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Lakeland Stages - (Sat) 8 Sep 12

Posted: May 20, 2016 7:44 AM - 8041 Hits

Round 9 - 2012 Northern Ireland Rally Championship

Photo: Neillpics.co.uk

Jonny Greer/Gordon Noble Seal Lakeland Rally Victory

Posted: May 20, 2016 7:44 AM

Carryduff's Jonny Greer secured a sensational maiden Carryduff Forklift N.I. Championship victory on Saturday at round eight of the hotly contested series, the BJT Commercials & Plant Hire Lakeland Stages Rally!

Navigated by Gordon Noble, Greer secured maximum points in the series - which is sponsored by his father's Carryduff based forklift business - after an incredible battle that went down to the final stage on the Enniskillen Motor Club event.

A relatively slow start saw Greer lying in seventh overall after two stages, some 13 seconds behind leaders Martin Cairns and Kevin Flanagan. Cairns moved to the fore when Vincent and J.P. McAree, who led the event after stage one, dropped to fourth. But the rally was set to be turned on its head after the long 14.4 mile 'Carrigans' stage.

It was 24-year-old Greer who was in sensational form on the first run over what was the longest stage of the rally. After more than 13 minutes of 'flat out' driving, he stopped the clocks nine seconds faster than any of his rivals, promoting him into joint first position with the Subaru belonging to local man Garry Jennings and Barry McNulty.

Jennings, who had been second overall going into the test, could only manage third fastest time, some 10 seconds behind Greer. It was third placed Mark Donnelly and Sean Ferris who had gone second fastest, allowing them to maintain third, while Martin Cairns and Kevin Flanagan had dropped to fourth ahead of Vincent and J.P. McAree.

With Greer now sharing the rally lead with Jennings, it marked the beginning of a titanic battle between the two crews. After service, they both entered the final loop of stages in determined form.

On the repeat run through the short 2.8 mile Blackslee stage, they were equal fastest and continued to share the rally lead. One stage later, a different story was told as Jennings had managed to move into a two second lead after the 3.3 mile Lough Navar test.

However, with another 14.4 mile run through the final Carrigans stage - the same test that Greer had dominated earlier in the day - it was still anyone's rally.

Despite both pilots being highly experienced, neither man had a Carryduff Forklift N.I. series victory on their CV. So they entered the final test in determined form, going on a no holds barred attack in what was a thrilling finale to the rally!

But unfortunately for rally leader Jennings, his rally was destined to end in a Lakeland Stages ditch after an odd set of circumstances...

"It was a '4 right' into another '4 right'," Jennings explained. "We were in a lovely drift when the car just jumped out of gear after we went over some rough ground. Instead of taking my time in trying to find fourth gear, I banged it into third...and we shot straight into the inside of the corner!"

"It was the stupidest thing I've ever seen," a good humoured Jennings added. "We just got stuck on the soft bank and couldn't get out."

While Jennings exited the rally, Jonny Greer and Gordon Noble stayed out of trouble and set another stunning pace through the final miles. In fact, they were so quick, they managed to beat the stage bogey time by a mammoth 11 seconds!

That was more than enough to secure the rally spoils, handing Greer and Noble a popular Lakeland victory aboard their Carryduff Forklift backed Evo 9 Lancer.

Mark Donnelly and Sean Ferris were the best of the rest in their Group N Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9, finishing the rally 24 seconds adrift of the rally winners. They just managed to stay ahead of Martin Cairns and Kevin Flanagan, who closed the gap to their rivals to just one second after the final test.

Championship Battle

While rally winner Greer picked up maximum championship points from Donnelly, they have both only contested a handful of N.I. series events this year so neither pilot is in the midst of the battle for the 2012 title. Instead, Derek McGarrity, Derek McGeehan and Drew Stewart entered the event as the three main protagonists...

After the opening stage, Derek McGeehan and Damien Connolly were seventh overall, five seconds ahead of Stewart and seven ahead of McGarrity. McGeehan was fastest amongst the three crews again on stages two and three, but McGarrity made a charge over the final loop of stages.

He cut McGeehan's advantage to 11 seconds after stage four but the Mini WRC pilot equalled McGarrity's pace on the fifth test. So although McGarrity swiped some eight seconds out of McGeehan's advantage on the final stage, it wasn't enough.

McGeehan had sealed fourth overall and in terms of the title race, he closed the gap to McGarrity to 10 points. With a maximum of 12 points up for grabs at the final round, McGeehan is still in with a shout, although the advantage is certainly in McGarrity's favour.

As for Drew Stewart and David White, they looked set to take top two-wheel-drive spoils on the event but slipped off the road on the final stage. That put any hopes of securing the overall title out of reach but they are still in prime position to seal the 2WD award.

The series finale takes place later this month with Omagh Motor Club's McKelvey Bushwhacker Rally. Based in Omagh, the action will take place within the forests on 22 September.

In Car

Posted: May 20, 2016 6:44 AM

Jon Armstrong & Martin Brady (Ford Fiesta R2) SS3

Gary Jennings & Barry McNulty (Subaru Impreza 555) SS5

Derek McGeehan & Damian Connelly (MINI WRC) SS6


Posted: May 20, 2016 6:42 AM


Posted: May 20, 2016 6:39 AM

1 Jonathan Greer/Gordon Noble (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 40m52s
2 Mark Donnelly/Sean Ferris (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 41m16s
3 Martin Cairns/Kevin Flanagan (Subaru Impreza WRC) 41m17s
4 Derek McGeehan/Damien Connolly (MINI WRC) 42m39s
5 Derek McGarrity/James McKee (Subaru Impreza WRC) 42m42s
6 Ian Cochrane/Ray Fitzpatrick (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 42m45s
7 Trevor Ferguson/David McElroy (Subaru Impreza N12) 44m51s
8 Gerard McFall/Connor O'Loan (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 45m30s
9 Derrick Jobb/Thomas Nugent (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 45m49s
10 Ray Brammer/Damien Fleming (Subaru Impreza WRC) 46m31s

Leaders After:
SS1 Vincent McAree / JP McAree (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9)
SS2 Martin Cairns/Kevin Flanagan (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS3-4 Jonathan Greer/Gordon Noble (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9)
& Garry Jennings / Barry McNulty (Subaru Impreza 555)
SS5 Garry Jennings / Barry McNulty (Subaru Impreza 555)
SS6 Jonathan Greer/Gordon Noble (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9)

Stage Winners
SS1 Vincent McAree / JP McAree (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9)
SS2 Martin Cairns/Kevin Flanagan (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS3 Jonathan Greer/Gordon Noble (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9)
SS4 Jonathan Greer/Gordon Noble (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9)
& Garry Jennings / Barry McNulty (Subaru Impreza 555)
SS5 Garry Jennings / Barry McNulty (Subaru Impreza 555)
SS6 Jonathan Greer/Gordon Noble (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9)

Title Battle Resumes at Lakeland Stages!

Posted: September 6, 2012 10:31 AM

The Carryduff Forklift MSA N.I Stage Rally Championship bursts back into action this Saturday with the penultimate round of the 2012 series, the BJT Commercials and Plant Hire Lakeland Stages Rally.

Organised by Enniskillen Motor Club, stages will be based in the County Fermanagh forests with the headquarters based at Enniskillen Gaels Club, although the rally will start from Fisher Engineering, Ballinamallard, at 10am on Saturday.

The event could prove pivotal in the outcome of this year’s Carryduff Forklift series. Derek McGarrity currently heads the standings but his rivals have played catch-up after he failed to score at the Mourne and Ulster rallies.

Nonetheless, McGarrity’s lead still stands at a healthy 11 points, with Derek McGeehan in second position, just two points ahead of Drew Stewart. All three crews have already dropped two scores, and with championship regulations stating that the best seven scores count towards overall results, another retirement for any of them could prove disastrous for their championship hopes.

McGarrity, McGeehan and Stewart all still have a chance of lifting the 2012 title but the odds are certainly stacked in McGarrity’s favour. In fact, victory at the Lakeland event would allow him to clinch the prestigious trophy with one round remaining.

The Glengormley driver is listed to drive a Subaru Impreza WRC at the forestry event which has attracted more than 50 crews, while challenger Derek McGeehan will wheel out his MINI WRC. Meanwhile, Drew Stewart may struggle to match the pace of his rivals on the loose surfaces with his two-wheel-drive Mark 2 Escort.

Also joining the mix will be British Rally Championship regular, Jonny Greer. Son of Carryduff Forklift owner David Greer, Jonny will wheel out a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 on this occasion and could feature prominently within the top 10.

Enda McNulty, the recent Davagh Sunset Stages winner, also returns to action in his Impreza, although he may struggle against the more modern machinery on this occasion. Englishman Ray Brammer returns to the series in his Impreza WRC, while Strabane’s Martin Cairns is also set to wheel out an Impreza.

Garry Jennings is perhaps a surprise addition to the Lakeland field. He has won a number of Irish forestry events this year, and will be a strong contender for the rally win in his Group A Impreza.

Meanwhile, WRC Academy contender, Alastair Fisher, is another notable two-wheel-drive entrant. He is amongst a strong 2WD field that also includes entertainer Frank Kelly, and organisers have pulled out all of the stops to cater for the clubmen.

All two-wheel-drive classes, up to 1650cc, will run first on the road ahead of the ‘big guns’. Spectators will also have the opportunity to see a five litre Bowler Wildcat in action, which will run as the final safety car before the powerful four-wheel-drive crews hit the stages.

The event organisers have also teamed up with the Lakeland Special Olympic Squad, who will be selling programmes at scrutiny in Fisher’s yard, Ballinamallard, this Friday from 7-9pm, and again between 7-9am on Saturday.

Seeded Entry List

Posted: September 6, 2012 10:28 AM

BJT Commercials & Plant Hire Lakeland Stages

Posted: September 4, 2012 10:18 AM

Enniskillen Motor Club has confirmed that BJT Commercials & Plant Hire will sponsor this year’s Lakeland Stages Rally, round eight of the Carryduff Forklift MSA Northern Ireland Stage Rally Championship, which will run on Saturday 8 September.

The event will again start from Severfield-Fisher premises in Ballinamallard after scrutiny which takes place at around 10am on the Saturday morning.

Clerk of the Course, Gerry Cavanagh, revealed that the organising team has liaised with competitors and has come up with a challenging but competitor friendly event. New features include:

    • cars in classes 1, 3, 4 and 5 (i.e. 2WD cars up to 1650cc) will run first on the road.
    • there will two loops of three stages so stages will only be completed twice.
    • stage 3/6 will be 14 miles long, enabling competitors to have a real throw!
The first car will start stage one at 10.45am while the first car is expected to return to Rally HQ, Enniskillen Gaels’ clubrooms, at approximately 5pm.

Regulations / Details

Posted: July 31, 2012 4:27 PM

Regulations at:

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