The 1st Round of the Kick Start Junior Rally Championship started at a sunny 3 Sister circuit in Wigan. An impressive entry of 16 junior racers entered in their well prepared One litre rally cars for the 12 staged rally. After finished in 2nd place last season, Zak Hughes was tipped as one of the favorites for the rally and championship title and his pace over the opening 6 stages saw him sit joint top of the leader board with late entry Finlay Retson. The young Scot Retson only had his place in the rally confirmed the previous morning as he looked to use this event as testing for the Scottish Championship the following week. Peter Bennett and Tommi Meadows were hot on the heels of the top two, sitting only a few seconds behind. Also impressing on his rally debut was rookie Alex Tentori. Alex put together 12 well driven stages to finish mid table ahead of several experienced drivers and was placed as top rookie of the day
As the rally moved into the last 2 stages Zak and Finlay were unbelievably still tied on the exact times. This pressure may have been the cause a problem for the Hughes/Evans partnership as a missed split on stage 11 saw them penalised and drop to last place. That left Finlay with a strong lead heading into the last stage and a scrap between Bennett, Meadows and a charging Ewan Tindall for the remaining podium places.
When the last stage was complete, Finlay had held on to take the rally victory with Peter Bennett 2nd and Ewan Tindall just pipping Meadows for 3rd place.
As Retson is not registered for the English championship, Bennett took the maximum points with him on the ferry back to Ireland and into the lead of the championship.
The next round of the Kick Start Junior Rally Championship is next weekend at the coastal venue of Anglesey. BRING IT ON!