Barlow: from sea to Erc

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Marine engineer Fergus Barlow will make his FIA European Rally Championship debut on this weekend’s Discover Northern Ireland Circuit of Ireland Rally.

Sailing the seven seas limits Fergus’s rallying opportunities – but on dry land, the qualified commercial diver showed his true potential behind the steering wheel by taking a hired Ford Fiesta R2 to 1st in class and 7th overall on his home Mull Rally last year.

Fergus takes advice and inspiration from fellow ERC Junior driver Jon Armstrong (Armstrong Motorsport will run his Fiesta R2 in Ireland) and fellow Scottish hard-charger John MacCrone; indeed John’s brother Alistair MacCrone co-drives for Fergus.

Having raced karts for nine years, Fergus hopes his smooth Tarmac driving style will help him on the high-speed lanes of Northern Ireland.

“The Circuit of Ireland will be my first international rally, my first time in the ERC and, except for a small single-venue event, my first time in Ireland, so it’s very much in at the deep end,” admitted Fergus. “After finishing first in class and seventh overall on the Mull Rally last year, I spent four months in the Indian Ocean working as a merchant seaman and thinking about my next rally adventure – and this is it!”

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