Enniskillen MC May Day Rally @ St Angelo - (Mon) 7 May 12

Posted: August 17, 2012 2:10 PM - 8132 Hits

Round 3 - 2012 Junior 1000 Rally Challenge (Northern) Ireland

Adam Bustard takes maiden junior series victory

Posted: August 17, 2012 2:10 PM

The third round of the McGrady Insurance Junior 1000 Rally Challenge Ireland, at St Angelo near Enniskillen on Bank Holiday Monday, saw a new winner emerge in the shape of 15-year old Adam Bustard from Castlederg. After battling all day with rounds one and two winner Ben Crealey, Adam survived the morning’s relentless rain and treacherous conditions to go on to score his maiden rally victory.

14-year old Ben from Portadown had to be content with second place this time around, but still leads the series. In third place for the third time this season was Lurgan’s Rhys Bunting who, at 16, is the oldest of the seven junior drivers.

Last weekend’s event at St Angelo - a former World War II RAF airbase, which later became an Army barracks and is now an airport - featured six special stages utilising the runways and perimeter roads around the venue. The day began with heavy rain that caused standing water to collect in various places and, with none of the seven drivers having ever competed in these conditions before, there was some apprehension amongst them before the start.

Since round two, Adam’s team had been working on his Chevrolet Spark to see if they could make it lighter and more agile – and their efforts paid off – as he and his new co-driver Nigel Mills were fastest on the first stage. Rhys and his co-driver Andrew Bushe in their Citroen C1 were 4.3 seconds behind in second whilst surprisingly, taking into account previous form, Ben was third - albeit by just 0.3 seconds - he and co-driver Liam Regan admitting they were probably being too cautious in the wet conditions.

However, perhaps not cautious enough was Kyle White, the 15-year old from Belfast putting his Peugeot 107 off the road and onto the grass not far from the start and losing nearly 30 seconds in the process. But on stage two Kyle fought back and posted the second-fastest time, just 0.5 second slower than Adam who went quickest again.

Ben was third fastest this time and said he was struggling to find a rhythm and dropped another 3.6 seconds to the leader. But on SS3 he set the fastest time by 4.3 seconds, after his team found he was not getting full throttle due a cable problem.

Whilst Adam momentarily visited the grass, for Kyle the situation was worse, when a change to the stage layout caught him out and his Peugeot ended up getting stuck on top of a tyre, forcing him and co-driver Alan Purdy to get out of the car to prize it off. With over three-minutes lost, the consequent delay dropped them to seventh and last place and saw Rhys elevated to third.

Eoghan Bogue - co-driven by Andrew Richie - now held fourth in his Nissan Micra, an impressive performance in the conditions, bearing in mind the 14-year old from Newry had not driven a car until four months ago. Next was Conor Woods – also in a Micra and also 14 – from Derrygonnelly wanting to impress on his most local event of the season and, although he was driving well, he and co-driver Kris Farrell were frustrated not to be able to post a quick time.

Sixth - and another 14-year old feeling he was driving his Nissan faster than the time sheets suggested – was James Partridge from Moira. But as the day went on his times improved, as he and co-driver Phil Cherry started to get closer to the pace of the others.

With the rain easing and then eventually stopping, the roads began to dry out as cars lined up to start SS4. Ben was fastest again through the stage – and then did it again on SS5 – which meant that, with just one stage to go, just 1.6 seconds separated him and Adam. With it all down to the sixth and final stage, the tension mounted, but both drivers coped with the pressure superbly and, even though Ben was 0.9 quicker, it was not quite enough to secure him his third win in a row.

With a 0.7 margin in his favour, Adam was over the moon to have taken his first victory of the season and is now the second winner from the three events held so far.

The results from this rally mean that, at the season’s halfway point, the standings show Ben in the lead by 10 points, with Kyle, Rhys and Adam all tying for second place. Eoghan currently holds fifth, five points behind and just ahead of Conor by one point, whilst James is in seventh and only four points adrift.

There is now a nine-week gap before the fourth round on 13th July, when the series pays its second visit to Bishopscourt near Downpatrick in County Down.

The 2012 McGrady Insurance Junior 1000 Rally Challenge is supported by Yokohama tyres and SuperDrive Motorsports Centre.

Round two results

Pos. Driver Age Home town Co-driver Car Time
1 Adam Bustard 15 Castlederg Nigel Mills Chevrolet Spark 17:07.2
2 Ben Crealey 14 Portadown Liam Regan Nissan Micra 17:07.9
3 Rhys Bunting 16 Lurgan Andrew Bushe Citroen C1 17:34.6
4 Eoghan Bogue 14 Newry Andrew Ritchie Nissan Micra 17:48.2
5 Conor Woods 14 Derrygonnelly Kris Farrell Nissan Micra 18:06.0
6 James Partridge 14 Moira Phil Cherry Nissan Micra 19:33.2
7 Kyle White 15 Belfast Alan Purdy Peugeot 107 21:01.7

Regulations / Details

Posted: April 20, 2012 12:48 PM

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