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leuchars-top_3Leuchars Airbase in NE Fife has been synonymous with powerful jets and air displays for many years but it is just one of the MOD properties in Scotland that has warmly welcomed single venue rallying onto its tarmac over the last few years. Aberdeen and District Motor Club ran the first rally there on 22nd October 2016 and the Weston Transport/Branston Junior Granite Rally was the penultimate round of the 2016 Brick & Steel Junior 1000 Championships. A total of 13 Junior crews turned out on what was to be a pretty dreich day but that did not lessen the excitement or pace of the young drivers and their “adult” co-drivers.

Finlay Retson/Andrew Falconer (Citroen C1) had won the previous event at Kames and started strongly with the plan to topple Ewan Tindall/Paul Hudson (Citroen C1) from the top of the points table. It went well in stage 1 and Retson took a 6 second advantage over Tindall  into stage 2. But it went wrong for Retson when a bit of time on a grass section lost him 12 seconds to Tindall. Retson did rally back over stages 3 and 4 and Tindall went into the afternoon stages with a 6 second advantage. He was quickest on 3 of the stages and came out of the final stage 5 seconds in front. It was some battle but Tindall displayed great maturity and determination to stay ahead of his rival for the Championship.

Harry Chalmers/Steven Brown (VW Up!) took third place 28 seconds behind Retson. He got close on a couple of stages but not enough to worry the leaders. As usual, Chalmers was chased hard by Jude MacDonald/Michael Cruickshank (Nissan Micra) who took fourth place 26 seconds behind.

The weather and some teething problems with the first event at the venue made for a challenging day for the Juniors but 13 started and 13 finished.

The final round of the Championship will be on 26/27th November down on Anglesey. This event is always a great challenge and adventure over 2 days with several stages in the dark on Saturday night. And given that the 2 Championship leaders are both on the same points and having to drop a score, it is anybody’s guess who will come out on top. It will be exciting and nail biting.

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