A new car and a new championship meant 2023 was always going to be a challenge for the 2300 Club John Easson Award winner Johnnie Mackay.
The decision to step up from his faithful Fiesta ST to 4WD technology in the shape of a Mitsubishi Evo7, together with a move into the fiercely-competitive Scottish Championship signalled a determination to further his rallying career.
And the very likeable and highly-rated youngster needed all of that determination during a rollercoaster season, which started with a first-stage retirement on the Snowman Rally, but ended with a brilliant class win on the final round, the Carlisle Stages, to snatch the championship’s class M6 title and the Mitsubishi Motors Cup.
“It was a great finish to the season, and we achieved what we set out to do, although the title looked a long way off when we retired two miles into the first rally of the year!” said Johnnie.
“But over the season, we’ve learned so much about the car, both under the bonnet and behind the wheel. As we progressed, everything started to click, and although we had some issues during the season, the stage times looked really good.”
It certainly looked good on round two of the SRC, the Speyside Stages, where a very measured drive saw Johnnie win his class and finish 26th overall.
Electrical issues and a broken clutch spoiled a promising run on the Jim Clark Reivers, but he bounced back with another class win on the Argyll Rally.
Back onto gravel for the RSAC Scottish Rally, and watched by a marshalling team from the 2300 Club, gearchange problems restricted Johnnie to a still-creditable third in class.
A flat tyre punctured hopes of a class win on the Grampian Rally, where another third in class was posted, together with an impressive 16th fastest stage time.
Retirement on the penultimate round, the Armstrong Galloway Hills left Johnnie with it all to do in Carlisle.
But a typically intelligent drive under pressure, going fast when needed but backing off where necessary, netted the coveted title in fine style.
For 2024, Johnnie and his team made the decision to switch to a later-generation Evo7 that boasts more power, less weight and a sequential box.
He debuted the ex-Scott Beattie/Freddie Milne on the Kinloss Winter Stages, finishing tenth overall and clocking two second-fastest times.
He said: “It was very promising considering it was our first time in the car. We now move up into class M7 and into a good position to fight for the Scottish Challengers title.”
Johnnie Mackay has proved himself a worthy winner and great ambassador of the John Easson Award.
Everyone at the 2300 Club wishes him every success in 2024.
Johnnie Mackay Rallying would like to thank his supporters
2300 Club John Easson Award
ISS Aberdeen Ltd
Andrew Wood Motorsport
Johnnie Mackay our 2022 John Easson Award Winner
Championship: Scottish Rally Championship – SRC Challengers
Round 1 AM Phillip Trucktech Snowman Rally — DNF — Propshaft
Round 2 The McDonald and Munro Speyside Stages – !st in Class m6 – 26th o/a In-car Video
Round 3 The Jim Clark Reivers Rally — DNF — Electrical & Clutch
Round 4 Dunoon Presents Argyll Rally – 1st in Class m6 – 25th o/a. In-car video
Round 5 RSAC Scottish Rally – 25th o/a 3rd in class
Round 6 The Voyonic Grampian Rally – 27th o/a 3rd in class In-car video
Round 7 Armstrong Galloway Hills Rally – DNF – Radiator in-car video
Round 8 Carlisle Stages – 13th o/a – 1st in Class M6
JEA 2023 season’s reports
The 2023 John Easson Award Winner announced….. read more
Top Ten Triumph for Johnnie Mackay at Kinloss…. read more
Final fling for Johnnie Mackay this weekend….. read more
The 2023 JEA Finalists….. read more
Johnnie Mackay wins Scottish Championship M6 class title…..read more
Johnnie Mackay takes on the Carlisle Stages…... read more
Promising pace for Johnnie Mackay on Galloway Hills Rally….Read more
Johnnie Mackay heads for the Hills……… read more
A day of promise on the Grampian Rally for Johnnie Mackay…… read more
Home rule for Johnnie Mackay on the Grampian Rally….. read more
Gear gremlins spoil Johnnie Mackays Scottish Rally….. Read here
Johnnie Mackay’s top class showon Argyll Rally….read more
A day to forget for Johnnie Mackay…… read more
Johnnie Mackay takes on the Jim Clark Reivers Rally….read more
A Class Win for Johnnie Mackay….. read more
Johnnie Mackay starting round 2 in a confident mood….read more
Johnnie Mackay digs deep for super second……read more
Single Venue test for Johnnie Mackay……. read more
Early exit for Johnnie Mackay on the Snowman Rally….read more
Johnnie Mackays Scottish Evo-lution…..read more
Johnnie Mackay is in for a testing year of rallying…..read more
2022 John Easson Award Winner is………..Johnnie Mackay……read more
2022 John Easson Award Finalists unveiled…….read more