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“Variety is the spice of life” they say and with the third different winner in 4 events, the Junior 1000 Ecosse Challenge is living up to it.

Round 4 of the 2017 Championship was the Granite Junior Stages at Leuchars on 27th May 2017 and this time it was the turn of Johnnie Mackay/Gordon Reid in their Suzuki Alto to stand on the top of the podium. But who would have predicted that after Mackay had a disaster of a first stage which saw him lying fifth. The Alto was showing clear evidence of having a punch on the nose but nothing that a set of new cable ties couldn’t fix!! Jude MacDonald/Michael Cruickshank (Skoda Citigo) got off to a flying start – in the lead by 13 seconds after the first 2 stages. But the Citigo ground to a halt during stage 3 with fuel problems putting Ewan Tindall/Paul Hudson (Citroen C1) in the lead with Lewis Haining/George Myatt (Toyota Aygo) second. and Mackay moving up to third. Then, after a blinder of a time on stage 6, Mackay swept past Haining into second. Going into the second last stage, Tindall still had a comfortable 15 second gap on Mackay. And then disaster. A heavy landing resulted in a loss of all drive for Tindall and he coasted to a halt. By now Mackay was “in the groove” and posted another couple of blistering times on the last 2 stages to take the win over Haining by 41 seconds. This put Peter Beaton/Ellya Gold (Peugeot 107) – who had been quietly going about their business – into third place, and Beaton’s first podium in Scotland. Andrew Blackwood/Ian McRae (Citroen C1) were fourth and from the stories that Blackwood was telling at the end, they had an exciting day. On stage 3, McRae called “Right 50 metres” and Blackwood turned right immediately – through the flicker tape into the abyss beyond. It took a bit of time to work out where they were before getting back on track. And their journey through the final stage when the heavy rain came on sounded more like an ice dance with spins and pirouettes. But he was happy!!! Amy Mccubbin/Brian Mcllelland had a very subdued day. Amy still taking time to adjust to her stunning new Skoda Citigo.

At the 2017 season halfway, Tindall is top of the driver’s table with Mackay now 1 point behind. Haining is third and MacDonald is languishing down in eighth after 2 non finishes from 4 events. This is going to make for a very exciting second half to the season with 2 of the toughest events to come – Solway Coast and Anglesey. So it is still anybody’s Championship.

The next event for the Ecosse Juniors will be the Kingdom Junior Stages at Crail on 17th June 2017.

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