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Whickham and District Motor Club Limited

30 October 2017

Ewan 171030

Just a week after taking the Scottish Championship, the team were back out, but this time for the Patriot Stages at Caerwent, for the 6th round of the National Junior 1000 Rally Championship. To take the championship this weekend I needed a podium finish, although this would be easier said then done due to the tricky long stages of Caerwent. The day started off very greasy so an easier approach was taken in the first 2 stages which left me and Paul in 4th place, just a couple of seconds off a podium position. The rain started to fall in stage 3 and I managed to use this to my advantage as I set a good stage time to jump up into 2nd place. Stage 4 was scrubbed as a senior went off in stage. With 1 stage left I carried on at a good speed, taking no risks to ensure I brought the car home. Even after setting a 2nd fastest stage time I slipped down to 3rd overall. Nonetheless this result was enough for me to secure the National Junior 1000 Rally Championship with 3 rounds to go.
Making me the 2017 National and Scottish Junior 1000 Rally Champion! What an unbelievable end to an unbelievable year.
Recently my car went to it's new owner for him to gain valuable seat time before his championship next year. I would like to wish Steven all the best with the car, hopefully it brings you the same success as it has with me.
Also I'd like to thank everyone who has supported me over my junior rallying career. It really has been a big team effort and I am so grateful for all the support I have received.
Another thanks to Eddie Kelly Motorsport Photography and West Coast Photos for capturing some great shots over the years.

29 October 2017

Wow, what a month!
Firstly I would like to apologise for the lack of updates lately. Recently I have returned to Sixth Form to study my A- Levels, as well as starting a new part time job to support my studies.
After 7 rounds of the 2017 Scottish Junior 1000 Ecosse Challenge, I was in a good place to take the overall championship at the Albar Kames Rally on the 24th September. All I needed was a 5th place finish or higher, although it would not be an easy task as Kames was notorious for catching people out. The day started a little damp but I found a rhythm that I was comfortable with, and after a morning of putting in consistent stage times I would take a slender 1 second lead. After a few more good stages, I would take a larger lead when my nearest competition made a slight mistake, from there on I ensured I brought the car home. This I did, and won the event by 24 seconds with 14 stage wins.
This result means I become the 2017 Scottish Junior 1000 Ecosse Challenge Champion with a round to spare! A great reward after 3 years of trying, finishing 3rd in 2015, 2nd in 2016, and becoming champion in 2017.

7 August 2017

Ewan 170807

Last weekend was the annual event where the English, Scottish and Irish Junior Rally Championships come together for the Solway Coast Rally, held on the Dundrennan Ranges. After numerous wins in both championships we would want to score another strong result. With this rally being the only event in the calendar to use route notes, that would be a test in itself never mind the tight single track military roads and the rain that threatened overhead.
Sunday started off dry, the roads in stage 1 had lots of grip so we pushed hard, but clipping a bale in a very tight chicane meant the wing mirror spun around and smashed the window sending all glass into the inside of the car. In the stage there were a few gravel sections, a lack of commitment over these meant we lost 4 seconds to the leaders, dropping down into 4th overall. A better and cleaner run through the next stage meant we moved back up into 2nd, just 4 seconds off the lead.
Happy with the car in service, just a top up of fuel and we were back on our way to the next loop of stages, a re run of stage 1 and 2. A better run through Stage 3 due to not backing off over the gravel meant we closed the gap to the leader to 2 seconds, and that would close to the same time in the next stage after another clean run, despite knocking the mirror off on a bale sending it through the make fix window, and knocking Paul in the chin. Luckily he came away uninjured!
In the next service the rain started to come down, which was a nice change due to not having a wet rally since the start of the season.
A good run through stage 5 in the wet meant we opened up a 4 second lead. But the stage was stopped due to a nasty crash meaning just 2 crews completed the stage, the rest were given notional times. The next 3 stages were cancelled and the organisers made the decision to run 1 more stage. By this time the stages were quite greasy, and very slippy under the trees. A no risk run through the stage ensuring we made it to the finish and score vital championship points.
Although we were not the fastest through the stage we still did enough to win the rally...by 1 second! Whilst taking maximum points in the English and Scottish championships. Making it 5/5 in the English, and 4 wins in the Scottish!
Solway was always a rally I wanted to win in Juniors, being a round of all the championships makes the competition very tough. It feels very good to have come out on top!
A big thanks to Paul for doing a great job on the notes, Simon for keeping the car in winning form, Lee and Clair for allowing me to do what I love doing.
Another big thanks to my sponsors AK Sheet Metal, The Exhaust Doctor, Car Styling Signs.

4 July 2017

Ewan 170704

After 3 back to back wins in the 2017 English Junior 1000 Championship, round 4 would head back over the border into Wales for the Mid Summer Caerwent Rally held at the notorious Caerwent Military base. Known for its tight thin 11 mile stages with suspension breaking kerb's either side of the car it was going to be a tough challenge, made even harder that many of my main rivals had been to the venue before.
Without the chance to cycle around before hand we headed into stage 1, trying to learn the roads as much as possible and with the intention to minimize time loss to competitors who had been there before. Despite a few close call moments we ended the first 10 mile test in 2nd place, just 1 second off the lead. A good base to work on for the rest of the day. Stage 2 was a re-run of Stage 1, crossing the line 13 seconds quicker than the time before, and a joint fastest time with the leader meant we kept in touch of the overall lead.
The next two stages were slightly different, with a pass through the Caerwent 'Quarry' which I had previously been told to caution, as the moss had taken over the road. Slightly disappointed with my lack of commitment through this section I was surprised to have recorded the fastest time on the stage, moving into the lead by 7 seconds. Although we would drop time again on the following stage despite a fast clean run through. Meaning my lead had been reduced to 2 seconds with 2 stages to go.
After a change of tyres and a reset in service, we gave stage 5 a big push, increasing our lead to 6 seconds after another stage win. With one stage to go we carried on pushing as the gap was not big enough to reduce the pace. Finishing the last stage with an equal fastest time and a 6 second win, making it 4/4 in the English Championship. Also increasing my lead at the top of the drivers championship.
I had my first funny moment in rallying when the Scrutineer at post event scrutineering dropped a vernier caliper battery cover down inside the engine when checking the cams, it's now in the sump!
A big thanks to Paul Hudson for keeping me pointing the right direction after a very challenging day on the maps, Simon Hewitt for making sure the car was running right - luckily I managed avoiding the kerbs making his day slightly easier! Lee Tindall and Clair Tindall for braving the long and tiring journey to and from the bottom of Wales.


24 June 2017

Ewan 170624

After a busy month of GCSE exams I was exited to get back in the car knowing I had no more exams to sit.
So the 2017 Lawrence of Kemnay Junior 1000 Ecosse Challenge ticked over the half way mark at the Kingdom Junior Stages at Crail Airfield. The slightly improvised lay out meant the stages were faster then ever before. After a disappointing mechanical failure last time out at Leuchars whilst leading, I was looking to bounce back and make up for the points lost at round 4.
The first two stages were quite clean for us despite losing the intercom halfway through stage 1, as well as trouble with the brakes meaning the pedal was very inconsistent and causing regular lock ups. Even with these problems we came out with 2 fastest stage times and a 3 second advantage.
After a quick bleed of the brakes and a new intercom battery fitted in service, the direction was reversed for stages 3 and 4. Another two good stages for us, but being the only car to catch another car compromised our clean run on the stages. Losing 2 seconds to Jude on both stages meant he took the lead by 1 single second with 2 stages left, so it was game on.
Another fastest stage time in stage 5 meant we retook the lead and had a 2 second advantage going into the final stage. Although the stage went well, having to pass 2 cars into stage made us very vulnerable to losing the win, but luckily for me, we tied on overall times with Jude at the end of 6 stages meant I won due to being fastest on the opening stage.
So the win made it my 3rd win in the Scottish Championship allowing me and Paul to extend our lead at the top of the table with 3 rounds remaining.
A big thanks to Paul Hudson for being spot on again, Simon Hewitt for keeping the car in top form, and Lee Tindall for getting the car back to winning ways after Leuchars.
Next up is Mid Summer Stages at Caerwent on the 2nd July.

1 May 2017

Round 2 of the 2017 English Junior 1000 Rally Championship took us back over the border and back into Wales for the Harlech Stages at Llanbedr Airfield. It would be a new venue for the juniors which created a level playing field again.
After a big push in the first 2 stages we came away with a 11 second lead. Despite having limited power steering due to the speedo not working correctly due to a sensor plug coming apart.
We continued to push in the next 2 stages but lost time to Thomas Rawlings who reduced our lead to 7 seconds. Then in service we decided to put some better tyres on the front.
The stages were then changed round to go in the opposite direction. In stage 5 we were going well but then caught a slower car and lost a vital few seconds. But in stage 6 we picked the pace back up to extend our lead to 10 seconds with 2 stages to go.
With only a small margin we kept on going full attack to try and keep the lead, 2 good stages meant we pulled managed to extend our advantage to 13 seconds over Tom Llewellin, which was enough to take round 2 of the championship!
A great battle all day with just seconds difference in the end after 46 stage miles! Great Competition!
A big thanks to Paul Hudson on the maps, another top job. Also Simon Hewitt and Lee Tindall for keeping the car in top form!
Back out again next weekend at Kames Motorsport Complex in Muirkirk for Round 3 of the Scottish Junior 1000 Ecosse Challenge!
Thanks to:-
Junior 1000 Rally Championship | The Exhaust Doctor | Brian Mason Car Styling Signs |
Catch our on board from Stage 6 below-

4 April 2017

Ewan 170404

The first round of the 2017 Scottish Junior Ecosse Challenge was at the Highland Show Ground at Ingliston. A new venue for all of the current juniors, so again it would be a level playing field for round 1.
Lots of juniors were in new cars for this season, so it would be interesting to see how we compared against the drivers in new machinery.
Before hand we knew that Ingliston was a tricky venue with lots of square rights and square lefts. So it was unlikely the venue would suit the long gearing of the C1.
The first 2 stages we were off the pace, a little disappointed with the times considering a clean run over both the stages. The 2 times left us in 3rd, 4 seconds off the lead. After a rethink in service we had to push harder than before for the rest of the day.
In the next 2 stages we had a big push, trying to brake as late as possible and carry more speed through the tight corners to make up for our long gearing. Our plan would work as we took the time lost in the first 2 stages back, to go into joint lead.
For the second half of the day the stages were turned around to go back into the opposite direction. This seemed to suit me better as we managed to continue the charge and come away with a 10 second lead. Setting 2 fastest stage times in the loop.
For the final two stages we continued to drive at a fast no risk pace which secured the win with a 15 second advantage. Taking 5 out of 8 stage wins!
After a very tricky start to the day I was very pleased to come away with the win. I do think the Scottish Championship will continue to be a close battle with Jude MacDonald in his new Citigo and Johnnie Mackay in the Alto both posting great times and Johnnie making his first Podium, I am sure he will want more of that !
A big thanks to Paul Hudson on the maps, doing a great job yet again, Simon Hewitt and Lee Tindall for keeping the car in winning form!
Not a bad feeling to be leading the English Junior 1000 Championship and the Scottish Junior 1000 Championship after Round 1!
Next Rally is the Memorial Garden Stages at RM Condor - Arbroath on the 15th April.
The Exhaust Doctor I Car Styling Signs (Brian Mason)

21 March 2017

Round 1 of my 2017 season started at the Lee Holland Memorial at Anglesey Circuit. After a long winters break rebuilding the car I was more than ready for a good battle in 2017. Back for my 3rd season with the Citroen C1 seeded 1st Junior.
The weather started off miserable but I knew a push on the opening stage was needed to try and come away with a solid position after the 1st loop of stages. 2 stage wins in the opening loop meant I had opened up a 10 second lead by service. A quick brake pad change in service and we were back out for the next 2 stages. Taking 2 more stage wins opened my lead to 13 seconds by midday.
Whilst sitting on the start line of stages 5 and 6 the rain poured down making the track very slippy especially whilst being on a dry track with not so good tyres. A sensible run in these two stages allowed me to add another second to my lead over 2nd place Tom Rawlings.
With the final two stages being damp and greasy the suspension set up was changed and better tyres were bolted onto the front of the car. After a great battle with Tom Rawlings all day I came away with a 14 second win which was a great way to start off the season. Whilst taking 6 out of 8 stage wins in tough conditions.
Thanks to Paul Hudson for being a top co driver and Simon Hewitt and Dad (Lee Tindall) on the spanners, both keeping their hand in fitting our spare gearbox on another junior competitors car to keep them going in the rally.
Next Event is the first round of the Junior Ecosse Championship at Ingliston on the 2nd April.
Photos by Islwyn's motorsport photography
The Exhaust Doctor I Brian Mason ( Car Styling Signs ) I Junior 1000 Rally Championship

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