DROMARA has a new rising rally star in Stuart Biggerstaff, the 21-year-old son of former British Rallycross and two-time Northern Ireland Rally champion, Denis Biggerstaff, astounded onlookers on Saturday when he finished second overall on his rally debut. Kirkistown's New Year Stages Rally is the traditional season opener for rallying in Northern Ireland, and there was plenty of competition for the new kid on the block, including two former N.I. champions. But Stuart was seemingly unfazed by the opposition, as he and navigator Damien McCann held second overall from start to finish.
"l can't believe it!" a beaming Stuart said afterwards. "I didn't look at the times all day and nobody told me where we were lying. It was only after the final stage that I realised we were in the top three."
Stuart encountered a few dramas along the way, and probably as a result of pre-event nerves, he stalled his father's lmpreza WRC before the start of the opening stage.
"I was really nervous after that happened,' Stuart admitted. "We were doing a practice start and the car stalled. I don't think I was aggressive enough, so I knew what to do when we were on the start line."
With the first stage completed, those pre-event nerves settled and Stuart was on a high. He entered the second test with renewed confidence and managed to set equal fastest time! Some gearbox gremlins hindered his progress during the closing miles but Stuart held on to the runner-up spot. It was a superb debut drive for the County Down man, and hopefully, it will be the first of many.
"It's an excellent result," Stuart's father, Denis, proudly admitted. "He was equal fastest on stage two so I had to try to push his horns back in after that. He did very well - I don't think I could have done any better myself."