RISING Helensburgh rally star Fraser Anderson finished as top Scot in the season-opening DCC Junior Stages Rally in Edinburgh on Sunday – as an Englishman, a Welshman and a Scotsman topped the overall podium.

Anderson and his co-driver Steven Brown took their Citroen C1 to an overall second place in the Ingliston event, just 16 seconds adrift of Wales’s Ioan Lloyd at the wheel of a similar machine.

The rally attracted 15 young drivers from all four UK nations to the tight and twisty service roads within the Ingliston Showground, all keen to impress in the first event of the season in both the Junior 1000 Ecosse Challenge, for Scottish-based drivers, and the Junior 1000 Rally Championship for those from England and Wales.

Anderson and Brown doggedly chased Lloyd and his co-driver Jonathan Jackson throughout the eight stages of the event – but Lloyd kept himself a few seconds ahead on each stage to secure overall top spot.

But maximum points in the Ecosse Challenge was Anderson’s main goal, and it was one he achieved safely with a steady pace throughout to finish ahead of runner-up Lewis Hooper and third-placed Marcus McElwee.

Hooper and his co-driver Sam Bilham drove a tidy and consistent pace all day in Hooper’s beautifully-prepared Nissan Micra, but were unable to match the pace of the newer cars in front, and secured fifth overall as well as second spot in the Ecosse Challenge.

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The podium for the latter contest was completed by Irishman McElwee, in his Skoda Citigo, and co-driver John Henderson.

Fourteen of the 15 cars entered finished the event, with Oliver Hunter and Michael Cruickshank (Peugeot 107) the only ones not to stay the course after a drive shaft broke on the first stage and then, after that was fixed, a gearbox problem forced them to pull out.

Anderson and his fellow Junior 1000 Ecosse Challenge competitors are back in action on April 13 in the Memorial Garden Stages at the Royal Marines’ Condor base in Arbroath.

Fraser Anderson’s dad, George, said: “Getting the first win in the Scottish Championship and second overall against some of the best young drivers in the UK was a great start to the season and a great confidence boost for Fraser and his co-driver Steven Brown.

“Unfortunately, we were losing time on the straights due to a gearbox issue, which hopefully we can resolve for the next round.

“Thanks to our sponsors, Baxter and Gillespie Ltd, HBR Accident and Repair, Artex, AkzoNobel and Kenneth Brown Motor Engineers, and anybody else who has assisted us.”