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Many tall tales start with the phrase “There was a Scotsman, an Englishman and a Welshman (or an Irishman)…..” Well on 31st March 2019 at the DCC Junior Stages Rally, Ingliston, Edinburgh this was very much the pattern in the winner’s enclosure. The rally attracted 15 young drivers from all 4 UK nations to fight it out on the tight and twisty service roads within the Ingliston Showground in their 1000cc rally cars. The event was a counter in the Junior 1000 Ecosse Challenge (Scotland based) and the Junior 1000 Rally Championship (England/Wales based). A couple of competitors were entered in both Championships. But the OVERALL winner’s podium was :

A Welshman First (Ioan Lloyd – Citroen C1); a Scotsman Second (Fraser Anderson – Citroen C1) and an Englishman Third (Lewis Hooper – Nissan Micra).

10 drivers were entered in the Ecosse Challenge category and the winner’s podium was a Scotsman (Fraser Anderson), an Englishman (Lewis Hooper) and an Irishman (Marcus Mcelwee).

Anderson/Steven Brown doggedly chased Lloyd/Jonathan Jackson over the 8 stages of just under 5 miles each. But Lloyd kept himself just a few seconds ahead on each stage and finished 16 seconds in front after the final stage. But maximum points in the Ecosse Challenge was the goal for Anderson and he drove to a pace to safely achieve that. Lloyd took maximum points in the Junior 1000 Rally Championship.

Finishing in fifth place overall, but second on the Ecosse Challenge podium, were Lewis Hooper and Sam Bilham in their beautifully prepared Nissa Micra. Hooper drove a very tidy and consistent pace all day but was not really able to match the pace of the newer cars in front.

And third on the Ecosse Challenge podium was Irishman Marcus Mcelwee (Skoda Citigo) with John Henderson co-driving. They finished 1 place behind Hooper and were surprised and disappointed that they couldn’t get the Citigo tuned in to the challenging stages at Ingliston.

14 out of 15 cars finished with Oliver Hunter/Michael Cruickshank (Peugeot 107) being the only non finisher when a drive shaft broke on the first stage and then when they got that repaired and rejoined, the gearbox started making noises that a gearbox shouldn’t make, so they pulled out.

The conclusion by everybody involved – a fantastic rally, well organised, very efficiently set up and marshalled. And the sun shone out of a clear blue sky all day.

There is now a short 2 week gap before the second round of the Junior 1000 Ecosse Challenge – the Memorial Garden Stages at Condor, Arbroath on 13th April. The Junior 1000 Rally Championship participants will also be out that weekend but down on Anglesey at the SMC Stages.

Photos courtesy of Eddie Kelly Motorsport Photography

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