Michael Binnie and Claire More successfully defend the Snowman Rally title in the first round of the Scottish Rally Championship

Michael Binnie successfully defended his Snowman Rally title as he claimed victory in the first round of the Scottish Rally Championship for the second time.

The Cornhill-on-Tweed driver joined Kelso co-driver Claire Mole five seconds down on the final stage to win the rally in 42 minutes in their Mitsubishi Evo 9.

He followed up on his win in 2020 when the rally was last run.

They were 19 seconds ahead of Castle Douglas’ Jock Armstrong and Hawick’s co-driver Cameron Fair in second place in a Subaru Imprenza and 30 seconds ahead of Dumfries’ David Bogie and Hawick’s Kevin Rae in a Mini JCW WRC.

Aberdeen’s Freddie Milne and co-driver Patrick Walsh of Aberystwyth led the rally on the final leg but finished fourth, 40 seconds off the winner in a Ford Fiesta R5.

Binnie said before the race he would have been happy with a top five finish but was happy with the overall title.

“I didn’t expect in my wildest dreams to win it again,” he said.

“But we felt comfortable all day, we didn’t do anything stupid and everything worked out quite well.

“We were aware we were behind on the last stage but it’s not over until the fat lady sings.

“We fought like we had all day and put in a good time. Freddie had problems and that happens to everyone, you lead the class and then you get a mechanical problem.

“We’ve done a lot of work on the car to prepare it and prepare it for a full-on assault on the Scottish Championship.”

Muir of Ord driver Scott Macbeth and Elgin co-driver Daniel Forsyth in their best finish in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 finished fifth, 49 seconds off the race winner.

Macbeth was happy with how the rally went.

“We had a smooth run and no problems with the car and that’s all I can ask for.

“I know where I can be with the car but it still needs some work but overall I’m really happy.”

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