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Rally drivers set for British championship opener

Credit: David Bogie Rallying

Two former Scottish Rally Champions will be looking for success in Wales this weekend as they take on the opening round of the British Rally Championship.

Dumfries driver David Bogie won the series in 2011, and the five times Scottish champion is one of the hot favourites to win the Mid-Wales stages rally.

He is contesting all seven rounds of the BRC in his new Skoda Fabia. He'll start from number three position when the rally gets underway on Saturday night from Newtown.

"There's no doubt about it that this year's British Championship is going to be tough. There are some seriously quick drivers in the championship.

"My new car feels good and we're really looking forward to getting out on the stages. Competition is good, so we know we'll be pushing hard all weekend."

– David Bogie

Seeded three places behind David will be Duns driver and former Scottish champion Euan Thorburn. He also has a new car for this season, choosing to compete in a Peugeot 208.

The British Championship is returning having had a year out in 2015. The revitalised series has attracted some of the fastest young talent in the world, with entries coming in from across Europe and Australia.

Credit: Euan Thorburn Rallying

Two of the seven rounds will take place in the Border region. The Pirelli rally will be based in Carlisle from 30th April until 1st May. The Scottish rally will take place on June 25th and will be centred around Dumfries.

For more information on the British Rally Championship, click here.

WATCH: British Rally Championship launch

If you're a motor sport fan then you'll be pleased to hear that next year the British Rally Championship are hosting three of their seven events in our region

The Pirelli Rally, based in Carlisle will take place in April.

The following month, drivers will get to grips with tarmac as they take on the Jim Clark Rally in the Borders. And finally in June they'll head to Dumfries for the classic stages of the the Scottish Rally.

Three British Rally Championship events are to be held in our region Credit: ITV Border

Local economies are also expected to benefit by millions of pounds.

Lori Carnochan has been along to the championship launch at Greystoke near Penrith.


Multi-million pound M-Sport plans given go-ahead

M-Sport World Rally Team Credit: ITV News

Two hundred jobs have been safeguarded and a further one hundred could be created at M-Sport in Cumbria after a multi-million pound development was given the go-ahead.

The £19million plans, including a new technical evaluation centre and testing facility, were approved after a judicial review in the High Court.

The development at Dovenby Hall Estate received a unanimous majority at planning, after Allerdale Borough Council voted 10-1 to approve the application, and attracted support from the Regional Growth Fund and backing from local business leaders.

The development at Dovenby Hall Estate received a unanimous majority at planning, after Allerdale Borough Council voted 10-1 to approve the application, and attracted support from the Regional Growth Fund and backing from local business leaders.

Peter Nicholson of Dovenby had applied to the Court for a judicial review into the Council’s handling of the application, a Judge granted that application warning that it had narrowly passed the lowest test.

Mr Nicholson now has 21 days to commence appeal proceedings if he chooses.

M-Sport say work will begin immediately:

“After a delay of more than eight months, it’s heartening that we can now move ahead with the development. The decision marks a new chapter in the history of M-Sport and I’m excited that we can continue to invest in the local workforce and boost local economy and employment prospects.”

– Malcolm Wilson, Managing Director, M-Sport

However, protesters today said they were pleased with the outcome of the judicial review.

They said the judge's decision vindicated their campaign to include the monitoring of maximum noise levels that would be caused by car testing at M Sport. Mike Fossey, who lives in Dovenby near to the development, has been one of those protesting against the plans.

The principle has now been established that M-Sport will monitor maximum noise levels at the new development, which is something we have fought for. The next step is that they will have to specify a number for the maximum which will have to go before local planning. They still have some way to go. If the values they put in are too high then we, the people that are affected, will contest them. It's been a long process so far and the villagers have had a big impact on the reduction of noise levels.

– Mike Fossey, protester

He added that costs of around £26,000 will now have to be paid by Allerdale Borough Council to Peter Nicholson, the member of the campaign group who brought the judicial review.

"This is something we have never seen before"- driver reflects on MSport miracle rebuild

"This is something that we have never seen before. The car has been gone all day, submerged at the bottom of a lake, full of water, and the team had to do a full rebuild in just three hours!

"It was a crazy challenge, but I knew the M-Sport guys would be up for it. I have massive respect for my team. This was a huge task to do, but they have worked as hard as they always do and I am so grateful to each and every one of them.

"To get back out on the stages tomorrow is very important for me and Raigo. We need to rebuild our confidence and get back behind the wheel, and my team have made that happen this evening."

– Ott Tanak, MSport rally driver


WATCH: Moments from disaster... terrifying in-car camera crash footage

This terrifying footage was recovered from MSport driver Ott Tanak's in-car camera. It documents the moment the driver crashed down a revine and into a lake during Rally Mexico.

Footage courtesy of FIA World Rally Championship.

Both Ott Tanak and his co-driver Raigo Molder managed to swim to safety.

MSport boss Malcolm Wilson praised his Cumbrian team's "phenomenal" effort after the mechanics rebuilt the car in just three hours- despite it being submerged for ten hours.

WATCH: MSport crew escape terrifying crash

This was the moment when Msport team Ott Tanak and Raigo Molder suffered a terrifying crash down a revine, into a lake, on Rally Mexico:

Footage courtesy of FIA World Rally Championship.

Both the driver and co-driver managed to free themselves from their harnesses before swimming to safety.

The car was submerged under water for ten hours, however the Cumbrian mechanics managed to rebuild the car in just three hours and the team were able to continue rallying.

Malcolm Wilson praises "phenomenal" effort

"After what happened to Ott and Raigo, it was just a huge relief for the entire team to see that they were both okay. For me, it was important to get them back out on the stages and that was exactly what they wanted to do. There was no deliberation, and that shows a real determination.

"The job that our technicians did to get the car fixed was nothing short of phenomenal. There were a lot of people in the service park who didn't think it could be done, but I knew that they would be more than worthy of the challenge.

"They are a true credit to this team and I am sure that their loyalty and respect for Ott and Raigo also spurred them on – the crew staying by their side until the work was complete."

– Malcolm Wilson, Msport

Cumbrian mechanics perform "miracle" in Mexico

Credit: WRC

A group of mechanics and technicians from Cumbrian have performed what's being described as a "miracle" on Rally Mexico.

MSport driver Ott Tanak suffered a spectacular crash, rolling down a revine into a lake on the opening day of the rally.

Both himself and his co-driver Raigo Mõlder managed to free themselves from their safety harnesses and swim to the edge before the car was dragged under water.

Credit: WRC

Despite the Ford Fiesta being submerged in the water for ten hours, the Msport mechanics managed to rebuild the whole car in just three hours.

The team worked through the night, with Tanak and Molder watching on. They had to replace or repair the gearbox, fuel tank, turbo, cooling package, boost control valves, electronic components, brake components, front and rear suspension and engine block.

With just minutes to spare, the engine was started and the car was able to be driven into service.

The crew returned to the rally to compete on day two.

Credit: WRC
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