Isle of Mull youngster Craig Rutherford continued his impressive start to 2012 with a fine drive on Saturday’s Coltel Granite City Rally. The 21 year-old took his second consecutive win in the top class of the Brick and Steel Ecosse Challenge, building his speed in the Honda Civic Type-R in the process.
Rutherford and co-driver Martin MacCabe finished the Aberdeen-based rally 28th out of more than 100 starters. By the time the clocks stopped after 45 miles of rallying over five forest special stages, the junior driver was third-fastest front-wheel drive contender and quickest Ecosse Challenge pilot.
The result keeps up Craig’s scorching start to 2012. In the first four months of the current Scottish rally season, the company director has sealed two wins in the Civic Type-R Ecosse Challenge, taken two top-three 2WD finishes, and bagged one of this year’s RSAC Scholarships. Now the Fionnphort junior has his sights set on even more progress.
“All in all it was a pretty good day’s work, we got through and set a solid pace,” reflects Rutherford. “Looking at the results I’m very pleased with the outcome – first in the Challenge class, first in our class on the rally outright and another top-thirty!”
“The stages were quite rough in places, although the ruling that allows cars like mine to run at the head of the field certainly helps,” continues Craig, who was full of praise for his Challenge-specification Honda Civic Type-R. “The car never missed a beat all day and I’m learning all the time. We’ll be up there in no time, and I’m aiming to go even faster next time out – no question about it.”
The next outing for Craig Rutherford is scheduled to be the Jim Clark Rally on the weekend of 1-3 June 2012. The Jim Clark sees crews switch from the usual gravel forest tracks to the tarmac lanes of the Scottish Borders. And when you consider that Craig hails from the Isle of Mull – also known as the world capital of tarmac rallying – the young Muileach is sure to be one to watch as he continues the learning curve with his Honda.