The NCSA Junior 1000 Rally Challenge Ireland is set for a dramatic re-vamp in 2018. The MSA and ANICC approved series for budding rally drivers aged 14-17 will witness a resurgence with a fantastic new prize scheme courtesy of the National Construction Skills Academy (NCSA) to help encourage new rallying talent.
Almost £3000 worth of entry prize vouchers are on offer, spread out amongst the first five crews to encourage participation on each round. Added to this a prize for the first Micra in the Challenge, and a trip to M-Sport for the drivers at the end of the season. It’s a very generous scheme, again thanks to new NCSA’s Brendan Crealey, a former Peugeot Challenge and Mitsubishi Evo Challenge winner. “I strongly believe in the Junior 1000 series, and indeed initiated this one back in 2012. As a former competitor I’d like to see more competitors in the series and structured rallying from the age of 14 is a very positive thing. I’d like to see more of the young talent out there getting into rally cars, and that’s the reason I decided to help the forth-coming challenge” said Brendan.
Challenge co-ordinator Andrew Bushe is equally as excited. “Like Brendan I’d like to see new talent coming into rallying, and that’s why I have put a lot of voluntary time and energy into keeping the series going over the past four seasons. Rallying at any level is expensive and it has been difficult to get new blood into rallying over the past year or two in Northern Ireland so the prize scheme will provide very welcome encouragement. We also have the addition of a forty-kilometre test in an R2 Fiesta for the 2018 challenge winner kindly put up by former challenge runner up Peter Bennett, so it’s all happening now.”
From its inception in 2012 the challenge has helped to develop some young motorsport talent in Northern Ireland, and maybe someday will help the next Kris Meeke onto the WRC stage.
Former champions include William Creighton, Josh McErlean, Ben Crealey, Adam Bustard whilst the2017 champion is Sam Adams. Peter Bennett, Kyle White, Daniel Harper, Philip White and Michael McGarrity are just some of the other young drivers who are progressing in the sport since competing in the challenge.
Regulations are being prepared at present for the new challenge and any 14-17-year-old eager rally drivers looking to find out more can contact the co-ordinator.
2018 Junior 1000 Rally Challenge Calendar
30 December ‘17 Maiden City – Shackleton
27 January UAC – Kirkistown
10 February North Armagh – Kirkistown
10 March Ballynahinch – Bishopscourt
07 May Enniskillen- St. Angelo
04 August Maiden City – Shackleton
12 August Solway Coast – Scotland
Reserve event: 06 October 500 MRCI