Johnnie and Gordon lead way in Junior Ecosse Challenge
Stonehaven & District Motor Club member Johnnie Mackay, assisted by Stonehaven-based navigator Gordon Reid, raced to victory in the ADMC Granite Rally at Leuchars Station.
Johnnie, aged 16, from Newburgh, chalked up the win last Saturday in round three of the Junior 1000 Ecosse Challenge alongside his adult navigator – the SDMC president – to take over the overall lead in the championship.
The youngster, in his C&M McDonald supported Suzuki Alto 1L, won by 16 seconds from championship rival Lewis Haining, who is now one point behind him in the overall standings.
It was a difficult start to the day for Johnnie as he lost time on fast open stages, with technical sections being his preference, but as the day went on, he clawed back the time, and pulled out a substantial lead on the final stage of the day.
The crew were delighted to take the event win for the second year in a row.
“We were delighted with the win,” Johnnie said. “We had high hopes after we won there last year.”
Johnnie struggled in the opening rounds of the season after losing out on the round one win on a tie-break with rival Haining, and he had a spin on round two at Kames Motorsport Complex, falling foul of the wet conditions and ending up off the road on the grass to get a maximum for the stage, eventually finishing fifth, just ahead of Haining.
Johnnie studies Motorsport Performance as an elite athlete at Loughborough Sport with the MSA AASE course alongside the UK’s greatest young driving talents.
The next round for Johnnie and TeamJMR is the Crail Summer Stages on Saturday.
“To be honest, I’ve never been a huge fan of Crail, we broke a steering arm there last year,” Johnnie added. “But of course we’ll be pushing for the win again.”
It is the fourth event of the Junior Ecosse Challenge, with four more to follow after that.
More information on Johnnie’s rallying can be found on Facebook page TeamJMR.