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Car 87, Don Murray and Andy Philip had another largely uneventful run in the Tim Finch prepared NessRallySport Subaru Impreza, to 41st overall, and 7th in class in only our second outing in the car. 

The Border Counties rally is a counter for a wide variety of championships and as a result attracted a huge entry this year, with 97 cars running in the National B category event, which was the one we were taking part in. As a result of some smaller cars being seeded at the front, and a large number of much more experienced drivers taking part, we ended up running 5 cars from the end of the field. This meant that were actually running as the 142nd car on the road. 

A consequence of this was that by the time we arrived on the stages many sections had been cut to ribbons by the passage of the previous cars, and this necessitated some avoidance techniques at times as we came across rocks in the road, some of which Andy accurately described as being like trying to dodge microwaves in the road. 

As with the Snowman we gradually increased our pace as the day wore on. We were running on larger profile Pirelli tyres for the very first time, which also had a wider tread and the car felt much more controllable than it had done running on the narrower Silverstone tyres on the Snowman. 

The car ran faultlessly all day, apart from losing a front sidelight due to the severe shaking it received in Stage 3. We had several minor moments where the depth of the ruts caused the car to wander off on its own volition, and some time was also lost when we got bogged down on the very soft residue on the outside of a couple of hairpins, and couldn’t get any traction. 

Being the gentlemen we are we pulled over towards the end of SS5 to allow the car behind who were on a charge to pass us, costing us around 10 seconds in total. It was therefore slightly disappointing to see that we had missed out on our first ever top 40 finish by 4 seconds. 

However we were delighted to get to the finish of this gruelling event with no real dramas to report and the car still in one piece and ready for the Granite in only 3 weeks time. 

Thanks again to Tim, Adam and Warren for their prep and running of the car, and Ness Properties and Macritchie Highland Distribution for their support of our efforts.

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