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Scottish rally driver Finlay Retson will head to the Clonakilty Park Hotel West Cork Rally in Ireland this weekend (14/15 March) in the quest for a solid result in the Junior British rally Championship after taking a career-best second place at the opening round last month.

The 19-year-old will be battling for Junior BRC honours in his JSR Services – Blairgowrie and DJR Services backed M-Sport Ford Fiesta R2 as the series makes it first foray of the season onto the asphalt. Over 200 kilometres of special stage action during two days across the west coast of Ireland are in store as over 180 crews are set to tackle the gruelling closed-road event.

Vying not only for the coveted Junior BRC title but also for €60,000 prize fund towards a Junior World Rally Championship campaign with M-Sport and Pirelli in 2021, Retson and co-driver Rhys Stoneman will be aiming to build on their runner-up spot on the Cambrian Rally and conquer the daunting Irish lanes.

After a mixed debut season in the Junior BRC during 2019, Retson stamped his authority firmly on the scoreboard at the opening round to enjoy a buoyant start to his campaign. Battling a budget shortfall which has forced the Blairgowrie pilot to take everything “event by event”, he impressed onlookers by taking second fastest Junior BRC crew on the opening stage of the slippery rally.

Further top times saw him take the lead of the hotly contested single-make battle before a more measured drive over the closing stages saw him settle for second. Now Retson will head across the Irish Sea where he took fifth place in 2019.

“I’m thrilled to be contesting the second round of the Junior BRC and its certainly been a tough fight to get this far,” says Retson.

“We are struggling with the budget this season but I hope that the first round result has proved what I`m capable of. Last year was very much a learning exercise and now I can start to put that experience into practice. West Cork is probably one of the hardest events on the calendar so it will be very easy to come unstuck. Whilst a repeat of the Cambrian Rally result would be great, we have to remain realistic about our chances”.

Retson will be up against a handful of Irish juniors all with much more experience of the bumpy roads in the region. He believes it will be a case of matching a comfortable pace to a mature head over the weekend.

“West Cork is a huge contrast to the Cambrian, it’s like a marathon in comparison sop the approach needs to be very different. I don’t want to get caught up in the pressures and battles for the lead of the Junior with the Irish guys, I don’t think that will do me any good at all. It’s a very long season and as we proved last year its very important to get as many points in the bag early on. If we can get the budget to carry on in the series, then those solid results will really come into play.”

Retson is supported by JSR Services – Blairgowrie Ltd, DJR Services, J.Gas Ltd, Watermans Legal, G S Robertson Ltd, Kevin Donachie Electricians and Plas Y Rhosyn Wedding Venue.

Image Credits: Jakob Ebrey Photography

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