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Glens of Antrim Rally - 7 Nov 09

Posted: November 11, 2009 2:18 PM - 11279 Hits

Round 10 - 2009 Northern Ireland Rally Championship

  • Kenny McKinstry / Noel Orr win

Photo Roy Dempster

Alastair’s Awesome Antrim Attack!

Posted: November 11, 2009 2:18 PM

For Alastair Fisher and Barry McNulty, the weekend’s Glens of Antrim Rally marked the second time which they have finished second overall on a Northern Ireland Championship rally, the first being on the Lakeland Stages Rally. It was a fantastic result for the team in their Gerry McGarrity prepared Group N Mitsubishi Evo 9, and an ideal test for the forthcoming IRC Rally Scotland. In the end on the Antrim event they finished just 15 seconds behind winner, multiple NI Champion Kenny McKinstry in an S9 WRC Subaru, and 16 seconds in front of a tying Jonny Greer (Group N Mitsubishi) and Derek McGarrity (Corolla WRC), with Jonny winning the tie break decision for third place.

For Alastair the rally started with second fastest time on the opening Slieveanorra stage, 11 seconds down on Kenny McKinstry. Then things really picked up for the young Co. Tyrone driver with equal fastest time on stage 2- Beaghs, and fastest overall times on stages 4 and 5, Parkmore and Glenariff to arrive at service just 9 seconds behind Kenny in a fantastic second place overall. “It was a good morning for us and to set a couple of fastest times was a great feeling. We seemed to lose some time on the first Slieveanorra stage, maybe it was on the big uphill sections, but on the other stages after that we could pull better times. The car felt superb. We carried out a test during the week before the event and made a few changes to the settings to deal with the predicted slippery conditions and I think this improved the car again” said Alastair.

After service and again Alastair recorded joint fastest on stage 9 Ballypatrick 2 and set fastest on the penultimate stage, to arrive at the Loughguile finish just 15 seconds behind Kenny. “We were delighted to finish second again on a Northern Ireland Championship rally, and again closer to the top spot, and it has provided an ideal test before IRC Scotland. I haven’t seen the entry list as of yet for Scotland to see who all we have to compete against. For sure one competitor will be Jonny Greer who drove well on the Glens of Antrim, and it was great for Jonny and I to be able to put into practice what we had learned in the BRC in the Glens. For Scotland our aim has to be a top Group N position, and also to gain experience of the event, the stages and the comprehensive recce.” For 2010 Alastair is planning to stick with Group N and probably the British Rally Championship. “I think 2010 is going to be an exciting year for Group N.” And 2010 is bound to be another exciting year for Alastair Fisher.

McKinstry seals third victory on the trot at the Townparks Rally!

Posted: November 11, 2009 2:16 PM

Banbridge's Kenny McKinstry and Bangor's Noel Orr claimed their third Hankook Northern Ireland Stage Rally Championship victory on the trot at last Saturday's Townparks Glens of Antrim Rally!

The crew sealed a start to finish win at the Mid-Antrim Motor Club season finale, while young Group N contenders, Alistair Fisher and Jonny Greer, claimed the remaining podium positions.

"Everything went according to plan," McKinstry said afterwards. "We managed to build a lead after the opening stages and maintained it from there on. After stage five, I think we were something like 25 seconds ahead of Derek but I didn't realise young Alastair Fisher and Jonny Greer were so close in their Group N cars."

"Alistair was only something like 10 seconds behind," McKinstry continued, "so I had to push harder over the following couple of stages. We extended our lead and after that, it was a question of keeping an eye on their times. But young Alistair and Jonny were the stars of show!"

Fermanagh's Alistair Fisher, who finished third overall in this year's Irish Tarmac Championship, claimed a very impressive second overall and topped the Sunoco Fuels Group N tree. Driving their production category Mitsubishi Lancer, and navigated by Barry McNulty, the crew finished just 15 seconds behind McKinstry.

"We set a couple of fastest times which was a great feeling," Fisher admitted. "It's great to finish second at a round of the Northern Ireland Championship for the second time."

Fisher tussled with Jonny Greer and Kirsty Riddick for the runner-up slot, but in the end, Greer had to settle for the final podium position. He was also embroiled in a battle with provisional 2009 overall champion, Derek McGarrity, but it was Greer who claimed third overall on a tiebreak, after both crews finished with equal times!

In fourth position, Derek McGarrity and James McKee wheeled out their Toyota Corolla WRC for Saturday's rally, and struggled to get into the 'groove'. The new champions had to settle for fourth in the end, ahead of Neil McCance and Sean Ferris, while Raymond Johnston and Rodney Hicks completed the top six.

Further down the order, in the Superdrive two-wheel-drive category, Trevor Moore and Ray Fitzpatrick sealed the victory aboard their Mark 2 Escort. The crew finished comfortably ahead of their rivals, and claimed 12th overall in the process. William Carey and Declan McNaughton were best of the rest, with Stephen Wright and Paul McGee taking third in their Ford Fiesta ST.

Finally, in the Montgomery Motorsport historic category, Tommy O'Connell and Sean Magee claimed the spoils in their Escort. They finished 29th overall, while Philip Hunter and Michael Faloon took second in class.


Posted: November 9, 2009 4:06 PM

After claiming maximum points on the penultimate round of the N.I. Championship at Rathfriland Motor Club’s Down Rally, it would have appeared that Emma McKinstry had secured victory in the Northern Ireland ladies championship; however uncertainty over the bonus points system left it unclear.

This left Emma and co-driver Kenny Hull with no option but to contest the final round, Mid Antrim Motor Club’s Townparks Rally, and finish ahead of nearest rival in the ladies standings Roisin Boyd.

While the weather stayed dry all day, heavy ran in the run up to the event, left conditions very tricky. With changing levels of grip throughout. Emerging from the first stage Emma was unhappy with her Subaru’s handling and felt there was a problem with the back brakes. So over the next five stages a cautious approach was adopted, a smart move, as a finish on this event was priority.

At service the Mckinstry Motorsport crew were unable to pinpoint the handling problems that Emma was experiencing. So Emma pushed harder over the second loop of stages, improving on all her previous times over the stages, despite the odd scare along the way.

After twelve tricky stages, Emma and Kenny emerged unscathed to claim the ladies title for Emma for the second year running, along with third in class in the championship for both Emma and Kenny.

“It hasn’t really been the day we were hoping for, we finished up 24th overall” Emma remarked at the finish, “but to be honest I’m just relieved to have made it to the finish, It hasn’t been a great season overall, but it’s nice to salvage something from it and take the ladies title for all our sponsors who have been a great help to us throughout the year!”

Emma and Kenny would like to thank Triton Showers, Dunlop Tyres, McGaffin Contracts, Tom Geraghty Tyres, Sunoco Fuels and ID graphics NI for their support throughout the 2009 season and look forward to working with them in years to come.


Posted: November 9, 2009 3:20 PM

Video Clips

Posted: November 8, 2009 10:01 AM

Full Results

Posted: November 8, 2009 9:54 AM

Competitors gear up for Townparks Glens of Antrim Rally!

Posted: November 3, 2009 3:39 PM

The final round of the Hankook MSA Northern Ireland Stage Rally Championship brings competitors to County Antrim this Saturday for the Townparks Glens of Antrim Rally!

This year's event returns to the forests and after leaving the Loughguile Millennium Centre start on Saturday morning, competitors will tackle 12 stages including Slieveanorra, Parkmore, Beaghs, Glenariff and Ballypatrick.

The event will really sort the men from the boys and heading the entry is Glengormley pilot, Derek McGarrity. Navigated by James McKee, the crew will tackle the season finale aboard their Ford Focus WRC. In recent events, McGarrity has been driving for championship points but this weekend he plans to challenge for outright victory.

Banbridge's Kenny McKinstry will be aiming to stop him in his tracks, and having won the recent F&M Contracts Down Rally, the former champion is full of confidence ahead of Saturday's event. Navigated by Noel Orr, the crew will again have a Subaru Impreza WRC at their disposal.

The Sunoco Fuels Group N category has received a stunning entry with all but one of the remaining top 10 places occupied by production category crews. Alastair Fisher and Barry McNulty, who finished third overall in this year's Irish Tarmac Championship, start at number three in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9.

Carryduff's Jonathan Greer is next in line, but in terms of the tussle for the Northern Ireland Group N Championship spoils, it's all about three crews. Donagh Kelly has the upper hand as he heads the series by seven points, but both Neil McCance and Raymond Johnston are still in with a shout.

The Superdrive two-wheel-drive category has also received an impressive entry. Trevor Moore starts the event at number 12, closely followed by Seamus O'Connell and Philip Hunter, who are among the Montgomery Motorsport historic crews. Drew Stewart and Oran Donnelly will also be in the fray, along with a host of other top drivers.

Crews will blast off the start line on Saturday morning, and after 12 stages, the winners will be crowned at Loughguile's Millennium Centre. More information

Group N Championship To Be Decided This Weekend

Posted: November 2, 2009 11:57 AM

This weekend the hosts the final round of the Hankook MSA Northern Ireland Rally Championship, the Mid Antrim Motor Club’s, Townparks Car Sales Glens of Antrim Rally 2009 on Saturday 7th November with the Sunoco Fuels Group N battle going down to the wire.

The Glens of Antrim rally returns to gravel this year after a years absence. Last year the rally was on tarmac but this year it returns to the County Antrim forests and with the overall champion and 2WD champion decided everyone will be keeping an eye on the Group N battle.

With a top class Group N entry the rally will be very interesting with the likes of Alastair Fisher, Jonathan Greer, Raymond Johnston, Neil McCance, Daimen Tourish and Alan Carmichael to name a few entering the rally who knows what will happen but one things for sure the winner of the Sunoco Fuels Group N championship will be between Donagh Kelly, Raymond Johnston and Neil McCance all driving Mitsubishi Evo 9’s.

At present the Sunoco Fuels Group N category looks like this; Donagh Kelly on 73 points, Raymond Johnston on 66 points and Neil McCance on 60 points. Donagh and Kevin are looking forward to the event and will be looking for a good points scoring finish to clinch the Group N title.

The action starts at 9.30am with 12 challenging stages for Donagh and Kevin to complete, there will be one main service at the GGA grounds in Loughguile after 6 stages. The finish is planned to be around 5.00pm at the Millennium Centre in Loughguile.

Thanks again to the 2009 sponsors, KN Network Services, Donnelly Bros. Dungannon, Prime Tyres and Swan Plant Hire and for there continued support, Shell Racing Fuels, Pirelli Tyres, Castrol and Vehicle Services Motorsport (www.vsmsport.com).


Posted: November 2, 2009 11:56 AM

Regulations / Details

Posted: January 1, 2009 12:01 AM

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