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Nineteen-year-old Blairgowrie rally driver Finlay Retson will head to the 2019 British Rally Championship finale in a “relaxed mood” as he contests his home round of the series, the Armstrong Galloway Hills Rally (14th September).

Retson has endured a season of mixed fortunes behind the wheel of his M-Sport Fiesta R2 MK8 with flashes of brilliance and career-best podiums, mixed with bad luck and non-finishes. Despite not finishing the previous two rounds of the championship, the Ypres and Ulster rallies, Retson still has an outside chance of scooping €60,000 towards a 2020 campaign in the Junior World Rally Championship thanks to M-Sport and Pirelli.

The fight for one of the biggest prizes in European rallying will be decided in Dumfries and Galloway this weekend, over nine stages and 75 miles of classic forest tests near to the Dalbeattie rally base.

The Watermans and JSR Services Blairgowrie backed ace blasted onto the Junior BRC scene in February, armed with the latest specification M-Sport Fiesta and despite only driving the newly developed machine for a short time, secured a solid finish on the opening round of the year in Wales. A career-best second place followed in Carlisle, added to fifth in West Cork Retson was on course to take the coveted M-Sport prize.

However, a roll in Belgium and pacenote error in Ulster meant to non-scores were added to his tally and now the fight will go down to the wire in Scotland. Despite being in with a chance of the prize pot, Retson has elected to take a different approach to the weekend.

“I`ve had plenty of time to reflect on the season so far and after the incident in Ulster, I know that the switch back to gravel will probably be to my benefit,” says Retson.

“But I’m not looking to be a hero this weekend, in fact, I’m actually looking for the frame of mind I had at the Pirelli Rally. That’s where I felt the most comfortable and confident. Everything worked that day and that’s really what I want to achieve this Saturday, that feeling again”.

Retson has not wasted any time thinking about the prize fund on offer either.

“There really isn’t any value at all in putting pressure on myself or the team to go out and win this money. Sure it’s a big amount, but I’ve only an outside chance at that so I need to let everyone go and do their thing. If we come out on top, well that’s great but if I go out there ‘all guns blazing’ then that’s when the pressure comes and accidents happen. It’s not for me this weekend.

I’m relaxed, and that in itself brings me confidence. I’ve no expectation and no pressure. I’m just going out to enjoy it and see where that takes us. The stages are awesome on the Galloway Hills so it will be great to get the Fiesta dancing on the gravel again. Let’s just go and see what happens, sometimes it’s that approach which reaps rewards”.

The Galloway Hills Rally offers a full day of rallying in the Dumfries and Galloway forests, before a ceremonial finish at Threave Gardens and Estate at around 18:00 on Saturday.

Retson is supported by JSR Services – Blairgowrie Ltd, DJR Services, Watermans Legal, G S Robertson Ltd, Kevin Donachie Electricians, West Ranga Properties, Gray & Adams Ltd, Robert Morton Joiners & Contractors, Andrew Wood Motorsport, Rallytravel.com, Castrol, Sharp Transport and Results Gym Forfar.

Image Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

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