Exciting Times for Junior 1000 in Scotland
After a 3 month winter closed own, the new 2018 Junior 1000 Ecosse Challenge season kicked off with a pre season day at Knockhill on 11th March. This event was planned for 4th March but the only way into Knockhill that day was in a 4wd or a tractor!! But the main areas were back in operation for 11th March.
And so, six newcomer drivers and their parents approached Knockhill at 8.30am as the mist started to descend!! The main focus of the day was to get all 6 through their Junior BARS test so that they qualify for an MSA Junior Rally Driver licence and then complete at least 1 of the obligatory Production Car Autotests. All six achieved success and in the afternoon we were blessed with some lovely sunshine. Four of the Junior drivers will start their rallying career at Ingliston on 25th March. The six were joined by two newcomers from later in the 2017 season – Ollie Hunter and Fraser Anderson. These 2 lads enjoyed some advanced driver instruction from Bob Watson and Steven Hay on the hillside rally stage. The star of the Junior autotest was Jack Hall who took FTD and Thomas Johnstone won the Junior class.
Ollie Hunter;Thomas Johnstone;Aaron Webster;Championship Coordinator Stuart Sheridan;
Archie Swinscoe;Jack Hall;Erica Winning;Cameron Davidson;Fraser Anderson
In addition to new competitors, we have new main sponsors for 2018. Since the Championship started we have had one title sponsor per year – Brick & Steel from 2012 to 2016 and Lawrence of Kemnay for 2017. But we are now delighted to be sharing the burden between 3 of the real pillars of Scottish rallying – The Cobble Shop, Oakbank Plant Hire and David Hardie Engineering. All 3 businesses have been involved in the sport of rallying for several years. The Cobble Shop is owned by the Blackwood family and Tom is very active in tarmac rallying, supporting several young drivers, sponsoring other Championships and events, when he is not out and about displaying cars from one of the finest Ford competition car collection in the UK. Oakbank has been adorning rally cars for many years – one of the MDs is none other than David Bogie, 5 times Scottish Rally Champion and British Rally Champion in 2011. Since 2014 David has concentrated on British and International events in a Skoda Fabia R5. And from the same SW area, is Hardie Engineering. Once again if anyone follows tarmac rallying in Scotland and beyond they will be familiar with the name David Hardie who competes in a very well sorted Subaru Impreza, as well as supporting leading Scottish gravel driver Mark McCulloch. All 3 are not only bringing financing to our Championship but a vast amount of knowledge which we aim to capitalise on as we develop our young recruits.
And if that is not enough “newness” we have some new top management. After 4 years in the role, Andy Kelly is stepping back as Chairman and his position is being taken over by Roy Campbell. Roy brings years and years of experience to the position and a wonderful way with words and people – crucial in his new role. And stepping up from his 1 year apprenticeship as Deputy Championship Coordinator is Stuart Sheridan. Stuart also brings years of organisational ability and experience to the table, being a main player in the past Colin McRae Stages Rallies and one of the Coltness “bears”. David Barlow is taking a step back to the role of Deputy Coordinator to help both Roy and Stuart settle into their positions. This after 9 years coordinating the 205 Ecosse Challenge and 6 years of the Junior 1000 Ecosse Challenge.
And we cannot forget the Junior drivers and their co-drivers and families returning from 2017 – Johnnie Mackay, Lewis Haining, Andrew Blackwood, Peter Beaton, Amy McCubbin and Alice Paterson. Most will be in their final year and competition for the title of 2018 Junior 1000 Ecosse Challenge Champion will be strong. And another unique feature will be the first time that we will have 3 lady drivers – Amy McCubbin, Alice Paterson and Erica Winning. Can that be topped ? Well yes. We will also have Jane Nicol co-driving with Amy. Jane was one of the “founding drivers” of the 205 Ecosse Challenge back in 2003 and now she is helping bring the next generation of great Scottish rallying ladies forward. That is what this all about!!
And finally. The Championship can never be too full. So if any teenagers fancy having a go at rallying they should contact the Championship Coordinator ( email@example.com) for a chat and more information.