A top ten finish on the Kinloss Winter Stages saw Johnnie Mackay sign off his 2023 season in style.
The John Easson Award winner was debuting his new Mitsubishi Evo7, the ex-Scott Beattie/Freddie Milne machine boasting a substantial power advantage compared with his previous Evo7.
“It’s a lot lighter than my old car, has around 75bhp more, and a sequential gearbox, so it takes some getting used to,” said Johnnie, who was co-driven by former Scottish Junior driver Lewis Haining.
“We planned on doing the rally just to get some miles under our belt ahead of next year. The conditions were damp on the first couple of stages, so we opted for soft intermediates rather than full wets and just took it steady.
“But as we were queuingtop for stage three, there was a monumental downpour and the track was flooded everywhere. We were on completely the wrong tyres, and even taking it steadily, the car was aquaplaning everywhere and even managed a full 360deg spin in fifth gear.
“The change to full wets for stages four and five transformed the car, and the stage times. We clocked two second fastest times, and I reckon if we hadn’t been baulked on the last test, we would have been quickest.
“All in all, I’m very happy with finishing tenth up against a very strong field. The car didn’t miss a beat all day and hopefully there’s a lot more to come from me and it in the Scottish Championship in 2024.”
Johnnie Mackay would like to thank his supporters
2300 Club John Easson Award
ISS Aberdeen Ltd
Andrew Wood Motorsport