Rob completes the Italian job

Rob Duggan: “It was an incredibly tough event”

KILLARNEY rally ace Rob Duggan claimed an impressive sixth place among the Junior World Rally Championship runners at the teak-tough Rally Italia in Sardinia at the weekend.

is finishing position, however, doesn’t quite reflect how successful an event this was for the former Motorsport Ireland Young Rally Driver of the Year.

In his first event with new navigator Tom Woodburn, Duggan set a string of fastest times and ended on a high by being the quickest JWRC driver over the final day of the rally. Duggan’s speed, however, was curbed by an impact with a rock on Friday while battling for the lead and his attempt to charge back up the leaderboard on Saturday was thwarted by a broken driveshaft.

The Killarney driver remains philosophical, however, and he’s already looking ahead to Rally Poland in a fortnight.

Rob competing in the Rally Italia in Sardinia

“It was an incredibly tough event. The heat and the terrain were like nothing I’ve ever experienced but we were encouraged by our pace,” he said.

“Obviously it was really disappointing to have to retire on Saturday while in contention for the lead and the time penalty we received for restarting meant we really couldn’t finish much higher than sixth unless people retired but we were delighted to pick up four bonus points for our fastest times over the weekend,” he added.

The Rentokil Initial supported Duggan said: “Poland, by all accounts, is a real high-speed event which should suit my driving style. Keeping out of trouble will be vital as it’s really cost me on the previous rounds”.

After the event, Rob finds himself sixth in the drivers’ standings on 20 points.

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