Preview: Albar Kames Trophy Rally

14 crews line up to start the Albar Kames Trophy Rally supported by LOCHLIE CONSTRUCTION GROUP, Round 2 of the 2023 Junior 1000 Ecosse Challenge.

14 crews line up to start the Albar Kames Trophy Rally supported by LOCHLIE CONSTRUCTION GROUP, Round 2 of the 2023 Junior 1000 Ecosse Challenge.

16 stages at Kames Motorsport Complex lie ahead.

Rian Walker and Stuart McBride top the entry list. The Citigo crew fresh from a fantastic win at the Rainworth Skoda Junior Stages in Yorkshire, dominating the field by over a minute. They have a strong record of podium finishes at Kames and are always in the mix at the top.

Round 1 winners Oliver Phillips and Barry Young line up 2nd in their new for this season Citigo. Historically Kames has not been the happiest hunting ground for Oliver, preferring more open venues over the tight and twisty nature of the Ayrshire circuit.

Jack Ryan and Robin Nicolson are another crew with a strong podium record at Kames. 2nd on round 1 was a good result despite a few small car issues and their almost obligatory steady start. With the short nature of the Kames stages they’ll need to be on it from stage 1.

Thomas Milne and Neil Jeffrey extracted the maximum out of their Micra as always on round 1, the car sporting a new front suspension setup. With power being less of a concern at Kames the improved handling could see them challenging the Citigos and Ups for podium honours.

Ruan Lowry and Ian McRae were another crew to contest the Rainworth Stages in Yorkshire. Still learning their new Citigo they recorded a personal best junior result with 4th overall. They’ll be looking to continue that momentum north of the border at round 2.

Ollie Forrester and George Myatt debuted their new Citigo at round 1 but were plagued all day by brake issues. They’ll be hoping an entirely new set of brakes will cure the issues for Kames.

Round 2 will be a big event for Alfie Letham and Craig Wallace, out for the 1st time in a Skoda Citigo after campaigning the ex-Mackay Micra in recent years. Kames is a tough venue to debut a new car with its small margins for error.

Lucy Cree and Chloe Fleming were the 3rd Scottish crew to make the trip to Yorkshire. It was a character building event, a broken manifold thankfully getting sorted with the aid of a borrowed welder. Lucy and Chloe taking a career best 7th overall, a performance Lucy will be looking repeat on her home circuit this weekend.

Lauchlan Hunter battled with Cree at round 1, despite issues with the Yaris’s brakes. For round 2 he has Calum McPherson in the hotseat and will be looking to repeat his top newcomer performance from round 1.

JJ Jutley was 2nd newcomer at round 1, despite a couple of spins as he learned the ex-Fraser Mack 107. By the end of the rally, JJ and co-driver Ted Runciman were swapping times with both the Yaris and Cree’s Citigo.

Thomas Babb and Paul Gribben were 3rd of the newcomers at round 1 despite Paul feeling unwell. They’ll be looking to continue building their pace on every stage at round 2.

Aaron Dickson and Alan Edwards were forced to miss the 1st round due to Aaron being unwell. The 107 pilot hasn’t been out since Crail last year so will have to knock the rust off quickly on the opening stages.

Jamie Findlay will be making his rally debut in his brother Evan’s 107 with Graeme Meins alongside. Hopefully Evan has imparted his experience and knowledge to his brother, particularly how to drive a 107 very sideways at every opportunity…

Rounding out the starters Freddie Johnson makes his junior debut with the experienced Tom Hynd alongside in his VW Up! Freddie fresh from the ride of a lifetime with SRC regular Michael Binnie at the recent Crail test day. Hopefully he realises an Up might not be quite as capable as a Fiesta R5…

It all goes down on May 14th at Kames Motorsport Complex just outside of Muirkirk. Keep an eye out for the live coverage on the Junior Rally Scotland Facebook Page throughout the day.

About the author

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Rhona Dickie

Rhona is our Discipline Representative for the J1000 Ecosse Challenge.

She has always had a passion for motorsport and as teenager could be seen out spectating on the rally stages. She first became involved with the J1000 Ecosse Challenge when it was first launched back in 2012, as her son was one of the very first competitors in the championship. Initially Rhona took on the roles of Safeguarding Officer and Membership Secretary. In 2021, she became the Coordinator of the Championship. When time allows, Rhona can also be seen marshalling. She is a member of RSAC Motorsport and is also their Club Safeguarding Officer.