Cronin takes the Jim Clark Rally spoils as Thorburn reigns at the Reivers

The Beatson’s Building Supplies Jim Clark Rally lived up to its reputation as one of the finest stage rallies in the UK as a thrilling weekend of motorsport action unfolded on the closed public roads near Duns [May 24-26].

Named in memory of two-time Formula 1 world champion and Indianapolis 500 winner Jim Clark, the Scottish Borders-based event has been running for years, regularly thrilling competitors and onlookers alike, and 2024 was no exception boasting the most crews, most stages and the most competitive miles of the last decade.

Based in the market town of Duns – which entertained spectators all-weekend long with start and finish ceremonies, regroups and live action broadcast on big screens – 21 demanding tests were staged throughout Friday and Saturday’s Jim Clark Rally and Sunday’s Jim Clark Reivers Rally, with a world-class entry of 270 cars testing their mettle against the clock.

Sponsored for a third year by leading construction merchants Beatson’s Building Supplies, the Jim Clark welcomed thousands of spectators who watched crews from the Probite Motorsport UK British Rally Championship, Protyre Asphalt Rally Championship and Asset Alliance Group Scottish Rally Championship, as well as several regional championships, slug it out for glory.

Running as the first car for the main two-day event, 2019 European Rally Champion Chris Ingram and his co-driver Alex Kihurani were quickest out the blocks on Friday evening, but the going was far from straightforward as rain on the lead up to the event, and showers throughout the first leg, ensured the stages were particularly demanding.

Four-time British Rally Champion Keith Cronin was the only man capable of keeping Ingram honest, as he and co-driver Mikie Galvin recovered from a conservative tyre choice on the first loop of stages to close to within 10s at the rally’s overnight halt.

Sunny skies greeted the region on Saturday with a red-hot battle set to commence, but Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 pilot Ingram ran wide due to a slow puncture on the day’s second stage, clipped a tree and broke his suspension – ending his victory hopes on the spot.

That left Cronin out front, and after a difficult start to his campaign in the British Championship the Irishman got the job done on the Borders lanes to record a 19.1-second victory over Junior World Rally Champion William Creighton. Cronin’s win moves him to the top of the Jim Clark Rally winners’ list with fellow Irish driver Andrew Nesbitt.

“It’s been a really long time coming,” said a relieved Cronin. “This win gives us a fighting chance again, but it’s still a long championship.

“I really didn’t think this would be possible after the first loop last night as we’d made a wrong tyre choice, but we went out on the wet tyres for the last two last night and made some real good time back.

“It didn’t feel like we were doing anything extra special, but everything was working really well in the car. It was unfortunate to lose Chris this morning, which left us the lead which we’ve had to manage. “

Euan Thorburn upheld local honour in his VW Polo, lifting his pace as the event progressed to secure a terrific third place finish – his second in as many years. The Duns driver was also fastest on the final stage alongside co-driver Paul Beaton.

There was more Duns delight as Garry Pearson and co-driver Daniel Barritt stood on the British championship podium in third place, securing sixth place overall to boot after a mature drive in his Ford Fiesta Rally2.

Max McRae, the latest talent from the McRae family dynasty, had never driven a Rally2 car at night before the Jim Clark, and was low on mileage compared to his rivals around him. But the 19-year-old demonstrated why he’s set to be Scotland’s big rallying talent of the future with a measured run to seventh place overall and fourth place in the BRC.

Top Asphalt championship points were awarded to James Ford/Neil Shanks in their Citroen C3 Rally2 (fourth overall), closely followed by Callum Black/Jack Morton (fifth overall) and David Henderson/Chris Lees (seventh overall).

Sunday’s Reivers Rally staged the second round of this year’s Scottish Rally Championship, as crews tackled the reworked Westruther stage three times along with two passes of the famed Scott’s View and Eccles tests. But persisting rain showers made life very testing for the competing crews.

Victors last year and out to make it a record-equalling four Reivers Rally wins, Thorburn and Beaton rekindled their fight with Henderson and co-driver Chris Williams from a year ago, trading seconds with each passing stage.

Henderson held the advantage into the afternoon but Thorburn was closing, only for the pair of them to make separate mistakes on the penultimate stage which grew Henderson’s lead to 8.9.

But a simply supreme stage time on the final stage from home hero Thorburn, some 12.9s quicker than Henderson, earned him a record-equalling fourth Reivers win.

“This feels really good,” said a delighted Thorburn.

“I had nothing left, that was all on the line on that last stage. We had a few moments, but we knew we had it in us to pull it off.

“We really wanted to win this one, and after the podium yesterday it’s been the perfect weekend.”

Neil Roskell/Patrick Walsh guided their Fiesta Rally2 to third on the event, while Mark McCulloch/Michael Hendry took third in the Scottish Championship and fourth overall.

A one-hour highlights show of the Jim Clark Rally will be broadcast on ITV4, first televised on Wednesday June 5 at 8pm. A repeat programme will be shown on Sunday June 9 at 7.55am, and available to view anytime on the ITVX streaming service.

Scottish Borders brace for best-ever Jim Clark Rally

The 2024 Beatson’s Building Supplies Jim Clark Rally [May 24-26] promises to be the best in over a decade with more stages, more cars and world-class drivers tackling the famous closed-road event.

Hailed as one of the best stage rallies anywhere in the United Kingdom, the Jim Clark Rally has been a staple of the national motorsport calendar for over 50 years with 2024 set to be no exception as, across the weekend, the event welcomes the very best drivers from the Probite Motorsport UK British Rally Championship, Protyre Asphalt Rally Championship and Asset Alliance Group Scottish Rally Championship.

Sponsored by leading construction merchants Beatson’s Building Supplies for the third successive year, the rally is once again based in the market town of Duns for all three days of spectacular action, but the organisers have upped the ante for this year’s closed-road spectacular.

Catering for an extra 20 crews, 140 cars will take Friday evening’s Ceremonial Start on Duns at 18:00 before tackling six daunting stages in the moorlands and lanes around the town. Making its return is the popular Langton Mill test and its famous water-splash, forming part of a new three-stage loop which will be repeated as the sun begins to set over the Scottish Borders.

Saturday’s itinerary is largely unchanged from previous years, but another two passes of the Langton Mill stage help create a demanding schedule of eight stages which includes the likes of classic Jim Clark tests Ayton and Fogo. The winner of the 86-mile event will be crowned at the Duns Ceremonial Finish at 14:16.

Sunday’s Reivers Rally is a meatier affair than the past with 58 miles of action split across seven stages with just one service halt back at Duns in the middle. The reworked Westruther stage starts and ends the day which also includes two visits to the beautiful vistas of Scott’s View. The event starts and finishes in Duns at 09:30 and 15:54 respectively.

With last year’s winner Adrien Fourmaux fully focused on his World Rally Championship programme with M-Sport Ford, 2019 European Rally champion Chris Ingram and co-driver Alex Kihurani will lead the field away in their Volkswagen Polo GTI R5. A proven pairing on asphalt with victory on the opening round of the British championship, Ingram returns to tackle the Jim Clark for the first time since 2013 when he drove a Renault Twingo R2.

One driver who has far more Jim Clark experience is Keith Cronin, who will line up as the second seed alongside co-driver Mikie Galvin in his Ford Fiesta Rally2. Cronin won the event as recently as 2022 and was the only one to challenge Fourmaux last year, so is a certain contender for a record-equalling third Jim Clark victory this time around.

Both however will face stern competition from the Fiestas of 2022 British Rally Champion Osian Pryce and 2023 Junior World Rally Champion William Creighton. Pryce arrives in Duns in red-hot form having won the most recent round of the British championship, while Creighton – who’s been second on both BRC events thus far – is match-fit from the latest world championship round in Portugal.

Meirion Evans brings the fan favourite Toyota GR Yaris Rally2 to the party, while recent Manx Rally winner James Williams represents Hyundai. Williams will compete for both British and National Asphalt championship points in his i20, fending off competition from the likes of 2023 champion Callum Black (Fiesta), Neil Roskell (Fiesta), Mark Kelly (Skoda Fabia R5) and James Ford (Citroen C3 Rally2).

Fighting to uphold local honour are a trio of Duns drivers – Euan Thorburn, Garry Pearson and Dale Robertson – in state-of-the-art Rally2 cars. Volkswagen pilot Thorburn would appear best positioned to become the first Scottish Jim Clark winner since 2011 thanks to his overall podium last season, but Pearson too is a former Jim Clark podium finisher and will compete in the very latest Fiesta Rally2, run by the factory M-Sport outfit.

Robertson is also Fiesta mounted, and welcomes Kelso co-driver Douglas Redpath into the navigators’ seat, 40 years since Redpath won the Jim Clark alongside Dominic Buckley Snr. Robertson is always fast on his local lanes but is down on seat time compared to his direct rivals as he hasn’t competed since the Jim Clark last year.

Also flying the flag for Scotland is Max McRae – the latest talent from the world-famous McRae rallying dynasty. Co-driven by Cameron Fair, the 19-year-old is already a winner in the Junior European Rally Championship this year and showed well on his Rally2 debut in the BRC back in March. Like Pearson, McRae is armed with an M-Sport Fiesta with hopes to fare better than last year when he retired on the opening stage with mechanical gremlins.

The Reivers Rally has attracted a similarly stunning entry, with 2023 winner Thorburn aiming to draw level with old foe David Bogie as the event’s most successful driver in history.

But the Polo pilot will be pushed hard by David Henderson (Fiesta Rally2), who came just 3.2 seconds away from beating Thorburn 12 months ago. Asphalt aces Kelly and Roskell will do battle with the very best from the Scottish championship, including Rory Young (Polo R5), Michael Binnie (Fiesta R5), Jock Armstrong (Skodaru) and Bogie (Ford Escort Mk2).

Spectators will have plenty of opportunities to watch the battles unfold with access to an array of stages, while Duns will be a hub of activity with a mid-day regroup on both Saturday and Sunday as well as the start and finish ceremonies, as well as a big screen in the town broadcasting live action from the stages.

Full spectator information is available on the Jim Clark Rally website HERE where the entry lists for both events can also be viewed.


Beatson’s Building Supplies Jim Clark Rally bags a bumper entry

The Beatson’s Building Supplies Jim Clark Rally has received a sensational response to the 24-26 May event, with around 270 cars expected to tackle the three-day closed road event in the Scottish Borders.

Both the Jim Clark Rally [24/25 May] and the Reivers Rally [26 May] have reached a capacity entry, with event organisers making an application to the sport’s governing body Motorsport UK to extend the number of cars able to compete.

Thanks to this being granted, the popular Jim Clark Rally will now see around 140 cars tackle the two-day event, with Sunday’s Reivers Rally enjoying 130 contenders who will head for the Duns-based event to tackle some of the finest closed roads in the country.

This year’s Jim Clark Rally has seen a reinvigorated format, with an extended Friday night route offering an additional challenge for some of the best drivers in the business. The addition of the fan-favourite Langton stage and famous Watersplash, plus an extended leg under the cover of darkness has meant that entries have reached capacity, with a reserve list now being created.

In addition, the Reivers Rally route has also been revised, with a longer day set to round off the spectacular motorsport weekend in style.

Dan Wright, Chairman of rally organisers the Jim Clark Memorial Motor Club, is delighted with the reaction to this year’s refreshed event.

“The response to entries opening has been fantastic,” he says.

“Entries for both the Jim Clark Rally and the Reivers Rally were filled within 24 hours with a substantial reserve list even though we increased the number of competitors this year. This confirms the popularity of closed-road rallying and the Jim Clark Rally events in particular. We never take our popularity for granted and are always striving to give competitors and the public something fresh every year. We will be thrilled to welcome everyone to Duns later this month.”

Sponsored by leading construction materials provider Beatson’s Building Supplies, the Jim Clark Rally gets underway on Friday 24 May from Duns Square, before a double run over stages in Langton, Abbey St Bathans, and Blackadder.

Saturday includes Langton once again, with the addition of Edrom, Ayton and Fogo ahead of the ceremonial finish back in Duns. Crews from the Probite British Rally Championship, Protyre National Asphalt Rally Championship, Burnside Piling Scottish Tarmack Rally Championship, AS Performance North of England Tarmacadam Rally Championship, SG Petch ANECCC Championship, and the Armed Forces series will contest the two-day blast.

Sunday’s Reivers Rally also starts from the Duns Town Centre, with stages in Westruther, run three times and a double run over Scott’s View and Eccles before the Duns finish celebrations and sees the Asset Alliance Group Scottish Rally Championship join the proceedings.

Spectator Information for the rally will be released in the coming weeks.


Rally Marshals Training Day – Saturday 6th April

Dates: Saturday 6 April 2024
Location: Duns Rugby Club, Langtongate, Duns TD11 3QQ

Grid reference: NT 777 536

Join us for a refresher or introduction to marshaling ahead of this year’s Jim Clark Rally.
Volunteering is a great way to get up close to the cars and action whilst providing a valuable service to fans, competitors and the community.

Practical training to include Marshalling on Closed Road Rallies; First Marshal on Scene; Fire Theory; Rally Radio; Spectator Safety and Management.

To join us, please fill out the form HERE

Beatson’s Building Supplies Jim Clark Rally `makes a splash` with new format in 2024

The Beatson’s Building Supplies Jim Clark Rally is thrilled to announce its outline format for the 24-26 May event and the return of the famous Langton water splash.

The iconic location, which was the highlight for both fans and drivers alike throughout the history of the rally, has not been used competitively for a decade at the Duns-based event. As a result of a new format for the three-day closed-road rally, the Langton stage will return four times during the weekend.

Nestled in the Scottish Borders town of Duns, the Jim Clark Rally will once again be sponsored by leading construction materials provider Beatson’s Building Supplies, and 2024 will see a refreshed offering which is set to provide motorsport fans and competing crews an exciting weekend of motorsport.

After the now traditional ceremonial start in Duns Square, Langton will offer a spectacular way to kick off the rally on Friday 24May with the short blast opening the rally early in the evening. Crews will then head for a usual moorland blast across the Abbey St Bathans test, before another new addition to the opening leg, Blackadder.

After service back in Duns, the stages will be repeated with rally fans and followers being able to enjoy an entertaining evening of motorsport before the overnight halt. The new look to Friday, sees a switch from the usual two-stages, to a dazzling six-test spectacular and over 35 stage miles, some under the cover of darkness to test the best drivers in the business.

Saturday starts in dramatic fashion with another run through Langton for the eager crowds before the traditional run of Edrom, Ayton and Fogo make up the eight stages on offer, taking the rally to over 88 stage miles for all competing crews.

The UK’s elite will head for the impressive Borders roads as some of the best rally series in the country join the Jim Clark Rally this May.

The Probite British Rally Championship returns for the Friday and Saturday legs, as do the Protyre National Asphalt Rally Championship, Burnside Piling Scottish Tarmack Rally Championship, AS Performance North of England Tarmacadam Rally Championship, SG Petch ANECCC Championship, and the Armed Forces series.

Sunday 26 May sees the return of the exciting Reivers Rally as the Scottish Rally Championship contenders tackle more icons of the event, including a significantly re-worked Westruther, Scotts View, Macks Mill and Eccles, bolstered by an increase of stage mileage from 2023 to over 55 during the day.

“The Jim Clark Rally organising team has always tried to give both competitors and rally fans a fresh, new and exciting offering year-on-year and 2024 is no exception,” said Dan Wright, Chairman of the organisers, the Jim Clark Memorial Motor Club.

“The entire team has been working hard behind the scenes to come up with a progressive offering for this year and part of that mindset has always been to increase the stage mileage of both events in a nod to the more arduous rallies of the past. The Jim Clark Rally is up from 67 to 88 miles and Reivers from 43 to 55 miles which means we can introduce a whole new format for the weekend.

“Of course, the return of Langton is very close to our hearts and is a symbol of the rally which all the family can enjoy. Other changes to the organisation have meant we can increase the number of cars that can enter to 130 per event, and that means we have one of the most attractive propositions for all in many years. We a very excited to welcome everyone to the Scottish Borders in May, we predict it could be the best edition yet”. More information on the rally will be released in due course.

Jim Clark Rally organisers reach out to spectators ahead of 2024 event

The Beatson’s Building Supplies Jim Clark Rally brought some of the best motorsport action in the country to the Scottish Borders last weekend [26-28 May] as the three-day closed road event took place for the 47th time.

A sensational weekend of action brought thousands of eager motorsport fans and casual followers to the region to witness some of the best drivers in the world tackle the iconic Borders roads near the Duns rally base.

But the Jim Clark Memorial Motor Club Ltd, organisers of the popular event, have issued a stark warning to spectators wishing to attend the event in 2024. Due to the actions of a small number of fans, the event was almost halted during the Reivers Rally on Sunday, when the spectators failed to move from their location and stay off the road.

As a condition of the event taking place, once the road has been closed, under the ‘Motor Sport on Public Roads (Scotland) Regulations 2019 and Temporary Traffic Restriction Order’, the law prohibits unauthorised persons to set foot on those roads closed for the rally, which includes spectators attempting to recover cars.

Despite repeated requests by event safety marshals, during the Scott’s View and Westruther stages, several spectators refused to abide by those requests and the stage was halted. A team was dispatched to the location to resolve the issue but could have well caused the cancellation of the stage, or the event.

Clerk of the Course, Jonathan Lord has issued a plea to spectators ahead of the 2024 running of the rally.

“The Beatson’s Building Supplies Jim Clark Rally is one of the biggest stage rallies to take place in the UK and attracts attention from across the country as enthusiasts are eager to watch the drivers in action,” he says.

“The safety of everyone involved in the Jim Clark Rally from spectators and residents to competitors and officials is our highest priority.

“Once the road is closed for the rally, it becomes an offence to walk on the road, including heading onto the road to recover or push cars, and it is a condition of use that this is policed. But a small number of people chose to ignore that and sadly we had to stop the stage to deal with their actions and relocate them. That subsequently causes delays and could stop the entire rally, spoiling it for both competitors and fans”.

Lord wishes to reiterate ahead of next year’s event, that spectators are more than welcome at the rally, but must adhere to the safety guidelines.

“It was just a small number of people who caused the issues, but we work closely with the Police and Local Authorities during the rally, and they will have no hesitation in pulling the plug on the event. But I`m confident that our like-minded rally fans will heed the advice for next year and we can continue to enjoy this ground breaking event”.

Organisers will also be looking at ways to improve the spectator experience.

“We have received some feedback from spectators that some of the viewing areas were less than ideal this year. Sadly, we don’t have the luxury of grandstands or stadiums and are working totally with the natural landscape around us and what we can utilise thanks to the generosity of local landowners. However, we appreciate that we need to review these for 2024 to ensure they can enjoy this spectacular event even more.”

A message from the family of John Dickson.

Tragically, on Friday night of the event, a spectator took unwell and passed away.

The family would like us to post this message to you all.

I would like to give my sincere appreciation to all the doctors paramedics marshals who were involved in trying to bring my father in law back last night at the spectator area. It was Johns first time at a rally and was excited to be coming along to spectate and take photos. Unfortunately he didn’t even get a chance to have his bacon roll. We lost his wife, Mum and Gran in December and as you can imagine this has been quite traumatic for myself and my wife, brother in law and grandchildren. Also my friends who were there with him.
Everyone involved including all the medical staff and staff working the coffee stall, Marshals emergency services were fantastic and all the spectators who stood in calm whilst he was worked on. From me and my family I have cannot describe the appreciation of the efforts taken by all, Including a very great friend who worked on him relentlessly.

I have been involved with rallying for a number of years whether navigating, driving, spectating or marshalling and can say John would not have wanted the rally to be stopped or cancelled on his behalf.

RIP Johnny, you will be missed greatly.

Mark Stewart.

Jim Clark Rally enjoys a blistering weekend in the Borders

The Beatson’s Building Supplies Jim Clark Rally brought some of the best drivers in the business to the Scottish Borders this weekend [26-28 May], as the three-day motorsport event took place on the closed roads around Duns.

The market town offered a fantastic backdrop for the rally, hosting the event service area and the centre itself seeing the cars assemble for the start and finish celebrations throughout the weekend. A big screen played live coverage of the rally to the fans who were able to get up close to the cars as they passed through Market Square.

A top-class line up of contenders from across the world gathered to contest the highly regarded rally, with almost two hundred and forty crews tackling the closed public roads in Berwickshire on both the Jim Clark and Reivers events.

Sponsored once again by leading construction merchants Beatson’s Building Supplies, the Jim Clark Rally took place across Friday and Saturday, hosting Motorsport UK British Rally Championship [BRC] as well as the Protyre National Asphalt Rally Championship and several regional championships. Sunday saw the KNC Groundworks Scottish Rally Championship contenders join for the Reivers Rally.

The British Rally Championship attracted top-level crews and it was unsurprisingly a familiar name that secured the overall rally win. The Jim Clark Rally enjoyed its traditional format of two tests during Friday night and an action-packed evening saw World Rally Championship contenders Adrien Fourmaux and Alex Coria open up a twenty-eight second advantage by the time the sun dropped over the North Sea.

The all-French Ford Fiesta Rally2 crew, are regulars on the WRC tour and as M-Sport factory drivers, would be hard to bet against. That lead, over last year’s victors Keith Cronin and Mikie Galvin would be more than enough to ensure they could manage their lead throughout Saturday’s stages, returning to the Duns town centre to spray the champagne as worthy winners.

“We can be really happy with that, and the car has been in a good position all weekend so yes, very happy,” said Fourmaux.

“We were really enjoying the rally; it was really technical and slippery in places. We had a really good day yesterday and then we could just enjoy the stages today.”

“I am really enjoying [the British Rally Championship] and it is very different being on the gravel and then the tarmac. It is really interesting.”

Cronin managed to salvage second place in his Volkswagen Polo R5 whilst the Duns honours were upheld by a flying Euan Thorburn who took third place in his similar machine and Paul Beaton alongside.

The battle outside the top three was intense and a gutsy driver from Citroen C3 Rally2 driver James Ford, saw him take maximum National Asphalt Championship points and fourth overall with Neil Shanks in the co-driver’s seat. David Henderson and Chris Lees rounded out the top five in their Fiesta Rally2.

Local hopes had rested with Garry Pearson thanks to his third overall last year on the event, but the Duns driver suffered a painful weekend behind the wheel. A brush with a bale on the opening stage of the rally rearranged the bodywork of the Volkswagen Polo before he sadly crashed out for good on the very next stage.

With Thorburn claiming the podium, it was Dale Robertson who was next best Duns driver home in eighth in his Fiesta Rally2, whilst St Boswell’s Ross Hunter took 13th in his Mitsubishi Evo and the all-Duns crew of Michael Binnie and Claire Mole took 14th spot in their similar machine.

On Sunday, attention turned to the Reivers Rally and the battle for the rally win enjoyed some familiar names. Thorburn secured a win here last year and once again was fastest on the opening stage, fresh from his podium place the day before. Henderson was his nearest challenger, and the two drivers enjoyed a tit-for-tat battle for victory throughout the day’s six tests.

It was Thorburn’s time on the second pass of the Westruther test which decided the outcome, and despite Henderson’s best efforts, could not catch the local ace as he stormed to back-to-back Reivers Rally wins. Henderson had some consolation in taking maximum Scottish Rally Championship points with second overall.

Hugh Brunton and Drew Sturrock secured the third and final podium place in third in their Skoda Fabia R5. Steeped in history, the Jim Clark Rally first ran in 1970 and has remained one of the most prestigious stage rallies in the country. Names on the winner’s trophy include Roger Clark and Ari Vatanen. The event is named after Jim Clark OBE who was a two-time Formula One Champion, a winner of the Indianapolis 500 and a host of saloon and touring car races and hailed from Chirnside.