan is keen to make the most of his home advantage next weekend.

Chasing Allan in the points table are three Class 2 (1600cc) drivers. Leading the way in his Proton Satria Kit Car is Barnoldswick's Iain Shirlaw. The Motorsport Direct man switched from Nova to Proton mid season and enjoyed mixed fortune on the cars debut in South Wales. A change to Pagid brake pads and a new fuel pump are Iain's only changes to the car ahead of the trip to Scotland.

Right behind Iain are two other leading 1600cc drivers. Iain McCulloch often competes without a service crew in his venerable Toyota Corolla GT, whilst Ieuan Rowlands elder brother John will be another driving pushing hard for success as the season begins to reach its final stages.

Other drivers looking to score well include Hull man Andy Carter and co-driver Carl Briggs. The Yorkshireman has been consistently on the pace this year, but a non finish in South Wales has dented his championship chances. Carter will have to go all out for success if he is to get back in the championship battle for the overall title. Fellow Yorkshireman Steve Magson is another driver who had a terrible time of things in Swansea - Magson not even getting to the first stage. The near 300bhp Astra RWD is always a handful, but Magson will be keen to bounce back with a good finish in Scotland.

In the lowest capacity class, Huw Littler-Jones makes a welcome return to the series after a mid season break in his Skoda. Unfortunately, the Ruthin man's absence has given Steven Belcher an almost free hand as he scored three maximum scores in a row in his little Mini.

All the action gets underway on Saturday 13th September, and more information on the rally can be found at www.parkstages.com or www.kumhorally.info.

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Series Other rally
Drivers Andy Carter