Jon quickly getting to grips with new car(December 23, 2009)
Jon Armstrong in action during the Rallysport Association two day summer shoot-out. photo: Tommy McCaughley. Having tasted success in the Class 1 1200 Nova range earlier this year, Jon Armstrong, Fermanagh's young rally star, has had a graduation of sorts.
The 15-year-old from Kesh has upgraded to Class 4 (1600 - 2000c) and is currently getting to grips with his new drive, a left-hand F2000 Fiat Stilo Abarth.
The early signs are good. Last Saturday (19th) Jon cruised to victory in his class at the event in Moneyglass. The Devenish College student finished fourteenth overall, maintaining his excellent form since his change of car. Jon also won his class (4) and finished in ninth position overall, in what was only his second event at this level, also in Moneyglass earlier this month. That he ranked so highly in treacherous weather conditions only made his performance more impressive.
Armstrong's blossoming career first came to the fore earlier this year, when he triumphed in the three perpetual cups - winter, two-day shoot out and summer. He was dominant in the Rallysport Association Summer Series, winning consecutive rounds in the Class One Championship and Armstrong followed this up with success in the Altrack Summer Series 1200 Vauxhall Challenge, also at Moneyglass, in September. But with the change in car, comes greater challenges.
The teenager is having to come to terms with a completely different style of machine. As opposed to his four-wheel-drive Nova, the Fiat is a left-hand-drive. The engine, at 1800cc, is a big step-up from what he was previously driving, and represents a sharp incline in his progress on the circuit. Jon has also made a change in his choice of tyres. He is now using Silverstone Competitions, supplied by Lakeland Tyres in Lisnaskea.
Moving into the New Year, Armstrong will be looking to continue his rich vein of form. The next date in his calendar is for the end of February, when he plans to compete in the new Interprovincial Rallysprint Challenge.
This article appeared in Impartial Reporter 23th Dect 2009First published in the www.impartialreporter.com on the 23 Dec 09