Bustard Wins and Irish Juniors Excel in Epic Scottish Encounter!
August 12, 2013 by Andrew Bushe
Round seven of the McGrady Insurance Junior 1000 Rally Challenge Ireland, took place on Sunday 11th August, on the Solway Coast Rally in Scotland, utilising the massive Dundrennan military ranges. Four crews travelled across to the event run by the Solway Car Club, to join the Scottish junior competitors, making up an impressive twenty one starters on what was a dedicated days rallying for the junior crews. This ten stage event was an all pace-note affair, utilising a variety of surfaces including tarmac and loose gravel, as it wound its way through the vast expanses of the camp. It was a real challenge for the Irish Junior 1000 crews. Indeed even the recce on Saturday evening was challenging, as they set off on bicycle, completing thirty-five mile round trip!
First of the Irish crews onto the opening loop of two stages was series leader Adam Bustard in the Chevrolet Spark, The Castlederg driver set second fastest times amongst the Irish crews on both the 1.35 mile first stage and the long 5.5 mile second test. It was Kyle White however, in the 107 Peugeot who set off the fastest, a second faster than Adam on the first stage, and then having a superb run, with third fastest overall time behind Scottish series leader Alex Vassallo in his Citroen C1 and Ryan Weston in his Toyota Aygo on the daunting second test.
Third in the Irish race was William Creighton, in his Citroen C1. He survived a moment on stage one running wide over a small bridge, dropping a couple of seconds, on a corner that was to claim Ryan Weston later in the day. On stage two William got into a better rhythm equalling Adam’s time to lie three seconds behind after two stages. James Partridge and Johnny Baird in their Peugeot 107 made up the Irish contingent, and they started off with an excellent top ten overall stage time on the first gravelly stage. All was going well however until half way through the long stage, when a gear linkage cable broke and the car ground to halt stuck in fourth gear. They would re-join the event on the third loop under Super-rally rules to complete the day, the Moira driver enjoying the stages immensely, and picking up a few points.
The second loop was a repeat of the first, and just to show how competitive the Junior 1000 Rally Challenge Ireland is, 17 year old Kyle White set a fastest overall time on stage three, with Adam Bustard, just one second behind, and joint second fastest. Kyle was now third overall behind Vassallo and Weston and his lead over Adam was now sixteen seconds. However there was disaster ahead on stage four, when Kyle slid straight on up onto a bank on a square right, co-driver Alan Purdy having to scramble out to free the car. The whole escapade cost over forty seconds, and they dropped to third behind Adam and William Creighton. Adam had two good stages, taking a few seconds from William on the stage three, and just one second on stage four, to leave him eight seconds in front.
Slight changes were made to the route for stages five to eight, and 17 year old Adam Bustard extended his lead to twelve seconds after stage five, and then dropped a second to William Creighton on the next stage, both drivers reporting no problems. Kyle White was recovering, and set a good time on the sixth stage. On stage seven both Adam and William had an excellent run, and they tied for fastest overall time, once again illustrating the pace of the Irish runners on their first visit to this event. On stage eight, 15 year old William took two seconds off Adam to leave the gap at nine seconds with a loop of two identical five miles stages to go. Kyle White was a further 13 seconds adrift in third.
The crews looped a five mile stage twice to finish, and it included a new gravel section with a small jump, and to add to the challenge the rain fell heavily before the start. On the first of these Adam Bustard took just one second off William, opening his advantage to ten seconds before the final stage. On the final stage he made no mistakes, taking fastest time into the bargain to finish an impressive third overall on the event and take maximum Irish points. Next up was William Creighton, fourth overall, and second of the Irish runners, after a very consistent run. Making it into fifth and third in the Irish race was Kyle White, in an event that the Junior crews found totally thrilling.
Winner of the event overall was Alex Vassallo who has dominated the Scottish series in the past two seasons. A fine second was last year’s Irish series winner Ben Crealey. The Micra driver had a good finish on this event last season, and is contesting the Scottish series this year. He had a consistent, fast drive which included a joint fastest time on the opening stage, and a second fastest time on stage five, easing off a little towards the end to finish three seconds in front of Adam Bustard.
Now Adam has a commanding series lead, but should a disaster strike, the championship is still up for grabs, as the crews now prepare for the next round. This series, now in its second year is also supported this season by the rally classified ads website www.rallysales.eu and Yokohama tyres. Round eight of the McGrady Insurance Junior 1000 Rally Challenge Ireland, takes place at St. Angelo on October 5th.
To keep up to date please type in Junior 1000 Challenge Ireland into Facebook, and the latest points are also on www.anicc.org.uk
McGrady Insurance Junior 1000 Rally Challenge- Rnd 7 Positions
1 Adam Bustard/Brian Bustard Chevrolet Spark 47m 27s
2 William Creighton/Andrew Bushe Citroen C1 +15s
3 Kyle White/ Alan Purdy Peugeot 107 +26s
4 James Partridge/ Johnny Baird Peugeot 107 +14m 05s
Championship Points after Round 7
1 Adam Bustard 70pts
2 William Creighton 62pts
3 Kyle White 58pts
4 James Partridge 37pts
5 Philip White 29pts
6 Michael McGarrity 27pts
7 Eoghan Bogue 23pts
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