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Benjamyn Mckay / Jason Mckay Renault Twingo21 year old Ben Mckay from Ellesmere coped admirably with the pressure of having it all to loose, by bagging a raft of titles on last weekend’s final round of the MSA British Rally Championship, Rallye Sunseeker International. Not only did the youngster bring the Twingo Renaultsport R1 Trophy, MSA British Junior Championship, Ravenol Newcomers Cup and class R1 titles back to Shropshire, but he also won the hearts and minds of the selection committee and was awarded the coveted Pirelli Star Driver nomination for his determined approach this year.

Rewind just eight months and along with co-driving father Jason, the McKay’s did not even have a car to contest this year’s championship. But a spur of the moment decision led them to purchase a Twingo R1 and challenge for the fantastic prize of a funded drive in a Twingo R2 EVO on the final round of the French Rally championship next month, Rallye Du Var. Whilst his nearest and only rival Harry Threlfall had a season of ups and downs, Mckay had equal amounts of bad luck and going into the final round the title could of gone either way. But with a steady run through the sixty miles of Dorset gravel, Mckay returned to the Poole Quay finish ceremony a worthy winner. As R1 victor, a free entry to Wales Rally GB is also his and will mean a busy November lies ahead for the McKay’s.

However, the father and son team were asked to put their work commitments on hold this week too as they were awarded the Pirelli Star Driver nomination for the event which took place on Monday and Tuesday. At stake was a fully funded year driving a Citroen DS3 in the British Rally Championship and with tests such as media prowess, fitness and driving skills, there was some tough competition from the best of the current RallyTwo contingent.  Just a day later, Mckay was present at the Prodrive Engineering headquarters in Banbury, Oxford for the BRCLive by SRG media trophy final which took place at Prodrive Engineering. Having been nominated just ahead of Rallye Sunseeker, Mckay’s media skills were put to the test and an opportunity to win a drive of the BMW Mini Cooper S2000 was up for grabs.

“This last week has been surreal” said Ben.  “I still can’t quite believe it even though it has had a few days to sink in!  To win everything we have this year would have been way above my wildest dreams back in March. It’s been an incredibly tough year, even down to missing recce because we don’t have a service crew so to be awarded with the Pirelli Star Driver Nomination was a total honour.  I tried my best at the Star Drive and the Media Trophy but it wasn’t quite good enough on the day so I can now turn my attentions to Wales Rally GB and Rallye Du Var next month, which is going to be a fantastic end to an amazing year”.

Ben is supported by CIMTEQ, and Mckay Construction Ltd.

Image courtesy of Jakob Ebrey

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