2015 Motorsport Ireland Young Rally Driver of the Year, Rob Duggan, continues his DMACK Junior British Rally Championship assault this weekend on the Pirelli Carlisle Rally, the third round of the 2016 British Rally Championship. 22 year old Duggan, from Killarney Co. Kerry, currently leads the DMACK Junior Championship by a single point after taking maximum points on the Circuit of Ireland Rally a few weeks ago. The Pirelli Carlisle Rally sees the series return to gravel however and it will also be the first time Rob will drive in the infamous Kielder Forest.
Despite heading to a new event, Rob isn’t fazed; “I’m really looking forward to the Pirelli Carlisle Rally, from what I’ve heard it’s a really challenging event. Heading there with a narrow lead in the championship doesn’t really change our plan, we know we can leave Carlisle with good points and we can take a lot of confidence from our opening gravel rally of the season in Wales. We have decided to hold off on playing our double points “joker” on this round. Sindre Furuseth, who is just behind us on points has already played his joker and Gus Greensmith is using his this weekend so I’m going to hold on to mine for a little while yet. I competed on the Moonraker Forestry Rally recently and I’m happy with how my gravel pace is progressing with each event. Myself and my co-driver Ger have been working hard since the Circuit of Ireland on our preparation and we’re beginning to see the results of our hard work now.
Open to any driver under the age of 26, the DMACK Junior BRC is a competitive proving ground for crews as they have the chance to tackle some of the best forest stages and Tarmac tests in the British Isles in FIA-homologated R2 cars. DMACK will supply control tyres for the DMACK Junior BRC series, and the number of tyres used per round will be restricted to keep costs to a minimum and to create a level playing field for all competitors in the class. The 2016 DMACK Junior BRC Champion will take a huge step onto the world stage with a subsidised drive in the 2017 Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy on five WRC rounds, with the winner benefiting from testing before every round as part of the package. The winner of the 2017 Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy will themselves receive a funded drive in an R5 car on selected events during the 2018 WRC season. Rob and navigator Ger Conway are key members of Vauxhall Motorsport UK who are running a trio of Vauxhall Adam R2 cars in the series.
Starting right in the heart of the Pirelli factory, the Pirelli Carlisle Rally will see four tests take place out by Kielder Dam on Saturday afternoon in the early evening. Adding to the challenge will be the fact that a remote service will be the only respite the crews will get in between the stages. Sunday sees a final three stages before the finish back in Carlisle. More information on the event can be found by visiting www.msabrc.com
To keep up to date with Rob’s exploits through the season, visit www.robduggan.com and www.vauxhallmotorsport.co.uk
Rob is supported by Rentokil Initial, Motorsport Ireland, Sport Ireland and the Team Ireland Foundation.