Champion Bustard Sprints to Final Junior Victory
October 8, 2013 by Andrew Bushe
The eighth and final round of the McGrady Insurance Junior 1000 Rally Challenge Ireland, took place on Saturday 5th October at Kirkistown. For the first time the Junior Rally run alongside a sprint meeting, and it proved very successful thanks to the efforts of the 500 MRCI.
Six Juniors lined up for six stages, in fine weather and amongst those drivers was a newcomer, 15 year old, Joseph Donegan from Navan, with a Nissan Micra. Joseph’s father Pat, well known in racing and rallying was there to support him, and his pace improved greatly as the day wore on, guided by co-driver Andrew Hawthorne.
At the front there was a familiar pattern with Adam Bustard sprinting into a stage one lead, three seconds faster than Kyle White. William Creighton was third, another two seconds back, but he had a serious delay with the C1 cutting out completely at the same place on both laps. It was a fault that was going to hit the car at exactly the same place on the track all day, and any chances of victory were dashed. Just behind was the top Micra runner, 14 year old Philip White who made a fast start to pull out a gap over James Partridge in the 107, with Joseph Donegan next up.
On stage two Adam Bustard was fastest with Kyle fastest on stage three, and William Creighton hanging onto third but dropping further back with the car repeatedly dying at the same spot. Philip White was fourth despite losing a bit of time to a rapid James Partridge on stage two, and Joseph Donegan was closing the gap to the cars in front rapidly.
On stage four it was Creighton who recorded fastest time by over a second, despite the car cutting out again, but he was rapidly on the ignition key to re-start the engine. Adam maintained his early advantage over Kyle with two 2.7 mile stages to go.
Philip White would secure his fourth place, with a fine drive, just reward for co-driver Glen Campbell, on his last event here as he is emigrating to Austrailia this week! James Partridge and Billy Regan took a fine fifth and this crew have had some great runs this season in their 107, and will be worth watching next season. Joseph Donegan completed the top six, and the benefit of the speed traps at this sprint illustrated just how close these cars are matched.
For William Creighton it was third, and a case of what might have been, as he set another fastest time on the final test, despite the car still misbehaving. Kyle White in second had no real answer to Adam Bustard, but the 17 year old Finaghy driver has once again shown talent this season, and has really enjoyed his two years in the Junior 1000 series. “It’s been an excellent championship, so competitive, with some great races. I think I’ve learnt a lot from it, and the atmosphere has been good also” commented Kyle. For winners Adam Bustard and his Uncle Brian, it was fine way for them to end their two years in the Junior 1000 Rally Challenge Ireland. “It means a lot to win this championship” commented the 17 year old. “I had competed in some rally-sprint events before this, but when you compete in this series it’s a different level. Every second counts and you are watching the times at the end of every stage, as it’s always so close. It’s been such an enjoyable two years. I feel that I have learnt so much and had great fun along the way.”
This series was also supported this season by the rally classified ads website www.rallysales.eu and Yokohama tyres, and plans are afoot for next year’s series, and anyone interested to find out more information should contact the P.R.O- Andrew Bushe- firstname.lastname@example.org