After 15 months away from rallying, David Bogie is glad to put an end to his longest spell away from the sport since his career started 17 years ago. The Scotsman is one of many rally returnees on the entry list for this weekend’s Argyll Rally.
The Dunoon-based event on the west coast of Scotland has switched from gravel stages to closed-road running this year. A move which has Bogie excited to get back behind the wheel of his impressive Ford Escort Mk2.
“Mayo [Stages Rally] last year was the last time we were out,” said Bogie. “It seems like a lifetime ago to be honest.
“It has been a long time coming but I think Argyll has got itself in a position where things are starting to open up.
“It should be a great event to get started with so I’m very much looking forward to it.
“I haven’t been in the car other than a test last weekend. It felt good straightaway from jumping in. It’s a bit like riding a bike, it’s something you’ll never forget.
“But at the same time I think everybody is a bit apprehensive wondering if they’ll be as quick as when things finished back in March.”
Although known for his British Rally Championship attacks and Irish rally visits, the five-time Scottish Rally Champion is no stranger to competition on home turf. It’s fitting that his first rally back is in Scotland and it’s one that he’s never done before.
“Argyll was run before as a forest rally but even then I have never done it.
“I think I’ve seen all of Scotland now with the exception of Argyll and Dunoon. It’s a part of the country I have never been to.
“The stages look very Mull-like from Killian’s pacenote videos. Mull’s stages are good so I think this should be too.”
Bogie may be in his modified Escort this time around but he wasn’t ruling out future events in four-wheel-drive machinery. In fact, lockdown has allowed him to kick start a new project – an upgraded Ford Escort Mk2.
“There are loads of events I want to do in the Mk2. It’s a tarmac car and that’s where you can really punch above your weight in a two-wheel-drive car.
“You’d struggle to do so with the best will in the world on gravel against a four-wheel-drive car.
“I’ll probably split 50-50 using the Escort on tarmac and the four-wheel-drive cars on gravel.
“I’ve got a love for both rear-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive so I suppose that ticks both boxes.
“I would love to do more with the Escort. I am actually building a new Mk2 Escort which will be another evolution again.
“We have got some big, big plans for that. Hopefully we will have that out at the back end of the year.
“That has probably confirmed my love for Mk2 Escorts.”
Bogie had an impressive string of results in his Escort before coronavirus hit our shores over a year ago. Overall finishes of fourth, second, and third on Mayo Stages Rally, Jim Clark Rally, and Mull Rally respectively make his rear-wheel-drive rocket one to watch around Argyll this weekend.
Seeded 7th, Bogie and co-driver John Rowan, are surrounded by WRC and Rally2 specification cars which flood the Argyll Rally’s Top 20. Meirion Evans tops the entry list ahead of Hugh Hunter and John MacCrone.
Photos courtesy of Kevin Glendinning