McERLEAN WINS JUNIOR RALLY BATTLE AT SOLWAY COAST


The Solway Coast Junior Rally is unique on the Formula 1000 calendar as it is the only rally dedicated to the Junior drivers and brings the English, Irish and Scottish championships together.  This puts the best young rally driving talent in the UK head-to-head over the fastest, most challenging stages of the year.

ewan tindall

Ewan Tindall pushing hard

Set in a military base on the Scottish Coast, the teams were greeted with strong winds and blue skies on the morning of the rally.  Several of the drivers headed up to Scotland in fine form making it very difficult to pick a winner.  Championship leader Peter Bennett had just won an Irish rally event the day before he arrived at Solway and was looking to continue his good form.  Welshman Zak Hughes won the last round at Weeton and with previous experience of the Solway rally couldn’t wait to get started.  Josh McErlean was also expected to be at the top after winning two rallies already this season as was Scottish championship leader Finlay Retson.

 

 

After the first 2 stages, all four of these drivers found themselves at the top of the time sheets.  Finlay Retson taking a small lead over Zak Hughes in 2nd, ahead of McErlean in 3rd.  Bennett had managed to hit hay bails on both stages causing him to lose 10 seconds and sustain slight damage to the front of his car. Hughes would push to his limit on stages 3 and 4 and found himself tied with Retson for the lead of the rally and would take the outright lead after stage 5.

tommi meadows

Meadows Fully Committed

Ewan Tindall and Tommi Meadows were also in strong position in the top 6. Meadows & star navigator Gareth Hooper were entertaining the watching crowds with his committed driving style as he pushed his Micra to its limit through the corners to compensate for his lack of straight line speed against the newer spec cars.

alex holliday air

Holliday on a charge

 

 

 

 

 

A great battle was also starting to take shape between James Hall, Alex Holliday, Alex Tentori, Riley Banks and Tom Rawlings in the middle of the pack and new driver Lwi Price Edwards was having a faultless drive in his first appearance in the English championship. Alex Holliday was also impressing in 9th place in his under powered Micra.

 

 

zak hughes out

Hughes Out with a broken Prop Shaft

As the drivers entered stage 6, disaster struck for both Zak Hughes and Finlay Retson as they suffered mechanical failures putting them out of the rally.  This promoted Josh McErlean to the top of the leader board with Bennett only 9 seconds behind in 2nd place. This was also good news for Ewan Tindall and Tommi Meadows who were now in 3rd and 4th place.

 

With the final 2 stages being counted down, McErlean now had an 11 second lead over Bennett as they battled it out to see who would be crowned as top Junior driver.  With the lead of the championship in mind, Bennett drive slightly more cautiously than McErlean dropping a further 6 seconds behind on stage 9 giving Josh a healthy 15 second lead on the final stage.  This was a lead that he wouldn’t surrender and would win the rally by 11 seconds.  Amazingly close when the drivers had covered over 70+ stage miles.  Ewan Tindall finished 3rd overall and also won the Scottish event at the same time.

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Final Rally Standings:

 Josh McErlean / Tommy McErlean

 Peugeot 107

J1000

 3:21 

 7:05 

 3:12 

 6:41 

 3:09 

 6:47 

 3:08 

 6:45 

 6:01 

 6:05 

 

 52:14 

 1 

 2 

 Peter Bennett / Andrew Bushe

 Skoda Citigo

J1000

 3:26 

 6:54 

 3:14 

 6:47 

 3:11 

 6:50 

 3:09 

 6:46 

 6:07 

 6:01 

 

 52:25 

 2 

 4 

 Ewan Tindall / Paul Hudson

 Citroen C1

J1000

 3:22 

 7:08 

 3:15 

 6:56 

 3:13 

 6:57 

 3:13 

 7:02 

 6:27 

 6:18 

 

 53:51 

 3 

 7 

 Harry Chalmers / Steven Brown

 VW UP!

J1000

 3:36 

 7:07 

 3:23 

 6:55 

 3:17 

 6:58 

 3:15 

 7:18 

 6:13 

 6:07 

 

 54:09 

 4 

 5 

 Tommi Meadows / Gareth Hooper

 Nissan Micra

J1000

 3:34 

 7:13 

 3:25 

 7:02 

 3:21 

 7:05 

 3:17 

 7:01 

 6:26 

 6:17 

 

 54:41 

 5 

 8 

 Jude MacDonald / Michael Cruickshank

 Nissan Micra

J1000

 3:32 

 7:16 

 3:22 

 7:07 

 3:24 

 7:09 

 3:17 

 7:11 

 6:27 

 6:21 

 

 55:06 

 6 

 16 

 Johnnie Mackay / Gordon Reid

 Nissan Micra

J1000

 3:36 

 7:31 

 3:26 

 7:21 

 3:24 

 7:22 

 3:23 

 7:21 

 6:35 

 6:34 

 

 56:33 

 7 

 10 

 Gethin Sharp / Heather Merrison

 Toyota Yaris

J1000

 3:45 

 7:42 

 3:27 

 7:20 

 3:26 

 7:24 

 3:21 

 7:15 

 6:39 

 6:27 

 

 56:46 

 8 

 14 

 Alex Holliday / Joe Taylor

 Nissan Micra

J1000

 3:41 

 7:28 

 3:32 

 7:21 

 3:25 

 7:23 

 3:29 

 7:25 

 6:36 

 6:35 

 

 56:55 

 9 

 9 

 Josh Hislop / Ellya Gold

 Peugeot 107

J1000

 3:40 

 7:43 

 3:30 

 7:27 

 3:26 

 7:32 

 3:26 

 7:22 

 6:51 

 6:29 

 

 57:26 

 10 

 18 

 Lewis Haining / Charles Blair

 Toyota Aygo

J1000

 3:41 

 7:39 

 3:34 

 7:37 

 3:33 

 7:35 

 3:30 

 7:23 

 6:40 

 6:36 

 

 57:48 

 11 

 21 

 Tom Rawlings / Alan Gilbert

 Citroen C1

J1000

 3:56 

 8:04 

 3:40 

 7:34 

 3:35 

 7:33 

 3:32 

 7:15 

 6:34 

 6:22 

 

 58:05 

 12 

 15 

 James Hall / Simon Bradley

 Citroen C1

J1000

 3:47 

 7:47 

 3:36 

 7:50 

 3:32 

 7:37 

 3:31 

 7:33 

 6:45 

 6:34 

 

 58:32 

 13 

 27 

 Alex Tentori / Kenneth McRae

 Nissan Micra

J1000

 3:44 

 8:53 

 3:32 

 7:29 

 3:27 

 7:32 

 3:24 

 7:26 

 6:43 

 6:30 

 

 58:40 

 14 

 24 

 Edward Lewis / Emma Morrison

 Citroen C1

J1000

 3:45 

 7:55 

 3:40 

 7:42 

 3:37 

 7:47 

 3:32 

 7:31 

 6:42 

 6:37 

 

 58:48 

 15 

 11 

 Robi Wood / Osian Davies

 Nissan Micra

J1000

 3:28 

 7:19 

 3:20 

 7:03 

 3:15 

 12:00 

 3:19 

 7:13 

 6:34 

 6:26 

 

 59:57 

 16 

 30 

 Steven Jones / Christopher Brierley

 Nissan Micra

J1000

 4:15 

 8:27 

 3:53 

 8:13 

 3:48 

 7:54 

 3:37 

 7:44 

 7:03 

 6:48 

 

 61:42 

 17 

 28 

 Adam Ripper / Nigel Banks

 Nissan Micra

J1000

 4:02 

 8:14 

 3:54 

 8:12 

 3:44 

 8:20 

 3:37 

 7:54 

 7:11 

 7:00 

 

 62:08 

 18 

 25 

 Dan Curwen / Aaron McClure

 Nissan Micra

J1000

 4:12 

 8:36 

 3:48 

 8:11 

 3:44 

 8:20 

 3:46 

 8:08 

 7:14 

 6:54 

 

 62:53 

 19 

 23 

 George Sheard / Shaun Hughes

 Citroen C1

J1000

 3:46 

 7:45 

 3:48 

 7:37 

 3:34 

 7:43 

 3:46 

 7:28 

 6:38 

 11:00 

 

 63:05 

 20 

 22 

 Lwi Price Edwards / Martin Forrest

 Peugeot 107

J1000

 4:11 

 8:23 

 3:58 

 8:22 

 3:53 

 8:28 

 3:49 

 8:15 

 7:17 

 7:00 

 

 63:36 

 21 

 26 

 Amy McCubbin / Brian McLelland

 Nissan Micra

J1000

 4:06 

 8:55 

 4:04 

 8:12 

 3:52 

 8:31 

 3:46 

 8:25 

 7:19 

 7:35 

 

 64:45 

 22 

 29 

 Alice Paterson / Ian Crosbie

 Peugeot 107

J1000

 4:54 

 9:18 

 4:22 

 9:24 

 4:21 

 8:20 

 4:09 

 8:48 

 7:56 

 7:35 

 

 69:07 

 23 

 3 

 Finlay Retson / Andrew Falconer

 Citroen C1

J1000

 3:19 

 6:55 

 3:12 

 6:41 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 G/box

 F/F

 

 6 

 Zak Hughes / Chris Evans

 Citroen C1

J1000

 3:26 

 6:49 

 3:12 

 6:40 

 3:04 

 

 3:07 

 6:48 

 6:01 

 6:01 

 Shaft

 F/F

 

 12 

 Lewis Winder / Mike Baird

 Nissan Micra

J1000

 3:41 

 7:38 

 3:34 

 12:00 

 3:33 

 7:45 

 3:33 

 7:42 

 6:57 

 6:52 

 O T L

 F/F

 

 17 

 Cameron Russell / Ian McRae

 Nissan Micra

J1000

 3:42 

 8:00 

 3:45 

 7:45 

 3:40 

 8:16 

 3:43 

 8:14 

 

 

 rolled

 F/F

 

 19 

 Peter Beaton / Kenny Foggo

 Citroen C1

J1000

 3:58 

 9:39 

 3:45 

 7:55 

 3:39 

 12:00 

 

 

 

 

 rolled

 F/F

 

 20 

 Riley Banks / Keegan Rees

 Peugeot 107

J1000

 3:48 

 7:41 

 6:00 

 8:26 

 

 

 3:34 

 7:40 

 6:44 

 6:55 

 off road

 F/F