Armstrong Finishes Rookie Season in BRC(October 29, 2013)
Jon Armstrong went into the last event of the 2013 British Rally Championship, leading the Newcomers Trophy and third in Rally Two. The Sunseeker rally was yet another new event to Jon and his Co-driver Karl Atkinson, meaning it would be difficult for the pair to be on the pace of the more experienced crews.
After a steady start on the first stage, Jon set the second fastest R2 time on stage two and was fourth in class. Only a handful of seconds separated the top four going into the third stage and Jon looked on course to set another competitive time however a broken drive-shaft, metres from the finish of stage three, meant that the Fermanagh Teenager had to retire from the event.
A frustrating end to Jon’s Championship as a non-finish meant he lost out on the Newcomer Trophy having headed the standing from the first event of the season. It also demoted him from third to fourth in the Rally two championship.
Following the event, Jon travelled to the Sweet Lamb Rally Complex to take part in the Pirelli Star Driver Shootout. The Pirelli Star Driver scheme has been running since 2008 and each year it aims to support one driver as they take to the wheel of a fully-funded car for the duration of the British Rally Championship.
Jon was of six drivers nominated throughout the 2013 season for their outstanding performances during the season. Jon was selected for his performance on the Ulster rally where he set some of the fastest stage times in the overall BRC rally, beating most of the higher powered DS3 R3’s in the process.
During the two-day shootout, the finalists were assessed on their driving abilities were the drivers completed two competitive runs over a four mile stage within the Sweet Lamb Complex. The drivers were also tested on their media awareness, event strategy, technical ability and future potential.
However, there can only be one winner and this year Daniel Mckenna came out on top. He will compete in the Pirelli backed Ds3 R3 on all rounds of the 2014 British Rally Championship.
Jon Commented after the shootout, “It was a great experience to be involved in the Pirelli Star Driver shootout and I learnt a lot over the two days. The feedback from the judges was very positive and encouraging; they seemed impressed with my driving ability and overall performance. All of the finalists should be very proud, getting to the final is an achievement in its own. I wish Daniel all the best for the 2014”.
The day after the Pirelli Star Driver Shootout, Jon made the journey to Prodrive HQ in Banbury and this was to take part in the BRC Live Media Trophy final. Drivers had been set certain tasks throughout the season relating to media and seven finalists had been chosen to take part in the final. The day started with a tour of the facilities which included the motorsport museum and workshops.
Afterwards the drivers had an interview with judges involved in Motorsport PR and one lucky finalist was chosen as the winner, the prize offered the opportunity to test drive a Mini WRC. The judges said it a very difficult decision because everyone had done a great job. Once again Daniel Mckenna was declared the winner for this amazing prize.
Armstrong, “Today was a great experience, I got to sit in some truly iconic rally cars and see the Prodrive facilities. The judges gave excellent feedback regarding my media skills and it’s definitely something I can work upon in the future. Well done to Daniel, I hope he enjoys the experience”.
Jon would like to thank his Sponsors, Partners and Team for their support throughout the 2013 season!