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Enniskillen Lakeland Stages - (Sat) 11 Sep 10

Posted: September 16, 2010 2:40 PM - 9285 Hits

Round 7 - 2010 Northern Ireland Rally Championship

Photo: Sean Hassett

Video Clips

Posted: September 14, 2010 8:00 PM

Stuart Biggerstaff secures maximum points at Lakeland Stages Rally!

Posted: September 14, 2010 7:56 PM

Stuart Biggerstaff strengthened his position at the top of the Hankook MSA Northern Ireland Stage Rally Championship standings when he claimed maximum points at Saturday's Fisher Engineering Lakeland Stages Rally!

Navigated by Anthony Nestor, the crew claimed an impressive sixth overall aboard their Feckin' Irish Whiskey and Cash Converters sponsored Subaru Impreza WRC at what was the seventh round of the series.

The result marks Stuart's first maximum points haul of the year, and sees him extend his lead to 14 points over his nearest championship rivals, while navigator Anthony Nestor has moved to the top of the co-drivers' standings.

"We started the event at a comfortable pace," Stuart explained. "I didn't look at the overall positions all day but I compared the stage times with my championship rivals. We were close so I was happy."

"When we arrived into service, we discussed what we were going to do," Stuart continued.
"Anthony felt that I was hesitating in places that he was calling as 'flat' so I knew I had to trust the notes better and be more committed."

Lying outside the top 10 with two stages remaining, Stuart moved up four places after stage seven, placing him in eighth overall. One more push over the final Ballintempo stage saw him move up to sixth overall and claim maximum championship points!

"We had a few slides here and there but it was nothing major," an overjoyed Stuart said at the finish. "The car was great and the Hankook tyres were perfect - it was a fantastic event and I'm starting to get to grips with driving on gravel!"

Stuart's driving talent, combined with Anthony Nestor's co-driving skills, saw the crew net their first maximum points haul of the season but luck was also on their side on this occasion.

"We were really lucky," Stuart explained. "The day after the rally, I tried to start the car but she refused to fire up as the throttle motor had stopped working. If that had happened during the event, we would have retired instantly."

Stuart, who is also sponsored by Sunoco Fuels and Millers Oils, will continue his challenge for 2010 Hankook series spoils on 25 September at round eight, the Omagh based Bushwhacker Rally.

Fisher claims narrow Lakeland win while Biggerstaff scores maximum Hankook points!

Posted: September 14, 2010 7:51 PM

Alastair Fisher and Gordon Noble claimed victory at Saturday's Fisher Engineering Lakeland Stages Rally, round seven of the Hankook MSA Northern Ireland Stage Rally Championship!

It was a hard earned win for Fisher, who recently secured the Irish Tarmac Group N title aboard his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9. With the car switched to gravel settings for the eight-stage Lakeland event, Fisher was embroiled in a battle with British Rally Championship leaders, Jonny Greer and Dai Roberts.

Going into the final stage, the two crews were on level terms, but it was Fisher who sealed the rally victory by one second at the finish!

"It's my first rally victory in the Evo," a jubilant Fisher said afterwards. "The last event that I won was the Enniskillen Clubman Rally in 2008 with the Fiesta."

It was nip and tuck between Fisher and Greer throughout the day. The two crews were never separated by more than a handful of seconds, with Fisher taking the early lead by one second after the opening stage.

After setting equal fastest times on stage two, Fisher managed to increase his lead by another second on the third stage, and he repeated that feat on stage four.

Then Carryduff's Greer upped the ante on stage five by swiping two seconds out of his rival. One stage later, it was Greer who held the rally lead by one second, while Fisher was in second position.

With two fastest times in a row, the momentum appeared to be swinging in Greer's favour, but Fisher had other ideas.

Through the 11-mile stage seven, the timesheets show that Fisher nipped one second out of Greer. However, he had actually taken nine seconds out of his rival but in the process, he had beaten the bogey time. As a result, he was awarded the slower 'bogey time', leaving the crews on equal terms going into the final stage.

The final stage was a repeat run through the 4.6 mile Ballintempo test, where Fisher had been one second faster than Greer earlier in the day. Despite losing third gear midway through the stage, Fisher repeated that feat to seal the rally win by one second from Greer!

Outside the raging battle between the leading two pilots, Kenny McKinstry and Kenny Hull held third overall throughout the day. They could do nothing about the flying Evo men in front, and finished 54 seconds adrift of the rally winners.

Donagh Kelly and Kevin Flanagan secured fourth overall ahead of Martin Cairns and Andrew Purcell but in terms of the Hankook MSA Northern Ireland Rally Championship, sixth placed Stuart Biggerstaff and Anthony Nestor secured their first maximum points haul of the season.

Biggerstaff mounted a huge charge through the closing stages, moving up six places over the final two tests. The result saw Biggerstaff extend his championship lead, while navigator Anthony Nestor moved to the top of the co-drivers' standings.

Marc Johnston and Colin Harkness were second among the championship points scorers, and also claimed maximum points in the Sunoco Fuels Group N category.

Mark Donnelly and Sean Ferris arrived home as third placed points scorers ahead of Cyril Doherty and Graham Henderson. Donnelly maintained second position in the series standings, while Doherty moved up to third position.

In the two-wheel-drive category, Adrian Hetherington and Gary Nolan secured the top award, as well as seventh overall, in their Mark 2 Escort. They were embroiled in a battle with Frank Kelly and Liam Brennan, but an overshoot on stage seven saw Kelly drop out of contention.

The Montgomery Motorsport historic category saw both Andy Johnson and Tommy O'Connell retire from the event. Johnson retired his Chevette with a broken half-shaft, while O'Connell exited the rally before the first stage with engine problems.

Crews are now gearing up for round eight of the series which takes competitors to Omagh for the McKelvey Bushwhacker Rally on 25 September.


Posted: September 14, 2010 7:46 PM


Posted: September 14, 2010 7:33 PM

1 Alastair Fisher/Gordon Noble (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 41m13s
2 Jonny Greer/Dai Roberts (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 41m14s
3 Kenny McKinstry/Kenny Hull (Subaru Impreza WRC) 42m07s
4 Donagh Kelly/Kevin Flanagan (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 42m37s
5 Martin Cairns/Andrew Purcell (Subaru Impreza WRC) 43m32s
6 Stuart Biggerstaff/Anthony Nestor (Subaru Impreza WRC) 43m37s
7 Adrian Hetherington/Gary Nolan (Ford Escort Mk2) 43m43s
8 Marc Johnston/Colin Harkness (Mitsubishi Lancer) 43m47s
9 Errol Clarke/Barry McNulty (Mitsubishi Lancer) 43m53s
10 Mark Donnelly/Sean Ferris (Mitsubishi Lancer) 43m54s

Entry List

Posted: September 8, 2010 9:40 AM

Biggerstaff aims to maintain Hankook N.I. Rally Championship lead at Lakeland Stages

Posted: September 7, 2010 4:16 PM

Hankook MSA Northern Ireland Stage Rally Championship leader, 22-year-old Stuart Biggerstaff, will be doing everything he can to maintain his 11 point championship lead over rival Mark Donnelly at this Saturday?s County Fermanagh based Fisher Engineering Lakeland Stages Rally.

The event, which marks round seven of 10 of the N.I. series, will see the Subaru Impreza WRC pilot lock horns with Omagh driver Donnelly.

Donnelly, who had difficult day at the non-championship Davagh Stages Rally last Saturday, will be pushing his Mitsubishi Lancer to the limit to gain maximum points for his championship fight with Biggerstaff.

Currently positioned third overall in the series, reigning Northern Ireland Rally Champion Derek McGarrity will also be vying for more points to push the young championship newcomers out of the top spots.

After missing June?s Mourne Rally and August?s Dogleap Rally, McGarrity lost the lead of the series but will be in a very strong position if he decides to contest the remaining rounds.

Kenny McKinstry will also be making his second visit to Northern Ireland?s forests in his Subaru Impreza S8 WRC. Although not registered for this year?s Hankook backed championship, McKinstry will be fighting for the overall rally spoils after narrowly missing out on Dogleap victory.

Joining the championship for the Lakeland event is Liam Regan in his unique modified Peugeot 206 using Evo 6 running gear. Regan will be competing alongside some of the top drivers in the WRC class.

In the Hankook MSA 2WD category, Fintan McGrady and David Armstrong will be battling it out for second place standings while 2WD leader Drew Stewart will be interested in maintaining his 15 point lead over McGrady and Armstrong.

The Enniskillen Motor Club event is round seven of the 2010 Hankook MSA Northern Ireland Rally Championship and starts from the Fisher Engineering facility in Ballinamallard on Saturday morning.

The rally will take place over four forest stages, each run twice, providing a total competitive distance of just over 42 miles. There will be one service halt in the village of Garrison and the rally will finish at the Killyhevlin Hotel, Enniskillen, on Saturday afternoon.

Regulations / Details

Posted: January 1, 2010 12:01 AM

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