The reigning BTRDA Gold Star and Scottish Rally Champion Euan Thorburn will contest this year’s Protyre Motorsport UK Asphalt Rally Championship.
The 33-year old Duns-based driver had a sensational season last year, winning nine of the 10 rallies he entered and finishing second on the other. That saw him win the BTRDA Series title for a second time (2013 and ’19) and the Scottish Rally Championship title for a third time (2014, ‘17 and ’19).
His Ford Focus WRC05 has been completely rebuilt over the winter and put into asphalt spec ahead of the opening round of Britain’s premier sealed-surface series, the Legend Fires North West Stages Rally in Lancashire on Saturday 21 March.
Whilst Thorburn is better known for his prowess on gravel, the multiple champion is no stranger to asphalt. He has contested the Jim Clark Rally several times, winning the National event in 2012 and ’13, and he has also rallied on the Isle of Man, with a career-best fifth overall on the Manx International in 2009.
Thorburn will be co-driven by Paul Beaton, who has navigated for him every year since 2010.
Euan Thorburn said: “Having won the Scottish and BTRDA titles last year, we thought it would be nice to go and do something different as you don’t want to keep doing the same events every year. The Asphalt Rally Championship is certainly heading in the right direction and is becoming increasingly very popular. There is a very good entry for the opening round – we’ve never done the North West Stages before, so we’ll see how we get on and take it from there. The closed road events will suit us more, and having more of them on the Asphalt calendar is a big attraction for us. The Jim Clark is our local event and we’ve done that a few times, and we’ve also rallied on the Isle of Man, but apart from that all the events will be new.”
Picture courtesy of Mark Griffin.