DUGGAN ON VERGE OF TITLE IN ULSTER
Rob Duggan is aiming to wrap up this year’s Junior British Rally Championship title on the Ulster Rally this weekend, before the double-points season finale. Vauxhall Adam R2 driver Duggan goes into the event with a 25-point lead over closest rival Sindre Furuseth, and will play his double-points joker. If Duggan wins it would make his championship lead unassailable despite the final round – Rally Isle of Man in September – being worth double points. Despite his strong form this season, Duggan says he’s determined not to get into an all-out fight with Vauxhall team-mate Mattias Adielsson, who sits third in the points. Duggan said: “Mattias is going to be mental quick, he’ll be going all out for the win. He needs the win to keep his championship going and we need the win to win the championship. Then again, there’s no point getting stuck in a battle, we know that we don’t have to win to win the championship. It’d be nice to win on our joker round as no one else has.”
Victory would give Duggan a subsidised drive in next year’s Drive DMACK Trophy which supports the World Rally Championship.
“The prize is a big bonus but being British Junior champion is a big thing for me,” added the Killarney native. “After winning the Billy Coleman Award last year, it’d be nice to do that proud and hopefully I have so far.”
Duggan’s closest challenger will likely be Adielsson but the duo should also face competition from home favourites Adam Bustard and Aaron Johnston. When their Ford Fiesta R2T has been fully functional, the duo have been a challenge for the top three on stage times this year.
Furuseth has impressed with his pace in the dated Renault Twingo R2, but after making his asphalt debut over Epynt last month, the Norwegian may struggle to match the front three.
In BRC 1, all eyes will be on Josh Moffett as he is hoping to jump into title contention. The Monaghan driver could go within 18 points of championship leader Elfyn Evans if the Welshman suffers a retirement and Moffett wins – with only the double points Manx remaining. Evans, however, will take the title if he wins the event overall.
The Ulster – celebrating its 40th anniversary – will also feature the Irish Tarmac Championship regulars.
That series is guaranteed to go down to the last round (the Cork 20 in October) with Alastair Fisher – nephew of Tarmac legend Bertie – and Sam Moffett tied on 54 points in their Ford Fiesta R5s.
Citroen driver Keith Cronin, three times a British champion, is just 4.5 points behind in third. Despite being out of contention for the BRC after missing three rounds, he’s still a favourite for the Irish Tarmac crown.
Garry Jennings will also take part in the yet-to-be-homologated R5-spec Mitsubishi Mirage. Co-driver Rory Kennedy won the event 20 years before with Bertie Fisher, and has multiple wins under his belt including the 2013 rally alongside Jennings. R5 cars have been notoriously difficult for some to adapt to, but providing Jennings settles in quickly, he should be a force to be reckoned with.
Cronin is favourite for Tarmac title