14 August: Solway Coast Juniors

Brick and Steel Junior 1000 Ecosse Challenge

Vassallo Does it Again …

Over 10 tough rally tests in changing weather conditions, an English lad, 5 Irish lads and 14 Scottish lads battled for supremacy on the usedcarparts.co.uk Solway Coast Junior Rally last Sunday. Four crews came over from the McGrady Irish Junior 1000 Rally Challenge Ireland and 16 others were regulars in the Brick & Steel Junior 1000 Ecosse Challenge.

The two Championships ran in separate classes because of the different minimum weight rules. Based on the roads in and around the MOD base at Dundrennan near Kirkcudbright, this was a brand new experience for more than half the 20 crews. They were running on ‘real roads’ and using organiser’s route notes. So co-drivers played an even greater role than usual.

It appeared over the first three stages that Ryan Weston/Mark McCulloch in their Toyota Aygo planned to mount an attack on Junior 1000 Ecosse Challenge Championship leader Alexander Vassallo in his Citroen C1. The gap was 2 seconds going into Stage 4 but a spin on that stage cost Weston valuable seconds and in his efforts to regain lost ground on the next stage, an over-aggressive approach into a 90 right corner saw the Aygo catch a bit of gravel at the edge of the road, the brakes locked and the car nosedived into a ditch and rolled twice. The crew were unhurt but their rally was over.

That eased the pressure on Vassallo and a flying Ben Crealey/Liam Regan in their Nissan Micra tried to give chase. The Micra driver – from Northern Ireland but competing in the Ecosse Challenge Championship – could get to within one second of leader Vassallo on the shorter stages, but the longer five milers favoured Vassallo and his Citroen C1. But Crealey did fend off his fellow Irish Junior drivers and took 2nd place overall by 3 seconds at the end of the day from leading Irish Junior Rally driver Adam Bustard in his Chevrolet Spark.

Irish visitors William Creighton and Kyle White filled 4th and 5th places and first Scot home was local lad Harry Marchbank in his Nissan Micra with Jordan Black on the notes.

This was the first time that Junior 1000 competitors had ‘their own’ rally and it was the first time that crews from two different national Championships went head to head. At the end of a hard day’s rallying, 17 crews were classed as finishers out of 20 starters and a bunch of happy Irish people headed for the Stranraer ferry when the awards ceremony was finished. But the Scottish contingent were not disheartened. They had come for a good day’s sport driving their 1000cc machines and making new friends and that is what they got.

The next outing for the for the Brick & Steel Junior 1000 Competitors will be the September Kames rally on 29th September 2013.


Brick & Steel Junior 1000 Ecosse Challenge Competitors
1, Alexander Vassallo/Neil Colman (Citroen C1) 46m 37s
2, Ben Crealey/Andrew Bushe (Nissan Micra) 47.24
3, Harry Marchbank/Jordan Black (Nissan Micra) 48.31
4, Mikey Dickie/Euan Duncan (Toyota Aygo) 49.46
5, Dylan O’Donnell/Tracey Louise Muir (Nissan Micra) 50.51
6, Stephen McClory/Steven Brown (Nissan Micra) 50.57
7, Andy Struthers/Andrew Falconer (Nissan Micra) 51.18
8, Sandy Fairbairn/Callum Atkinson (Nissan Micra) 51.27
9, Michael Robertson/Gavin Murray (Nissan Micra) 52.23
10, Craig MacIvor/Kirsty Riddick (Nissan Micra) 52.40
11, Brandon Walsh/Ian Shiells (Nissan Micra) 56.33
12, Dale Kelly/Pete Weall (Nissan Micra) 60.16
13, Brodie Balfour/Dave Retson (Nissan Micra) 63.59

Ryan Weston/Mark McCulloch (Toyota Aygo) Rtd
Jake Anderson/Russell Kessack (Nissan Micra) Rtd
Ally Currie/Mark Runciman (Citroen AX) Rtd

McGrady Junior 1000 Rally Challenge Ireland

1, Adam Bustard/Brian Bustard (Chevrolet Spark) 47m 27s
2, William Creighton/Andrew Bushe (Citroen C1) 47.42
3, Kyle White/Alan Purdy (Peugeot 107) 47.53
4, James Partridge/John Baird (Peugeot 106) 61.32