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Scottish rally driver Finlay Retson will head to the third round of the Junior British Rally Championship this weekend, with the firm aim of retaining his chances to scoop a prize fund worth €60,000 towards a 2020 campaign in the Junior World Rally Championship.

With two rounds of the series completed, 18-year-old Retson from Blairgowrie finds himself in sixth place in the Junior BRC standings but more importantly, equal first in the race to bag the huge prize on offer from M-Sport Poland and Pirelli.

The fund is on offer to the first Junior BRC Ford Fiesta driver in the standings at the end of the season, offering a once in a lifetime opportunity to progress onto the world stage with a significant cash injection.

The Pirelli International Rally (27th April) marks the switch from the asphalt of Ireland back to a gravel surface and Retson has had to quickly get to grips with a brand new car this season. As one of the first drivers in the world to get the all-new Ford Fiesta R2 in February, his learning curve was substantial, with only a short test available before the Cambrian Rally.

The youngster’s determination was rewarded with sixth place and first Junior Fiesta home in Wales and the result would be repeated on the tricky Irish lanes of the West Cork Rally last month, although sixth also meant finishing second Fiesta.

His performances so far this season have attracted the attention of leading Scottish legal firm Watermans and lubricant giant Castrol as partners, with Annan based Sharp Transport joining them for the Borders forest blast.

Retson is ready for what is in store and eager to maintain his early-season momentum in Carlisle.

“There has been so much to take in this year” he says

“The new Fiesta is a fantastic car but you can’t just get in and drive on the limit straight away. It needs a lot of respect but once you get to grips with it then it really rewards you and I`m just starting to learn that. It’s more than capable of top results so I need to find that extra speed to get the results. It’s going to be a very competitive weekend”.

Retson has an impressive form on the event. He led the Junior feeder series, the Cadet Cup, on all three stages contested last year before a oil sensor failure forced him to retire. The rally takes in stages in the notorious Kielder Forest complex, the scene of his maiden ‘adult’ event after progressing from F1000 Junior category.

That outing resulted in a Fiesta ST Trophy podium, and he believes that bodes well this weekend. He will be co-driven by Richard Crozier for the return to the forests.

“Kielder is one of those places that you either love or hate and luckily I really do enjoy the stages here,” he says.

“They are so unforgiving and only really reward those who maintain a clean line on the stages. I’ve been working really hard on my pacenotes since West Cork and the Pirelli Rally will be a great test of the changes we have made. It will be more important than ever to stay out of trouble this weekend, and another solid finish is certainly the aim”.

The Pirelli International Rally will start from the firms tyre factory in Carlisle on Saturday morning, before crews ahead into the forests for eight stages and over eighty miles of competitive driving. They will then head for the finish in Brampton later that day for the final celebrations.

Retson is supported by DJR Services, JSR Services – Blairgowrie Ltd, G S Robertson Ltd, Watermans Solicitors, Rally Travel, Castrol, Kevin Donachie Electricians, West Ranga Properties, Robert Morton Joiners & Contractors, Vital Equipment Limited, Andrew Wood Motorsport, The Campervan Company, and Results Gym Forfar.

Image Credits: Jakob Ebrey Photography

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