Merrick rally preview

Dumfries rally driver David Bogie is hoping to make history at this weekend's Merrick rally by becoming the first driver in history to win five Scottish Rally Championships.

Olympian set for rallying debut in Newton Stewart

Amy Williams and Tony Jardine Credit: HPS Jardine

Winter Olympic gold medallist Amy Williams is competing in this weekend's Merrick rally in Newton Stewart.

The 2012 skeleton champion is using the event as her co-driving debut.

Amy Williams and Tony Jardine with their Honda Type-R rally car Credit: HPS Jardine

Motorsport commentator Tony Jardine is training her to co-drive in the World Rally Championship in November.

She said: “I’ve done my homework on Tony, he is not a professional driver but a very competent amateur and he has the experience with a good finishing record.

"I can trust him to drive well and we can build as a team towards competing together in the final round of the WRC on Wales Rally GB in November.

"The pressure is on to learn the role, and finish national rallies, so that I gain the all important up-grade signatures to achieve international licence status. Without that I won’t have a crack at competing on the world rally stage!”

If you would like to support the local drivers taking part in this event, and would like more information on where to spectate, click here.

Olympian to make co-driving debut at Merrick rally

Amy Williams Credit: PA

Olympic gold medallist Amy Williams will be making her co-driving debut on the Merrick rally at Newton Stewart tomorrow.

The 2010 Skeleton champion is being trained up by motorsport guru Tony Jardine, in preparation for co-driving in the World Rally Championhship in Wales later this year.

In order to qualify as an international co-driver, she has to finish at least three national rallies, and is starting with the Merrick rally this weekend.

She will be competing in a Honda Civic Type-R and will be up against local frontrunners David Bogie and Euan Thorburn.

Talking ahead of the Merrick Stages, Amy Williams said:

“Sometimes I say yes to things without thinking them through! But then I love a challenge, I like living on the edge, testing myself and learning new skills.

“I have enjoyed sitting beside professional rally drivers on high speed rides before, which was thrilling but I haven’t yet competed in a rally.

"I didn’t find anything to frighten or scare me as compared to the intensity, speed and g-forces you feel on the skeleton bobsleigh courses it actually feels a bit slower but none the less challenging – we are still against the stopwatch."

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Rally crews head for Newton Stewart

Around 60 rally crews are on their way to Newton Stewart for the annual 'Merrick' rally.

The event, which takes place on Saturday (7th September), is the sixth round of the Scottish rally championship.

Drivers will tackle 44 competitive forest miles in Galloway, with popular stages like Glentrool, Arroch Hill and Auchinleck.

The first car will be flagged off from the Town Hall in Wigtown at 9am, with the first car due back in Wigtown at around 2.40pm.

Current Scottish champion, David Bogie from Dumfries, is seeded number one for the event.

He is hoping to tie up his fifth championship, but will face tough opposition from Duns driver Euan Thorburn, who is seeded number two.

Jock Armstrong from Castle Douglas is starting from fourth on the road.

Dumfries rally driver hopes to re-write history

There is a big weekend ahead in the world of rally driving and one man from Dumfries and Galloway is hoping more than most that things go his way.

David Bogie could re-write the history books if he wins a 5th Scottish Championship this weekend, as nobody has ever achieved that before.

He has already won four Scottish championships in a row, so the pressure is on.

David's used to that though, as he has been rallying since he was 17-years-old.

He was the first driver to win both the Scottish and the British Rally Championships in the same year in 2011.

There are still three rounds to go in the Scottish Championship including this weekend's Merrick rally, which is being held at Newton Stewart in Dumfriesshire.

So it is not David's last chance to take the title-but the pressure is building.

Our presenter, Pam Royle, spoke to David and asked him how important this weekend is for him.