Class win for Jackson on closed-road debut

Warwick youngster Matthew Jackson drove his newly built Super 1000 Spec Nissan Micra to class success at the 41st Jim Clark rally in Kelso.

The event is the only one of its kind in the UK which closes roads to the public for the duration of the event.

This threw up a fresh challenge for 18-year-old Jackson and partner Joe Cruttenden, with the pairing having never competed on closed road stages before.

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As a result, the crew were allowed to recce the stages before the event to get a feel for the roads and to make and edit a set of pacenotes to use during the event.

The rally got underway on Friday evening with a loop of two stages, starting with a one-mile spectator stage around the town centre in Duns.

After the first day, the pairing, who are both motorsport engineering students, lay a very creditable 18th overall and led class RC1 by 35 seconds.

The second day started early on the Saturday morning with a short five-mile stage through Polwarth, which saw the duo overhaul several of their more experienced rivals.

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Confident runs through the final four stages saw Jackson and Cruttenden hang on to top spot in their class and guide their one-litre Nissan Micra to 18th out of the 29 starters.

‘We are delighted with the result,” said Jackson. “After the disappointment on the Bulldog [where the duo were forced to retire] we both headed to the event with the view that a finish would be a victory in our eyes.

“But to take home a first in class award is amazing.”

The next outing for the pair will be the Midsummer Stages at Caerwent on the final weekend in June.

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