|Vassallo gets some air in his Citroen C1 on the DCC Junior Stages Rally. Photo : Dave Hatrick|
Vassallo, from Corbridge, is contesting both the Junior 1000 Rally Challenge and Junior 1000 Ecosse Challenge championships this year, both championships are for drivers aged between 14 and 17 using cars with engines of 1000cc or less. Despite only starting rallying this year Vassallo had already won two of the three events he had contested prior to the DCC Stages so hopes were high of a good result at the Ingliston-based second round of the Ecosse Challenge.
With experienced co-driver Janice Moore in his Birkbeck-prepared Citroën C1 Vassallo made a storming start to the event, setting a time 28 seconds faster than his nearest rival. He continued that form throughout the days eight stages, being quickest on each one despite the tyres going off on stage 4 and a small overshoot on stage 5. By the end of the event he had pulled out a lead of almost three minutes, a remarkable performance when Junior 1000 events are more usually settled by a few seconds.
“To get my third win in four events is fantastic, I did not expect such a good start to my rally career,” said Vassallo. “I was very pleased with my performance and the car was faultless all day. The tyres going off and the overshoot cost us a few seconds but we still managed to be fastest on every stage.”
“Thanks to Chris Birkbeck and his team and to Janice who was sitting with me for the first time and did a great job.”
Vassallo’s Ecosse Challenge season will continue with the Summer Stages at Crail in June while the next Junior 1000 Rally Challenge round is the TSH Stages at Portreath on 18/19 May.