Northern Ireland’s Peter Bennett won today’s Albar Junior Rally at Kames, but he was never able to relax with Finlay Retson only a whiff of exhaust behind him. Bennet blotted his copybook on the first stage when he overshot a corner but thereafter drove at a controlled pace to re-take the lead and win by 16 seconds after 16 stages round the Kames complex.
Brodie Balfour was holding third place till the penultimate test when he locked up under braking and grounded out in the gravel run-off area. Ewan Tindall made no mistakes to snatch third making it 1-2-3 for Citroen C1.
There were four youngsters taking part in their first ever rally today in the field of 14 cars. Each of the 14-17 year olds had an older more experienced co-driver as part of the rules for this introduction to rallying and young Johnnie MacKay showed just quick a learner he was. Throughout the course of the day he was leaving his braking later and later, till he heard co-driver Martin Forrest utter a sudden intake of breath – that was when he knew he was on the limit. You learn something new every day, eh? Nice one Johnnie.
And it’s back tomorrow for the second day and the second event in this two-day extravaganza. More fun here than Silverstone! It starts at 11:00 am tomorrow if you have nothing else to do and a youngster itching to get behind the wheel.
By the way, I might have fibbed earlier about the 'burn-outs' to warm up the tyres, they're only 1 litre rally cars!
1, Peter Bennett, 20m 53s
2, Finlay Retson, 21m 09s
3, Ewan Tindall, 21m 36s
4, Myles Reid, 21m 59s
5, Harry Chalmers, 22m 02s
6, Umberto Accornero, 22m 50s