As we say goodbye to the fifth season of the Junior 1000 Ecosse Challenge, we also say goodbye to our longstanding title sponsor Brick & Steel Construction Co Limited. Brick & Steel joined the “Ecosse Challenge Family” in 2006 at a time when the 205 Ecosse Challenge was growing rapidly and we found ourselves working with some of the current top names in Scottish rallying as they started their careers. Names such as Paul Mackinnon, Euan Thorburn, Mark McCulloch, John MacCrone and Garry Pearson all started their careers in the 205 Ecosse Challenge plus dozens more who may not have reached the dizzy heights of these guys but who have gone on to be very competent competitors. In 2012, the Junior 1000 Ecosse Challenge was introduced to Scotland and Brick & steel became the title sponsor of this extremely popular Championship which continues the work of the 205 Ecosse Challenge but with a younger age group – 14 to 17 year olds. The Junior 1000 Championship requires a completely different approach and management to the “one make” 205s and the support from Brick & Steel was critical to the organisers being able to deliver on their Mission:
“To educate and prepare young people for a future in rallying through training and participation”
Working with the Organising Committee over the past 5 years, Brick & Steel leave the Championship in a very healthy state both financially and in its capability to train youngsters to be good rally drivers. Speed is a major element of all motorsports but teaching technique and approach at a young age does help us to develop much safer and more capable drivers – not just in rally cars but on the public roads when they are 17.
We are very happy to now welcome a new main sponsor into our ranks. Lawrence of Kemnay is a privately owned business with Ford and Subaru dealerships in Inverurie and Balmedie. The dealerships operate with a genuine desire to provide outstanding customer service. The name will be familiar to many rally people whose memories go back to the 60s, 70s and 80s when Aberdeen and surrounding areas was one of the “hotbeds” of forest rallying in Scotland. In the past 10 years, the name has been displayed on the side of rally cars being driven by the Managing Director Gavin Chalmers.
But it all became a bit more serious in 2014 when Gavin’s son Harry turned 14 and joined the ranks of the Junior 1000 Ecosse Challenge as a Junior driver. Since that day, the entire Chalmers family have been extremely proactive in the Championship and Harry is now preparing for his move into senior rallying when he is 17 in 2017. The Junior 1000 Ecosse Challenge is very much a family affair and this is one of the reasons for Lawrence of Kemnay getting more involved at this time. Gavin commented “As a parent, I have become very aware of the effort required to deliver the Junior 1000 Ecosse Challenge and as a businessman I can see much of the basic principles I apply to Lawrence of Kemnay in the way the organisers go about their business. That is one of the primary reasons why I am happy for Lawrence of Kemnay to take over from Brick & Steel as main supporter and look forward to working with and supporting the organising team as they continue to introduce more youngsters into rallying.”
Championship Chairman Andy Kelly commented “We knew that Brick & Steel was going to be a hard act to follow but we were delighted when Gavin stepped forward with an offer from Lawrence of Kemnay. Working with somebody who not only knows how the motor trade works but also how our Championship works is a huge bonus and the whole Junior 1000 Ecosse Challenge team are very much looking forward to working with Lawrence of Kemnay in the continued development and growth of our very popular Championship”.
More information on the Junior 1000 Ecosse Challenge can be found at http://www.j1000ecossechallenge.co.uk