… DCC Junior Stages, Sun 25th March, Ingliston …
There was a dead-heat in Sunday’s DCC Junior Stages Rally when Lewis Haining and George Myatt finished the day’s 8 Stages on an identical total with Johnnie MacKay and Gordon Reid. First time out in his newly acquired Skoda Citigo, Haining and MacKay in the Suzuki were well matched with MacKay losing out on the final stage. First time at Ingliston, Sam Adams and Andrew Bushe completed the top three line-up in their Skoda Citigo at the finish of an enthralling competition.
Caution? Not a word the young drivers appear to recognise, going by their antics on the opening tests at Ingliston. Marcus McElwee scored top ‘style’ points on the first test of the day when he survived a huge tank-slapper in his Citroen C1. In fact a few of the older hands might have learned a thing or two about car control if they had been watching. Did he back off after that? Nope, not a bit of it, clouting a variety of stage furniture approaching the Flying Finish. Sadly gearbox (or possibly diff) failure put paid to his exploits on the 5th stage.
The only other non-finisher was Alice Paterson’s Peugeot 107 which punctured its head gasket on the last stage before the lunch halt.
Meanwhile, back at the front, Haining and MacKay were swapping times like a couple of evenly matched final round, punch-drunk, bantam weights. Going into the last stage, MacKay had a 3 second advantage over his rival.
“I blew it on the second last stage,” said Johnny, “I didn’t back off, but I didn’t try hard enough. That allowed Lewis to take 2 seconds back leaving the gap at 3 seconds for the final stage. Both Lewis and I were catching cars, there was nothing in it. I finished equal first but didn’t win, I’m just gutted.”
On the other hand, Haining was delighted with his first Junior victory, courtesy of a 5 second quicker time on the first stage of the day: “It was all about getting confidence in the new car today,” said Lewis, “The Skoda is very different from the Aygo, it has a better rear end so I can lean harder on the bends. I’m really pleased to be on the pace first time out in the car.”
Sam Adams was pleased with third place on his first visit to the venue and really liked it: “There’s a good variety of curves and surfaces here,” said Sam, “not like what I’ve been used, just straights and corners.”
Behind Adams, there was yet another tie for fourth place, between Andrew Blackwood and ex-karting champion, Riley Banks from Preston. This decision favoured Blackwood’s Citroen after an 8 second quicker time over the day’s opener. Mind you he might not have needed the tie decider had it not been for a spin and bale-smacking incident on the second stage! That meant Banks missed out with his Peugeot 107 although this was just his first visit to Ingliston.
Rounding off the top six was Oliver Hunter who managed to spin his Peugeot on the first stage before head-butting a chicane bale with the Peugeot on SS6 when he locked up under braking. Fraser Anderson was 7th on his second rally with Amy McCubbin only 10 seconds behind him at the finish, but she must have been trying, the Skoda returned to service minus a door mirror. Jack Hall was month but lost a chunk of time on the first stage when all the electrics cut out in the wee Nissan following a heavy landing after the Bridge and Eric Winning finished tenth on her first rally although a spectating faither, one Gordon Winning Esq, was on tenterhooks all day.
1 Lewis Haining/George Myatt (Skoda Citigo) 57.25s
2 Johnnie MacKay/Gordon Reid (Suzuki Alto) +0.00s
3 Sam Adams/Andrew Bushe (Skoda Citigo) +0.36s
4 Andrew Blackwood/Richard Stewart (Citroen C1) +1.16s
5 Riley Banks/Steven Brown (Peugeot 107) +1.16s
6 Oliver Hunter/Tom Hynd (Peugeot 107) +1.23s
7 Fraser Anderson/Ian McRae (Nissan Micra) +3.49s
8 Amy McCubbin/Jane Nicol (Skoda Citigo) +3.59s
9 Jack Hall/Robin Nicolson (Nissan Micra) +6.20s
10 Erica Winnng/Mark Runciman (Nissan Micra) +27.21s