Alice Paterson and Amy McCubbin
Junior rallying for 14-17 year olds is a relatively recent innovation, mainly found in the UK and Scandinavia. Girls are often involved. Below are profiles of some of the youngest rally drivers in Europe.
Lina Björklund - currently competes in the Junior class of Swedish rallying. She started her rally career in 2013, in a Volvo 940, and was 53rd in her first event, the LRD-Ruschen. This was enough to attract the attention of Ramona Karlsson, who named her as one of her “Young Female Drivers”, who are being mentored by Ramona. In 2014, she undertook a wide programme of Swedish rallies, and enjoyed a best finish of eleventh, in the Föneruschen event. She also scored three Youth class wins, quite early in the season, and was a strong contender for the championship. She also managed another, separate class win in the Kullingstrofén, and was 75th overall. In 2017, she did not manage many rallies, but was twelfth in the Jamtrallyt, in the Volvo. Prior to taking up rallying, Lina competed on the circuits for three years, in the Renault Junior Cup. In 2012, she was second in the championship, with three wins.
Jenna McCann – Irish driver who came to prominence competing in the Junior championship in Ireland. In 2017, she won the Irish Junior Tarmac Championship. She started her 2015 campaign in a Peugeot 106, which gave her a best finish of sixth in the Cavan Stages Junior Rally, but became increasingly reliable. A Ford Fiesta R2 proved more reliable, and gave her two fifth places, in the Clare and Wexford Junior rallies. She was seventh in the championship overall, and the only female driver. A move into the Irish National Championship in 2016 led to a win her class in the Cavan Stages, finishing 47th overall. She finished all ten of her events. She won her first rally in 2017: the Cork 20 International Junior Rally. In 2018, she mostly took part in senior events in her Fiesta, in both Eire and Northern Ireland. Her first experiences with rallying came from navigating for her father, James McCann, in 2013.
Amy McCubbin - active in junior rallies in the UK since 2016, when she was fourteen years old. In her first season, she was eleventh in the 1000 Junior Ecosse championship, driving a Nissan Micra. Her best finish was ninth in the ABR Travel Services Junior Rally. In 2017, she improved dramatically, and became a regular top ten finisher, despite swapping her Micra for a Skoda Citigo. Her best finish has been fifth, in the Granite Junior Stages, driving the Citigo. She was seventh in the 2017 Junior 1000 Ecosse Challenge. In 2018, she continued for another season as a junior, in the Citigo.
Kasia Nicklin - one of the youngest-ever rally drivers in the UK. She began rallying in 2010 in Junior F1000, aged fourteen. Her car was a Nissan Micra, and her best result was fourth in the Junior class, in the Hall Trophy Stages. In 2011, she continued in the same series and the same car, and was a more consistent top-ten contender, with multiple fourth places. In 2012, she continued in the Junior class, and achieved second places in the Honington and Woodbridge Stages. She was seventh in the junior class. She did three major rallies in 2013, in the Micra. Her best finish was 20th on the Woodbridge Stages, where she won her class. She does not appear to have competed in 2014, but she managed to get out again in the Micra in 2015. Her best result was 24th, second in class, in the Flying Fortress Stages.
Alice Paterson - started rallying at the age of fourteen in 2016. She contested the 1000 Junior Ecosse Challenge and was twelfth overall, driving a Peugeot 107. Her best rally result was thirteenth, which she achieved on five out of her six rallies. She stuck with the same car for 2017 and earned some better finishes; four out of her five rallies have ended in top tens. The best of these was a fifth place in the 5 Star Junior Stages. Both Alice and Amy McCubbin spoke out in the Scottish papers against David Coulthard when he cast doubts on women’s ability to race cars. Her 2018 season was quite similar, although she did suffer a couple of retirements.
Erica Winning - took part in junior rallies in the UK in 2018, driving a Nissan Micra. She mostly competed in Scotland, in the Junior 1000 Ecosse Challenge. From seven events, all of which she finished, she managed four top-tens, the best of these being two ninth places in the Condor Memorial Gardens and 5 Star Junior Stages. 2018 was her first season as a rally driver.
(Image from http://www.soscc.co.uk)