Stuart Biggerstaff has been helping to put the “go” into motorsport ahead of this weekend’s Circuit of Ireland.
Even though he is still very much a rally rookie himself, 21-year-old Stuart has been lending his support to the Go Motorsport initiative which is aimed at taking the sport to a new audience.
Work commitments meant he missed out when his dad Denis, a two-time Northern Ireland champion, and Go Motorsport’s regional representative Jonathan McDonald visited the City of Armagh High School to talk to GCSE pupils whose curriculum includes a Motor Vehicle and Road User Studies class.
But Stuart was on hand at the Ultimate Car Show in Larne along with the Subaru Impreza S9 he will drive in the national section of Circuit starting from Dundalk on Saturday.
“I think Go Motorsport is a great initiative,” he said. “I've been very lucky in that I was brought up surrounded by motorsport but there are many people who don’t know how to get involved.
“Go Motorsport (GoMotorsport.net) aims to make it more accessible. We are happy to help spread the word via school visits, shows etc. It really is a fantastic sport to be involved in whether through marshalling, competing or just spectating.”
But young Biggerstaff has been on a steep learning curve himself. He may hold joint second place in same Hankook Northern Ireland championship his father won in 1999 and 2001 but he has only competed on three rallies so far and this weekend will see him tackle closed public road stages for the first time.
In his three previous appearances the Dromara driver has finished second, second and third but all these events have been within the confines of the race circuits at Kirkistown and Bishopscourt. The Circuit represents a completely different challenge — one stage, a marathon 18-miler in the dark, is nearly as long as some entire rallies he has competed on.
Biggerstaff currently shares second place in the NI series with former champion George Robinson, five points behind leader Derek McGarrity.
But McGarrity won’t score points this weekend because he is competing in the international section of the UTV Drive Circuit and Robinson misses out — because his co-driver, Tommy Speers, has an Easter choir engagement!
Biggerstaff starts at No.8 in an entry list which is headed by last year’s winner Kenny McKinstry.