The Irish pairing of Rob Duggan and Ger Conway make their Wales Rally GB debut this week – their reward for coming out top in the 2015 Carryduff Forklift Road To Wales competition. They beat off stiff opposition in the seven round series to bag the drive of a lifetime on the World Rally Championship finale, which kicks off with a ceremonial start this Thursday night.
Duggan and team-mate Conway will tackle the three-day, nineteen stage rally, in the same car that conquered the British Rally Championship, albeit running in Max specification. That means they will be on a level par with the very best crews from WRC-3, formerly the Junior World Rally Championship. They got their first taste of the David Greer Motorsport-run Citroën DS3 R3 during a recent test in County Antrim and covered some forty miles. While gravel is not a surface Duggan has much experience of, he said he felt at ease with the car.
“The extra power from the Max kit is excellent and the car handles really well,” said the 22- year-old. “We made some good progress with the set-up during the test – I’m happy with it. know Wales Rally GB is going to be a big learning curve and that I’m going up another level but I can’t wait to get going. I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do against the top WRC-3 drivers. Result-wise a finish this weekend would cap off a fantastic season for me.”
“I’m absolutely delighted to have won this incredible prize – it’s a great opportunity,” added Duggan. “It has been a long year but the effort my sponsors and everyone in the team have put in to try and win this prize drive has been worth it. It’s good to come out on top against some very talented and extremely fast drivers. We are really excited for Wales Rally GB.”
With thousands of fans from Ireland making the short trip across to Rally GB the Road To Wales winners are set to receive huge support on their World Rally Championship foray. They are one of nineteen drivers, co-drivers and teams from the Emerald Isle taking part.
Based in the north of the country, Wales Rally GB is one of the trickiest events on the WRC calendar and promises to be a real test of character for Duggan and Conway, with rain, fog and mud the order of the day on what has become an unmissable event for motoring fans.
Before the action gets underway proper on Friday with an opening loop of three stages that includes Hafren, Sweet Lamb and Myherin, Duggan and Conway will get the chance to take part in shakedown to get a feel for the car on the slippery forest tracks.
The fantastic prize, worth in excess of £30,000, is one of the largest in UK and Irish rallying this season and has been made possible with the backing of Kelly Motor Group.ie, Pirelli, McGrady Insurance, Carless Performance Fuels and RR Logistics. You can follow the team’s progress on Rally GB by checking out @CFR2Wales on Twitter or searching #CFR2Wales.