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Outright victory for Armstrong in Craigavon

(August 18, 2011)

Jon Armstrong gained his second outright rally win last Tuesday in the Rallysport Association's gravel rally series at the Bluestone rally complex in Craigavon.

Jon went to the rally having not competed since April, and not on the loose since summer 2010, and the first stage was to prove something of a baptism of fire, Armstrong had to run first on the road on a wet shale surface which cleaned a line for the rest of the field, and made setting a good time seem impossible. However, the youngster set the seventh fastest time overall and second in class for an impressive start.

After a few changes to the suspension set-up, and a level playing on the track, Jon set about clawing back the 18 seconds lost to the leader by setting the fastest time on stage two, leapfrogging him up to second overall and into the class lead.

And he continued to set the time-sheets alight, setting fastest times on the next three stages, taking chunks out of the leader and dominating class 4.

The cancellation of the last stage left Jon with a dilemma on stage Six. He had to decide whether to settle for the class victory and second overall or to push for outright victory.

Jon went for maximum attack on the last stage taking almost five seconds out of the leader and bringing the Monaghan Bros. and Cosmeticdiva backed Fiesta home on the top spot.

This was an impressive overall performance by Armstrong in winning class 4 by 36 secs and taking the victory ahead of turbocharged and 4 wheel drive machinery, setting all but one of the fastest stage times.

It was also valuable experience on gravel for Jon ahead of December when he turns 17 and aims to compete on the stage rallying scene.

First published in the www.impartialreporter.com  on the 18 Aug 11

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