Irish Rallying

Duggan rolling out new modified Ford Escort for 2021 rallies

Irish rally fans have a lot to look forward to over the final months of 2021. Now, they have one more reason to get excited as rapid Kerry driver Rob Duggan is set to roll out his brand new Ford Escort Mk2.

The 2.5 litre modified monster is on course for a Donegal Harvest debut although Duggan has a few late nights ahead if he is to pull it off.

“I’ve been building it for a few years,” explained the 28-year-old. “Now, I’m just trying to find the time to finish it off.

“Once it’s finished and I get a day’s testing in it, whatever rally falls into place next I will go to it.

“I haven’t done the Harvest before. I’m sure it will be challenging if we get up the road to it on time.

“It will be close but we will keep pushing for that deadline.”

Duggan has proven time and time again that he is fast whether driving a front-wheel-drive, four-wheel-drive, or rear-wheel drive. He had hoped for some R5 outings in 2020 but he has used Irish rallying’s break to build his own Escort.

Duggan’s Class 14 package includes a Tractive gearbox, Reiger suspension, and AP brakes.

Is he excited?

“Yeah big time! An Escort has been a dream of mine for a long time.

“Even though I have driven a lot of them, it will be nice to have everything just the way I like it.

“Rallying has been a huge part of my life over the last ten years and to be without it for this long feels weird.

“I’m looking forward to getting back at it. Let’s hope they keep the price of it down so we can do a good few next year.”

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Along with October’s Donegal Harvest Rally, Duggan is hoping to do Banna Beach’s Kerry Winter Stages Rally as well as Killarney Historic Stages Rally.

Killarney Historic is Duggan’s most recent appearance and he hasn’t ruled out a defence of his 2019 title. Duggan and co-driver Gerard Conway scored an impressive victory two years ago after a rally-long battle with World Rally Championship regulars Craig Breen and Paul Nagle.

“I will be out in the modified car [for Killarney] hopefully. Stranger things have happened though and I would love to defend the overall Historic overall title.

“We will have to wait and see.”

Photo by Gavin Woods

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