Armed with a new car for 2023, Johnnie Mackay heads for the opening round of the Scottish Rally Championship full of confidence.
The John Easson Award winner has switched from a Fiesta ST to a four-wheel-drive Mitsubishi Evo 7 and is ‘absolutely buzzing’ to be contesting this weekend’s Snowman Rally.
A pre-season test with the new car at Clatteringshaws, near Dumfries, left Johnnie in no doubt he’d made the right decision.
“It couldn’t have gone any better. It’s obviously a very different car from the ST, but I felt very comfortable very quickly. The handling was perfect and it ran faultlessly,” he said.
The Snowman Rally, based at the Muir of Ord, is an event that’s very special to Johnnie.
He explained: “My first-ever rally was the Snowman, and I was only six years old. I think that’s when the rallying bug bit me!
“The first round of any Championship is always special, there’s always a sense of eager anticipation, and this is no different.
“There are something like 15 R5 cars out, which is unheard of in Scotland. I can’t wait to start on Saturday.
“The first two stages are repeated in the afternoon, so our plan is to learn more about the car, and then hopefully in the afternoon we can push on a bit and compare the times. We want to get as much seat time as we can, the results are secondary.”
Johnnie and co-driver Ian Parker are seeded at car 50. Michael Binnie and Clare Mole lead away the 100-strong field in their Evo 9.
Johnnie Mackay would like to thank his supporters
2300 Club John Easson Award
ISS Aberdeen Ltd
Andrew Wood Motorsport