Duggan destroys competition for another win
The number of superlatives to describe Rob Duggan and Ger Conway’s performances in the DMACK Junior British Rally Championship this year are dwindling.
Despite the Vauxhall Adam not being proven on gravel at the start of the year – and neither was Duggan at that point – the Killarney man added a win in Carlisle and a second place in Scotland to a 25s overnight lead after Saturday’s gravel leg of the Nicky Grist Stages.
His only real challenger on pace was Gus Greensmith, but the Drive DMACK Trophy driver – competing only on select rounds of the BRC – suffered a first stage puncture and a third driveshaft breakage of the year on his Fiesta R2T ruling him out of a chance at the victory.
Duggan headed six of Saturday’s eight stages. His only slight worry was a problem with the throttle which was only allowing 80-90 percent. You wouldn’t have guessed by the times.
Emerging on Sunday’s asphalt tests to take three stage wins was Duggan’s team-mate Mattias Adielsson. It was a phenomenal turnaround from Saturday, when one of the BRC’S most positive characters was destroyed having pushed as hard as possible and still lacking Duggan’s pace. Still, he dusted himself off and proved his mettle, stealing second away from Sindre Furuseth on the day. The Norwegian was competing on asphalt for the first time and performed admirably holding onto the final podium spot.
Greensmith set more quickest times on Sunday, but aquaplaining was an issue for all crews in the afternoon and the Bury driver suffered, rolling his Ford Fiesta R2T. Fellow R2T driver Meirion Evans discovered yet more problems with his car after the Scottish, but despite fixing them he was still a little puzzled as to a lack of pace on Epynt where he was expected to go well. He took fourth overall. Rounding out the top five were Josh Cornwell and Dai Roberts. Cornwell is one of the youngest Juniors and has little asphalt experience. Scot Blair Brown was reeling him in and got within four seconds before the final three stages were cancelled.
If the juniors weren’t worried before the NG Stages, they will be now. Duggan leads by 25 points – the amount for an event win – and has yet to play his double-points joker. His two title rivals Furuseth and Adielsson have played theirs.
the afternoon with “no dramas” to take the category win ahead of Theo Bengry/les Forsbrook who were slowed near the end with steering problems in their similar car.
There was a close battle for the Fiesta ST Trophy honours, where Cameron Davies/lee Taylor recorded another win despite being slowed early on, as they and rivals George Lepley/ Arwel Jenkins set close times all day. A puncture on the second run through Route 60 cost Lepley dearly.
Slightly luckier were Chris Powell/jim Lewis who managed to make it to the finish despite alternator failure on their Talbot Sunbeam, the pair taking their first BTRDA class 1400S win, finishing just under half a minute ahead of championship leaders Jordan and Paul Hone, who had a good run in their Proton Satria.
Emily and Eliot Retallick repeated their Plains class RF 1.4 success in their Peugeot 205XS, as Richard Wells/calvin Houldsworth took the honours in RF1.6 in their Volkswagen Polo, as Neil Andrew/don Adams overcame a fuel leak to win class 1400C in their Micra.