Ecosse juniors are driving force at Machrihanish

Sam Pattison and co-driver Paul Whittaker in their Skoda Citigo. Photograph: West Coast Photos.

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Continuing his great run of form East Ayrshire’s Sam Pattison took a third win in a row when the Ecosse J1000 crews revved up at the Mach 1 Junior Stages at Machrihanish airfield for the  on July 9 and 10.

With Albar winning co-driver Paul Whittaker back in the hotseat the Citigo driver kept it safe on the early short stages before attacking on the long stage six. A full 28 seconds quicker than anyone else on that one stage alone gave them a lead that they would extend all the way to the finish.

The battle for second was a good one between Kalum Graffin and Rian Walker. Swapping times all day they headed into the final stage tied on time. Despite still dealing with his damaged hand Kalum and co-driver Johnnie Mackay took a fantastic final stage win by eight seconds to take another second place.

For their part Walker and Stuart McBride produced their best drive so far this year.

This leaves Rian in the championship lead and Stuart second in the co-drivers.

Fourth overall in a Micra on one of the fastest events of the season Thomas Milne and Neil Jeffrey had burned the midnight oil and had some assistance to sort the car after their McRae retirement. Thomas pushing the car properly hard and really impressing Neil with his commitment as they battled with Evan Findlay and Robin Nicolson for fourth. A delaminating front tyre before the final stage was quickly changed and the charge continued. Neil describing the last stage run as ‘phenomenal’.

This result leaves Evan third in the points standings and Robin with a one point lead in the co-drivers over Stuart McBride.

Ruan Lowry and Ian McRae had an argument with a large collection of hay bales early on in the event. After that things settled down and the pair took a well earned sixth place.

Oliver Phillips had multi Junior rally winning co-driver Paul Hudson alongside for this round and finished seventh. Oliver now sits three points off the championship lead.

Lucy Cree and Chloe Fleming continued to build their pace as they have done all year.

The next round sees the crews return to the tight, twisty confines of Kames in August.

Photograph: Sam Pattison and co-driver Paul Whittaker in their Skoda Citigo. Photograph: West Coast Photos. NO_AA29_Mach1Juniors_SamPattison