Duggan the destroyer breaks hopes and dreams of junior title contenders
Well over half the stages won. Five of seven events conquered. Took the title on the Ulster. Sorry, we’re not talking about Elfyn Evans again. Promise. It’s Rob ‘Duggani’ Duggan.
The Vauxhall Junior Rally Team driver saw off allcomers in a dominant display. As convincing as the stats may be – and like Evans – he didn’t quite have it all his own way. A puncture and gearbox problems on the Scottish gave Sindre Furuseth the chance to win, while another puncture in Mid Wales ruled him out of the battle there. But all the other rounds he won, having only competed on a couple of gravel events before with his background in asphalt. It was a crushing display from he and co-driver Ger Conway, who have the opportunity to head to the World Rally Championship with a prize of a subsidised season in the Drive DMACK Trophy courtesy of the tyre firm.
Furuseth was second in the outdated Renault Twingo; it would have been nice to see how close he would have been to Duggan had he had the Irishman’s Adam R2. A puncture in Carlisle curtailed his efforts, while he was never likely to pose a threat to Duggan on asphalt, having not competed on the surface before. His times were impressive considering that though, finishing second on the Ulster and Manx.
Mattias Adielsson rounded out the podium after not quite being able to match team-mate Duggan’s pace. But the Swede still showed impressive speed in defeat, he wasn’t ever far off the Irishman.
Adam Bustard showed impressive pace in the Ford Fiesta R2T, when it proved to be reliable, to take fourth in the standings. In a similar car, Gus Greensmith surely would have challenged Duggan for the title, but was competing at World championship level in 2016. He finished first and second on his two JBRC outings.
The Junior British Rally Championship was one of the best junior series anywhere in rallying during 2016. Long may it continue.