Pearson clinches British Junior Rally Championship in Antrim

GARRY Pearson of Duns won the 2012 British Junior Rally Champion title in Ulster at the weekend after his rival failed to finish the event.

The Championship had been a two-horse race between Pearson, with co-driver Craig Wallace, and the Norwegian champion Steve Rokland.

The standings going into the final two meetings meant that Garry could win just by getting his car around the course in one piece - something easier said than done.

Garry’s father, Monty, explained: “The Renault Twingo that Garry’s been driving this year is a bit deilcate, because it’s not purposely built to be a rally car.”

This meant that Garry was driving at 100mph through narrow lanes in Northern Ireland, while at the same time trying to “ease back” on the car, to ensure no damage was done.

He described this as a unique challenge: “Ulster was a great course, with some very bumpy, technical roads.

“It was quite difficult to go that fast and still think about just keeping the car together, but luckily we managed to go out there and put enough pressure on the other driver [Rokland] that he didn’t finish.”

He continued: “We were still going round expecting to have to go to another rally, but when we saw that Rokland hadn’t finished, we realised we’d won it a bit early!”

There is still some debate as to why the Norwegian failed to last the course in his Ford M Sport.

Monty and the service team originally heard Rokland had got his vehicle stuck off-course, while behind the scenes, drivers wre told the Ford had suffered some refuelling problems.

Garry is now determined to step up to the R2 class and look for more championship wins.

“We’re just on a wee break now,” he says, “we’re in the process of selling off this year’s car and looking to buy one for next year.

“We will be looking at all the different offers, for the best prize money and vehicle, all of that.”

he also said he wants to make a quick return to his home rally, the Jim Clark, where this year he ended up with no points after having to bow out having completed nearly 90% of the course. This left him with the same points as those drivers who did not even start.

That means that Garry and his co-driver are invited to the BRC awards ceremony at the end of this year where they will be honoured alongside the other championship winners.

Pearson has also won the Twingo Renaultsport R1 Trophy, awarding the Scot with a drive in the Twingo R2 on Rallye du Var later this year.