Isle of Mull rally driver Craig Rutherford chalked up another fine result on Saturday’s RSAC Scottish Rally. The trek down to Dumfries for the rally proved worthwhile for the 21 year-old from Fionnphort, who extended his lead in both of the championships he is fighting for.
The RSAC Scottish Rally is a counter in two main rally championships. One is the Scottish Rally Championship, open to all kinds of cars and drivers from across Scotland (and beyond). The other is the Brick and Steel Ecosse Challenge, a championship aimed primarily at younger drivers with very tightly controlled car specifications. Craig’s Honda Civic Type R is eligible for honours in both series, so the times he sets on the Scottish stages are counted in both title races.
Rutherford was therefore fighting battles on two fronts as he made his way through the forest tracks of Dumfries and Galloway. Although he and Ayr co-driver Ross Hynd finished 29th overall, what matters more are the placings when the results are broken down into various categories. Rutherford and Hynd finished first of the Brick and Steel Ecosse Challenge competitors, thereby extending their lead in the Type R series.
At the same time, however, the times they set on the stages were also good for first junior award scheme driver and first in the class for cars with the same engine size as their Honda in the Scottish Rally Championship.
“I was still trying to build my confidence back up after the accident I had whilst testing before the last round,” concedes PMG Services and Fidden Campsite-backed Craig. “At the start of the day I admit I still wasn’t fully committed to every corner, although by the end of the day I felt I was getting back on it.”
The company director was full of praise for co-driver Hynd in coaxing him back to full speed. “Ross is just brilliant, he was pushing me on all day and by the last stage he had me going much better,” he explains. “The aim from now on is just to keep winning the classes and keep increasing the pace.”
The next outing for Craig Rutherford and Ross Hynd will be the Gleaner Oil and Gas Speyside Stages over in Elgin on Saturday 4 August. Aside from the remaining Scottish Championship and Ecosse Challenge rounds, Craig also has an outing on his home rally – the world famous Tour of Mull – in the pipeline.