Belfast Telegraph

Rob Duggan is all revved up for world rally glory bid

By Sammy Hamill

Regrets? Jon Armstrong will have quite a few after missing out on the prize of a fully-funded entry in Britain's round of the World rally championship in November.

Indeed, the young Kesh driver must still be wondering how it is Rob Duggan and not himself who will line up for Wales Rally GB in a Citroen DS3 R3 supplied and run by the award-winning David Greer Motorsport team.

Armstrong won five times in the seven round Carryduff Forklift-sponsored R2 Road to Wales competition which was incorporated within this season's Northern Ireland Championship but still lost out by a single point to Duggan at the end of Saturday's final event, the Bushwhacker Rally.

"We have been fastest all year so it's unfortunate that we didn't win the overall championship," said a dejected Armstrong.

He and co-driver Noel O'Sullivan paid a high price for two non-finishes, on the Circuit of Ireland at Easter and again on the Tyrone Stages, whereas the consistent Duggan completed all but the Lakeland Stages and won twice.

One of those wins came on the Circuit after Armstrong and O'Sullivan, the leaders, made a cardinal error in failing to report to the tyre marking area - compulsory on European status rallies but not on regular Irish events - as they re-joined the rally after a service break.

They incurred a 15-minute penalty and subsequently retired.

But all credit to Duggan who made the long trips from Killarney for all seven rounds and did exactly what was required by tracking Armstrong through the Tyrone forests on Saturday to earn the second place he needed to secure a prize worth in the region of £30,000.

Paying tribute to Armstrong, Duggan said: "It didn't quite go Jon's way but he has a very bright future ahead of him, that's for sure."

Belfast Telegraph


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