Bustard The Bright Spark in Junior 1000 Opener!
January 21, 2013 by Andrew Bushe
The opening round of the McGrady Insurance Junior 1000 Rally Challenge Ireland, took place on Saturday at the New Year Stages Rally at Kirkistown. Seven junior drivers, aged 14-16 lined up in their 1000cc machines for this series, which is also supported this season by the rally classified website www.rallysales.eu and Yokohama tyres. William Creighton, Philip White and Michael McGarrity were competing for the very first time, whilst the battle for overall honours was expected to be fought out by Adam Bustard, Kyle White, Eoghan Bogue and James Partridge who competed last season. Reigning champion Ben Crealey was an interested spectator, as he is concentrating on the Scottish Junior Championship this season.
The seven junior’s lined up for stage one, at a bitterly cold Kirkistown. The overnight snow had melted, leaving conditions greasy on the mixed surface stage. First on the road was 16 year old Kyle White. Winner of the final round last season, he started in confident form, and posted an excellent time, despite a lurid moment when he clipped a tyre and the little 107 got into a big tank slapper! There were no such moments however for Castlederg’s Adam Bustard, who was a winner last season at St.Angelo airfield. Adam’s Chevrolet Spark had been put on a serious diet over the winter months, shedding 40 kilos, and Adam was in determined form moving into an immediate 2.3 second lead. It was a lead that the 16 year old dramatically extended on stage two, when Kyle White dropped 19 seconds after spinning onto the grass at the bottom of the circuit. Behind them there was also a lot happening
15 year old William Creighton on his first rally in his Citroen C1 took excellent third fastest times on the first two stages, despite a moment on cold tyres at the very first corner of the first stage. 17 seconds behind him after two tests was Micra mounted Eoghan Bogue. The 15 year old had a scare on stage one with a high speed slide and lost time letting another competitor past on stage two, but other than that was getting into the groove after having little pre-event practice. Just two seconds behind Eoghan was James Partridge. The Lisburn driver was getting used to a newly acquired Peugeot 107. It could have been even better for James however, as he had spun the car onto the grass on stage one. The youngest drivers starting the event at just 14 years of age were Philip White and Michael McGarrity, both making their debuts at the wheel of Nissan Micra’s. Philip is the son of Rodney White, well known in the Northern Ireland Championship for rallying rapid Talbot Sunbeams, and Michael is the son of multiple Northern Ireland Rally Champion Derek McGarrity. Philip had two clean runs on the openers, and was just 8 seconds behind James Partridge, whilst Michael had a misfire to contend with on stage one, due to fuel surge and a time consuming spin on stage two. Nevertheless the young Belfast driver was improving rapidly.
The stage lay-out was changed for stages three and four, with more tarmac content. Not that that made any difference to Adam Bustard who was fastest on both tests, extending his lead to over 25 seconds from Kyle White. Kyle got baulked a little on stage 3, but had a good run on stage four despite clipping a tyre. Sensation of the day however was William Creighton who posted a second fastest time, just 1.3 seconds shy of Bustard on only his fourth ever special stage! This helped him to secure third place. Behind him Eoghan Bogue also had two good runs opening up another seven seconds over James Partridge who was now suffering from the brakes locking up. Crumlin’s Philip White too suffered on stage 4, when he braked too late and got wedged on top of the scenery, costing him over 15 seconds. Nevertheless he was still showing well on his first event.
Michael McGarrity too had been showing promise, but his rally ended on stage 3, when he ran fractionally wide, clipped a large lorry tyre, and the Micra was spun off into the Armco barriers. Thankfully both Michael and co-driver Damien Duffin were ok, and a consolation for Michael was watching his dad Derek, take outright victory on the event in his Subaru WRC.
With just two stages to run Adam Bustard’s lead looked secure, and he did exactly what was necessary, with a second fastest time on stage 5, and a fastest time to finish a day where he dominated proceedings. For Finaghy’s Kyle White stage 5 was a good one, taking his first fastest time, and he was just 0.2 of a second behind Adam on the final test despite being held up on lap 2 briefly. Moira’s William Creighton sealed a superb third place with two third fastest times on the final stages. The former kart racer really enjoyed his first foray into rallying, and could be one to watch in future rounds. Eoghan Bogue took a fine fourth, despite a hair-raising 360 degree spin on the penultimate test, which somewhat frightened him and co-driver Liam Regan. It was a close race for fourth place as finishing just 4.3 seconds behind was James Partridge, who was really enjoying his new Peugeot 107. He had the vastly experienced Belfast co-driver Billy Regan alongside for this event. Picking up valuable experience on his first rally was Philip White who rounded off the leader-board in sixth, and was closing the gap on each stage to the cars in front as they day drew to a close.
However it was Adam Bustard, and his Uncle Brian who were the bright sparks of the day taking maximum points, heading into the second round on 16th February at Kirkistown.
To keep up to date please check out our new Facebook page-Junior 1000 Rally Challenge Ireland. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Junior-1000-Rally-Challenge-Ireland/588151257878544
McGrady Insurance Junior 1000 Rally Challenge- Rnd 1 Positions
1 Adam Bustard/Brian Bustard Chevrolet Spark 28m 45.0s
2 Kyle White/Alan Purdy Peugeot 107 +23.6s
3 William Creighton/Andrew Bushe Citroen C1 +35.4s
4 Eoghan Bogue/Liam Regan Nissan Micra +1min 44.8s
5 James Partridge/Billy Regan Peugeot 107 +1 min48.1s
6 Philip White/William Carey Nissan Micra +2min40.6s
Championship Points after Round 1
1 Adam Bustard 13pts
2 Kyle White 11pts
3 William Creighton 9pts
4 Eoghan Bogue 8pts
5 James Partridge 7pts
6 Philip White 6pts
7 Michael McGarrity 1pt
2013 McGrady Insurance Junior 1000 Rally Challenge
Rnd 1 New Year Stages Kirkistown 500MRCI 19th January
Rnd 2 Eurocables Stages Kirkistown NAMCC 16th February
Rnd 3 Bishopscourt Stages Bishopscourt BADMC 9th March
Rnd 4 May Day Stages St.Angelo EMC 6th May
Rnd 5 Summer Stages Bishopscourt BADMC 13th July
Rnd 6 Shackleton Rally Shackleton MCMC 3rd August
Rnd 7 Solway Coast Rally Scotland Solway CC 11th August
Rnd 8 St. Angelo Rally St.Angelo EMC 5th October