ROUND seven of the McGrady Insurance Junior 1000 Rally Challenge Ireland, took place on Sunday as part of the Solway Coast Rally in Scotland.
Four crews travelled across to the event run by the Solway Car Club, to join the Scottish junior competitors, making up an impressive twenty one starters.
This ten stage event was an all pace-note affair, utilising a variety of surfaces including tarmac and loose gravel, as it wound its way through the vast expanses of the camp. It was a real challenge for the Irish Junior 1000 crews.
First onto the opening loop of two stages was series leader Adam Bustard in the Chevrolet Spark.
The Castlederg driver set the second fastest times among the Irish crews on both the 1.35 mile first stage and the long 5.5 mile second test.
It was unfortunate that due to a time keeper officals error that he caught a fellow competitor half way through the stage costing him at least 20 seconds.
Kyle White in the 107 Peugeot was a second faster than Adam on the first stage, and then having a superb run, with third fastest overall time behind Scottish series leader Alex Vassallo in his Citroen C1 and Ryan Weston in his Toyota Aygo on the daunting second test.
Third in the Irish race was William Creighton, in his Citroen C1. He survived a moment on stage one running wide over a small bridge, dropping a couple of seconds, on a corner that was to claim Ryan Weston later in the day.
On stage two William got into a better rhythm equalling Adam’s time to lie three seconds behind after two stages.
The second loop was a repeat of the first. Adam had two good stages, taking a few seconds from William on the stage three, and just one second on stage four, to leave him eight seconds in front.
Slight changes were made to the route for stages five to eight, and 17 year old Bustard extended his lead to twelve seconds after stage five, and then dropped a second to William Creighton on the next stage.
On stage seven both Adam and William had an excellent run, and they tied for fastest overall time, once again illustrating the pace of the Irish runners on their first visit to this event.
On stage eight, 15 year old William took two seconds off Adam to leave the gap at nine seconds with a loop of two identical five miles stages to go.
The crews looped a five-mile stage twice to finish, and it included a new gravel section with a small jump, and to add to the challenge the rain fell heavily before the start.
On the first of these Bustard took just one second off William, opening his advantage to ten seconds before the final stage.
On the final stage he made no mistakes, taking fastest time into the bargain to finish an impressive third overall on the event and take maximum Irish points. Next up was William Creighton, fourth overall, and second of the Irish runners, after a very consistent run. Making it into fifth and third in the Irish race was Kyle White, in an event that the Junior crews found totally thrilling.
Now Adam has a commanding series lead, but should a disaster strike, the championship is still up for grabs, as the crews now prepare for the next round.
Round eight of the McGrady Insurance Junior 1000 Rally Challenge Ireland, takes place at St. Angelo on October 5th.