Junior title winner earns Wales Rally GB entry
Dumfries racer Niall Cowan claimed the national junior rally title - in just his first year taking on the full competition.
Twenty-four-year-old Niall claimed victory over the shortened six-race season after a hard-fought battle with Castle Douglas driver Scott Peacock in his MG ZR. He now heads off to Wales Rally GB at the beginning of next month.
The win also sees Niall net a special forest driving lesson with Finnish rally legend Tapio Laukkanen and renowned navigator Drew Sturrock.
The final race took place at the Galloway Hills Rally at the weekend, with Niall’s second place finish behind Peacock enough to secure the trophy.
Niall won the competitive class after four years in rallying.
Niall told the Standard:“I’ve been in the top three for the juniors in the last five races, so it’s been a consistent year but it’s a difficult class to win so I’m very happy to come out on top.
“I get free entry into Wales Rally GB and that’s really a once-in-a-lifetime chance for me because the entry fee is usually expensive.
“We did the odd race here and there previously but we decided to take on the whole championship for the first time this year and it’s a real boost to win it, competing closely for the whole year with fellow local driver Scott Peacock, with whom I had some good battles.
“Next year is the last year that I can compete in the juniors and probably the last time I can become a national champion, so that’s a big incentive for me to try to come back and retain my title.”
Local rallying success continued on Saturday when Penpont’s Greg McKnight claimed the prestigious Scottish Two-Wheel Rally Championship alongside co-driver Harry Marchbank in their Ford Escort Mark Two, comfortably holding off the challenge of Gordon Murray and David O’Brien in second place.