Irish Rallying National Rally Championship

Bogie excited for more Irish outings in trailblazing Escort

David Bogie’s 2020 season commences at this weekend’s Mayo Stages Rally. Bogie starts the opening round of the National Rally Championship seventh on the road in his state of the art Class 14 Ford Escort Mk2.

Wedding plans and work commitments leaves the Scotsman with a reduced programme this year but he hopes to follow up his trip to Mayo by competing for Modified honours on Killarney’s Rally of the Lakes and the Donegal International Rally.

“I sold the Skoda [Fabia R5] in the second half of last year,” explained Bogie. “So for doing selected events this year I thought I’d just use the Escort more and hire four-wheel-drive cars as and when required.

“I love going to Ireland, I would love to do the Killarney Rally of the Lakes and of course Donegal is on the calendar as well. It’s one I certainly wouldn’t like to miss.

“We’ve got unfinished business after [Donegal] last year when we had some problems on Friday. We revalved the dampers and couldn’t really get the car working right.

“Then on Saturday I made a mistake and put the car off the road. So we’ve unfinished business and it’s Donegal – they don’t get much bigger do they?”

The five-time Scottish Rally Champion has been a frequent traveller to Ireland but this is his first visit to Mayo. Ironically the closest Bogie has come to visiting Mayo was as a spectator on Rally Ireland when he journeyed to Sligo to watch the world’s best over ten years ago.

“We will be going as hard as we can in Mayo. Ultimately the goal is to go and try to win the two-wheel-drive section.

“Last year we did the Cavan Stages Rally, which was Gary Kiernan’s home rally. We had a really good battle, just driving as hard as we could go.

“Unfortunately we had to retire with a burst oil pipe so it will be good to go back head-to-head with Gary on the Mayo Stages. 

“There has been an evolution of rallying Mk2 Escorts in Ireland. If you look at where they were ten years ago, you had guys like Wesley Patterson and Camillus Bradley, but now the cars have just got better and better and the drivers have got quicker and quicker.

“If you even look at the average age of the modified crews, it’s probably the lowest it has ever been. People like Ryan Loughran, Kevin Eves and Robert Duggan, they’re all proper pilots and that’s what it’s all about.”

Bogie’s left-hand-drive Mk2 Escort is one of the most advanced in the world and the 32-year-old has relished the opportunity to develop the car. Second overall on an extremely wet Jim Clark Rally late last year is a perfect example of the potential that the car has.

“We’re going to have a test on Friday to achieve a set-up for the car. In the past we ran a combination of Michelin, Pirelli and Hoosier tyres. This year we are going to focus on Michelins to get the car set up on them.

“I enjoy being involved in the set-up, the progress, and the development of the car. With an R5 you’re limited due to homologation. You can change springs and damper clicks but there isn’t a huge amount more.

“With modified rallying it’s proper, loads of power through the rear wheels.

“Rallying in Ireland, rallying an Escort, it doesn’t get much better.”

Photo by Kevin Glendinning

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