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Blairgowrie rally driver Finlay Retson stood on the Junior British Rally Championship podium for the second time this season after taking second place at the gruelling Beatson’s Building Supplies Mull Rally [8-10 October].

The 21-year-old overcame challenging brake issues and coped with inclement weather on the island, to score important points in his race for the coveted Junior BRC title. Retson and co-driver Rhys Stoneman threaded their Ford Fiesta Rally4 across the demanding roads to great effect, finishing a staggering tenth overall on the rally, beating many local experts in more powerful machinery in the process.

Retson would head to the fifth round of the championship in equal second in the Junior BRC standing and would be aiming to do all he could to remain in the fight for top honours. Whilst second place at the Nicky Grist was a highlight, the season has also seen two finishes outside of the podium and Retson was eager to ensure that would not be a theme of 2021.

However, lying in wait for the protagonists were 148 miles of competitive action, spread across three brutal legs with much of the event taking place overnight. The unique challenge of the Mull Rally draws in competitors from across the UK and is widely regarded as the toughest event in the country.

Adding to the already brutal roads, the weather would also play its part over the weekend with driving rain and low lying clouds making visibility and grip on the roads a lottery. But it wasn’t long before Retson showed his pace on asphalt with the fastest time over the second test of the event. After briefly leading, Retson would be hampered by brake fade in the long stages which rounded off the leg, finishing second place heading into the overnight halt.

The first of two legs on Saturday enjoyed the benefit of daylight but the challenge would be no less arduous for the Junior BRC contender. With the unforgiving roads ready to devour the unwary, Retson would need to take a measured approach to the remaining stages if he was to retain his valuable second place.

The final leg of the rally would start late on Saturday night and go through to the early hours of Sunday morning and with fatigue creeping in, it would be easy to haemorrhage time or even succumb to the coastal hugging stages. But Retson did all he needed to do, bringing his Fiesta back to the Tobermory finish with a superb result.

“I knew the Mull Rally was going to be the toughest rally on the calendar, but I didn’t know it was going to be quite this hard,” said Retson at the finish.

“I`m delighted with second place on an event like this and especially considering the brake issues we had pretty much all rally long, second Junior home is a really positive result. It was also great to get a top 10 result overall at such a specialist rally and it certainly gives us the confidence boost we need to head into the final two rounds of the season. The fight is definitely on for the championship now.”

Retson heads to the penultimate round of the 2021 series in third place in the Junior BRC standings with his Joker opportunity, offering additional bonus points, still left to play. The Cambrian Rally takes the series back onto the gravel in north Wales at the end of the month.

Retson is supported by DJR Services Heavy Haulage, Vending by JSR, Kevin Donachie Electricians, Cross Civils and Construction Services Ltd, George MacKay Cars, AW Motorsport, Pirelli and Plas Y Rhosyn Wedding Venue.

Image credits – Jakob Ebrey Photography

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