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overall123The fifth running of the usedcarparts Solway Coast Junior Rally presented  29  Junior 1000 crews from all over the UK with some challenging and hugely enjoyable rallying on 7th August 2016. This unique event, organised by Solway Car Club over the military ranges near Kirkcudbright, is a round of all 3 UK Junior 1000 Championships – the Kick Energy Junior 1000 Rally Championship; the Brick & Steel Junior 1000 Ecosse Challenge and the McGrady Insurance ANICC Junior 1000 Rally Challenge Ireland.

This year top honours went to an Irish team – Josh McErlan/Tommy McErlan (Peugeot 107) -closely followed in second place by another Irish team – Peter Bennett/Andrew Bushe (Skoda Citigo).These 2 drivers also took first and second places in the Kick Energy Junior 1000 Rally Championship and the McGrady Insurance ANICC Junior 1000 Rally Challenge Ireland.

In third overall place and taking third spot in the the Kick Energy Junior 1000 Rally Championship and first place in the Brick & Steel Junior 1000 Ecosse Challenge were Ewan Tindall and Paul Hudson (Citroen C1). This would be Tindall’s first top points scoring position in the Brick & Steel Junior 1000 Ecosse Challenge and puts him in the lead in the 2016 Championship. For the first 4 of 10 stages, Finlay Retson/Andrew Falconer (Citroen C1) – Championship leader going into this rally – had led the event and had a comfortable lead in the  Brick & Steel Junior 1000 Ecosse Challenge standings but a broken transmission on the sixth stage ended their day and Tindall moved into the Championship lead and held that for the rest of the rally.

And following closely in Tindall’s wheeltracks all day were Harry Chalmers/ Steven Brown (VW Up!) but they were never really able to mount a serious challenge due to one or two niggling problems and they went into the final 2 stages 43 seconds down on Tindall. At the end of the final stage, the gap was down to 18 seconds. This was down mostly to Tindall easing his pace through the last 2 stages but Chalmers kept on it right to the end. But a good solid result for the new for 2016 VW Up!

Third  Brick & Steel Junior 1000 Ecosse Challenge finishers were Jude MacDonald and Michael Cruickshank in their Nissan Micra. Apart from some underbody damage after the first 2 stages, they had a very steady run and pushed the newly engined Micra – now sporting the ex Harry Chalmers engine from 2015 – to try and challenge Tommi Meadows from the Kick Energy Junior 1000 Rally Championship who finished one place ahead in the overall rankings.

Over and above Retson, three other Brick & Steel Junior 1000 Ecosse Challenge crews failed to make the finish. The most serious was Peter Beaton whose Citroen C1 ended up on its roof on stage 6. This was a great shame because the crew had travelled back overnight from a Junior event in N Ireland on the Saturday and had to start the day fitting a new axle after an incident in N Ireland saw one of the rear wheels pointing the wrong way. But the C1 will fix.

Everybody left the venue on their long – or in some cases short – journeys home full of praise for the venue, the event and the organisers. Most starting to count the days until they will return in 2017!!!

The next outing for the Brick & Steel Junior 1000 competitors will be at Kames, Muirkirk  for a “double header” on 24/25th September.

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