Border pair welcome return of Jim Clark Rally

Excitement is building in the Scottish Borders ahead of the Jim Clark Rally which will take place on Friday, November 8 and Saturday 9.

Wednesday, 25th September 2019, 10:57 am
Updated Wednesday, 23rd October 2019, 9:53 am
Michael Binnie and Claire Mole.
Michael Binnie and Claire Mole.

And just as the organising team behind this event are finalising their plans for the closed road rally, so too are many club members and local competitors.

That includes Cornhill on Tweed farmer, Michael Binnie. He finished third overall in this year's Scottish Rally Championship behind triple Scottish champion Euan Thorburn and twice Scottish champion Jock Armstrong. However his appearance on the final round of this national series was in doubt as he was mid-harvest at the time and much was made in the motor sporting press of his pre-rally preparation - driving a combine harvester for many days and nights over a period of weeks!

It was no surprise that former rugby player Michael turned to motor sport as soon as he was of age as his dad, Cameron Binnie, was a former multiple Scottish motor racing champion, but it was his uncle Garry Wilson who introduced him to rallying.

"I was still at college when I saw the Jim Clark Rally in 2014 with my pals," said Michael, "and since then it has been a life ambition to actually compete on the rally itself. I'm also quite apprehensive, it will be my first tarmac rally in the Mitsubishi Lancer which I used this year and last on the Scottish Championship forest rally series.

"The rally coming back will be good for the area. We notice an increase in traffic even around here at rally time, it will put us back on the map," he added.

Claire Mole from Kelso is a former professional rally co-driver, but these days spends more time in her Kelso based business 'The Mole House'. However, rallying is still very much to the fore in her life as she is Michael Binnie's regular co-driver.

Over the years, the sport has taken Claire to events as far afield as Sweden and China, Finland and Monte Carlo. Spain and the USA, France and New Zealand and many more, where she has co-driven for some of the biggest names in the sport.

"The rally has generated a lot of interest with people in the shop asking questions. There is a lot of local interest, but I also work with 'Visit Kelso' and this event helps to attract more visitors and tourists, so it's good for the area and for business."