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A total of nine crews made the journey to Anglesey for the final two rounds of the Junior 1000 Ecosse Challenge over the weekend of 23rd, 24th November. After a season which started at Ingliston in March, it all came down to our end-of-season showdown which we shared with our friends in the English Formula 1000 Championship.

Saturday started wet and blustery at the Welsh circuit, making for a very slippery track surface, and Lewis Hooper /Sam Bilham (Nissan Micra) set the pace ahead of Oliver Hunter/Richard Crozier (Peugeot 107) and Cameron Davidson /Ian McRae (Volkswagen up!). The first casualty was Jack Hall / Robin Nicolson, who’s Toyota Yaris suffered a broken transmission casing and driveshaft. Jack had been in contention for the championship, and this seemed like the end of his challenge, but some sterling work by his crew got the car running again and he was able to do Day 2 on the Sunday.

Hall’s transmission problems made life easier for Cameron Davidson who was moving ever closer to the Championship title, as Hall had been his closest rival.

Owen Paterson / Calum McPherson, (Peugeot 107) on only Owen’s second event, were setting some very impressive times, but contact with a tyre barrier led to a bent steering arm which was easily fixed by their crew. Over the final pair of Saturday stages, Oliver Hunter set a couple of very fast times to move ahead of Lewis Hooper, and into the lead. But right behind them, third place on the day was enough for Cameron Davidson to seal the 2019 championship with one round to spare.

Sunday dawned dry, but still cold, and battle was resumed with Jack Hall now back in the game. Justin Gunning / Stuart McBride(Skoda Citigo), had also had a transmission replaced overnight, so all crews re-started. The order was pretty much the same as on Saturday

With Cameron Davidson already confirmed as having won the championship, there was everything to play for to secure 2nd place. At the lunch halt only 7 points separated Jack Hall (149 points), Oliver Hunter (147), Letisha Conn (145), Justin Gunning (143), and Thomas Johnstone (142). So the tension was high going into the afternoon stages.

Hall’s transmission woes on Saturday were soon forgotten when he made a superb recovery to finish the season 2nd to Davidson.

Oliver Hunter was still the fastest over the Sunday stages, as he had been on the Saturday, and although breakdowns earlier in the season damaged his championship chances, he still managed to be 3rd.

Letisha Conn, the pocket rocket from across the Irish Sea was 4th on the day, and 4th in the championship, – a good result in her debut season.

Thomas Johnstone had a steady run in the final outing in his Micra, before switching to a Skoda Citigo next year, was 5th in the championship, and secured the Pearsons of Duns Nissan Trophy to add to the Novice Trophy he had already secured.

In the last stage before the lunch break, Justin Gunning hit a tyre barrier, breaking a driveshaft and a steering arm, and although his crew got him back out for the afternoon stages, the time loss meant that he fell several places, and finished the season 6th

A creditable 7th place was secured by Aaron Webster after a steady run over the two days.

Just when it seemed that everything was settled, there was a final sting in the tail, when Owen Paterson, had another contact with a tyre barrier, but this time the damage to the Peugeot was too serious to continue, and he was out.

Just as darkness fell, the order was settled

Photos to be credited to; Islwyn’s Motorsport Photography.

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