The same weekend they were securing an impressive runner-up placing in the 2023 Pirelli National Superstock Championship with rider Richard Kerr, the four-wheeled element of AMD Motorsport was in action on the Beatson’s Building Supplies Mull Rally 2023 with Stephen Thompson claiming a class win on the Scottish isle.

Driving the Den Motorsport 2.5-litre Ford Escort Mk2 for the first time, Stephen from Kirkcudbright, and co-driver Larry Higton from Newton Mearns, soon got to grips with the powerful car in the tricky conditions over the two-day event including a trio of top ten times on Friday night’s opening leg.

Into Saturday’s daylight stages and the pair continued to match times with the four-wheel drive contingent as they gradually climbed the leaderboard and at the close of the leg, were up to an incredible seventh overall and increasing their class lead.

The final leg was in the early hours of Sunday morning with a gruelling seven stages, but Thompson maintained his challenge to bring the car home to a fantastic seventh place overall and a class win. In addition, they won the Mishnish Lochs Trophy and for the third year running, claimed the Race and Competition Equipment (RACE) Escort Challenge award too.

Making it a successful weekend all round was Stephen’s younger brother Darren who was using the car Stephen normally competes in where along with co-driver Kyle Livingstone, they finished in a deserved 16th place overall and third in class.

Taking things easily on Friday night to hold 32nd overall, the pair soon upped the pace throughout Saturday to climb into the top twenty. A big push in the dark of the final leg saw them rewarded with a top sixteen finish on one of the toughest events on the calendar.
Stephen Thompson: “We were over the moon to finish seventh overall and first two-wheel drive car. Although it took a bit of getting used to, the car was fantastic and has more to give in the correct weather conditions. We got to grips with it pretty quickly even with limited test time before the event, so I was happy to consistently set top ten times amongst R5 cars in very changeable and tricky conditions. Thanks to Larry, he was brilliant all weekend on the notes and well done to my brother Darren who had a great run in the car I normally use. Thanks to all our team, sponsors, family, and friends for making this weekend happen. Special thanks go to Den Motorsport for the car and a special mention to Calum Duffy for the advice on set up which paid dividends for Saturday. Thanks also to the organisers, marshals and volunteers who put on a great event.”

Note to Editors: Stephen is the General Manager at AMD Contract Services, the Dumfries-based company owned by Fraser and Mary Dykes, where they run a plant hire and contracting business servicing the construction and forestry sectors throughout the UK.

Pictures Attached (courtesy of James Ward – Chicane Media): Stephen Thompson/Larry Higton (car 9) and Darren Thompson/Kyle Livingstone (car 34) in action on the Beatson’s Building Supplies Mull Rally 2023.