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Bishopscourt Stages - (Sat) 9 Mar 13

Posted: February 1, 2014 10:37 PM - 7892 Hits

Round 2 - 2013 Northern Ireland Rally Championship
Round 3 - 2013 Junior 1000 Rally Challenge (Northern) Ireland


Photo: Roy Dempster

Derek Storms to Another Bishopscourt Victory!

Posted: February 1, 2014 10:37 PM

It was yet another win for Belfast’s Derek McGarrity in stormy conditions, at one of his favourite venues- Bishopscourt on round two of the Carryduff Forklift M.S.A Northern Ireland Rally Championship. It wasn’t quite so simple for the multiple Northern Ireland Champion however. Ballynahinch and District Motor Club had laid out an all new format for the McGrady Insurance Bishopscourt Stages. New sections and rather unsavoury weather was to provide a real challenge for the crews and produce some surprising results, not least Jonny Leonard’s fine second overall in an out-dated Group A Mitsubishi Evo 6.

Right from the first of the 14 stages there was drama. Running first on the road was Derek McGarrity, who was driving Garry Jennings S12 Impreza, in an effort to improve the set up for Garry. It clearly needed improving as Derek and co-driver Neil Doherty were only ninth fastest, after a moment on standing water at the first hairpin. “Sometimes it was a jet-ski you needed today!” Derek later quipped. The wide track WRC’s were struggling to get the power down in the monsoon conditions as Kieron Graffin in a Group N Evo 9 recorded fastest time, ahead of Trevor Ferguson and Davy McElroy in their Subaru N12, with Ballygowan’s Mark Massey and James McKee third, and Jonny Leonard in his Group A Evo 6 fourth.

After two stages Kieron Graffin still led from Mark Massey who was using a hired Evo 9, and now Peader Hurson and Damien Connolly had slipped into third, with a fastest time on stage two with the WRC Escort. However it wasn’t to last long as Peader broke a prop-shaft on stage three and it was all over. Kenny McKinstry was debuting a S14 Impreza he had acquired from Derek McGarrity, and was settling into the car in fifth spot. Leading the two wheel drive race at this stage were James and Rebecca Kennedy in 13th, whilst event sponsor Fintan McGrady was debuting a new MK2 Escort, but was sadly to join the growing retirements list.

Mark Massey led for just one stage, then dropped thirty seconds on stage four and a hard charging Derek McGarrity was now in the lead, with fastest times on both stages. By stage six Derek’s lead was 5.8 seconds. Derek McGeehan and Darragh Mullan in the Corolla WRC had moved into second after a very quick time on stage four and were keeping the pressure on. Jonny Leonard and Jackie Elliott were just 6 seconds behind in third, the Enniskillen pair revelling in the wet. They had Kevin Barrett just 2 seconds behind in his S11 Subaru, with Kenny McKinstry and John McGaffin next up. A crew really making a move were James Laverty and Francis Regan in their N12 Subaru, second fastest overall on stage 6, and they were after a much coveted Group N victory.

By stage ten of fourteen, Derek McGarrity’s lead had extended to 14.7 seconds, over McGeehan who would have to watch his mirrors for the advancing Jonny Leonard in third. By this stage, former kart racer James Laverty had moved into the Group N lead ahead of Mark Massey, and Kieron Graffin who had lost time, being penalised for allegedly taking a short cut.

James Kennedy in 11th overall was still leading the two wheel drive race. Just behind him in a fascinating battle for the 1600 class. Alan Smyth in his C2 R2 held a narrow lead over Barry Greer’s Fiesta R2 and Andrew Wilson’s home built Starlet RWD, but this battle was soon to be for over two-wheel drive honours, as at a merge junction on stage 11, there was an unfortunate collision between leader James Kennedy and popular Scot Allan Mackay in his Anglia. Both cars were heavily damaged but thankfully there were no injuries to either crew, so now that three way battle for the 1600 class also became the overall two wheel drive race.

Indeed there were many class battles. Colin Price and James Stevenson revelled in the wet, taking a fabulous 15th overall and class 3 in their Corsa. The overall two wheel drive and class 4 race was to be won by Alan Smyth and Peter Thompson a tremendous 9th overall, from Barry Greer in 10th and Andrew Wilson 11th. JT Warnock and Andy Hayes scooped the class 5 honours in 17th, with David Crossen and Pam Irwin 19th and first in class 6. Crumlin’s Keith White recovered from an early disaster to claim class 7, and climb back to 12th in the immaculate MK1 Escort.

Former 80’s rally legend Stanley Orr from Killinchy has made a superb come-back lifting the Montgomery Motorsport Historic honours in his MK1 Escort. In the McGrady Insurance Junior 1000 Rally Challenge Kyle White was the early leader until he broke a front strut on the new loose section, with also claimed a few victims in the main field. William Creighton and Andrew Bushe then took over to secure a 14.7 second victory from Adam and Brian Bustard, with James Partridge and Billy Regan completing the podium.

Back to the top ten and there were a couple more changes afoot on the final stages. Former NI Champion George Robinson was having a consistent run, and had worked his way up to seventh with the Group A Evo 9, until mechanical failure cruelly caused retirement on the final stage. Kenny McKinstry’s new S14 was leaving a trail of expensive looking smoke, which led him to pull out. Fortunately it was only a split exhaust heating burning the rear bumper, but Kenny was out.

At the end Trevor Ferguson and Davy McElroy were delighted with eighth and fourth in Group N, finishing just behind a recovering Kieron Graffin and Paddy Robinson. Mark Massey and James McKee were a fine 6th overall and second in Group N, but a well-judged drive saw relative rally newcomer James Laverty and the experienced Francis Regan finish over 30 seconds ahead and take Group N. Kevin Barrett and Sean Mullally took fourth, and plan to contest the whole series this season, whilst the battle for second was to take one final twist. Jonny Leonard and Jackie Elliot blasted their Evo 6 into second with fastest time on stage 13, and equal fastest with McGarrity on the final test. It was the drive of the event, and Derek McGeehan got demoted to third.

There was no doubt however who the winners were, as Derek McGarrity and Neil Doherty took a 16.2 second victory.
“It was a real challenge” Derek explained. “The new lay-out was a real challenge, but the weather made it especially challenging, especially for the marshals and time-keepers who had to stand out all day in it. The Ballynahinch club did a great job of running the event, and I look forward to next year.”

Photos

Posted: February 1, 2014 10:35 PM

McGarrity Masterclass at Bishopscourt!

Posted: February 1, 2014 10:29 PM

It was another Derek McGarrity masterclass this weekend at the McGrady Insurance Bishopscourt Stages, round two of the Carryduff Forklift MSA N.I. Rally Championship, as the Glengormley pilot steered his Subaru Impreza WRC to the top of the podium to secure another impressive rally victory!

Navigated by Neil Doherty, the crew moved into the rally lead after stage four and stayed there until the finish of the rain-soaked event. Their winning margin was 16.2 seconds over the Evo 6 belonging to Jonny Leonard and Jackie Elliott, while Derek McGeehan and Darragh Mullen claimed third in their MINI WRC.

Ballynahinch and District Motor Club had pulled out all of the stops to lay on a challenging event for more than 70 crews. Brand new stage layouts and a total of 14 stages were challenging enough, but the weather helped to add more drama to the mix as rain and wind pelted the County Down venue throughout the day.

After the opening stage, it was a surprised Kieron Graffin who found himself leading the rally from Trevor Ferguson, with Mark Massey completing a trio of Group N crews in third. The short 1.6 mile test certainly sprung a few surprises but Graffin held on to the lead after stage two, albeit by just seven-tenths of a second from Massey.

Crews returned to action after service and it was the third test that claimed its first major retirement of the day. Peadar Hurson and Damien Connolly had entered the stage hoping to improve on their position, only for a broken propshaft to call an end to their rally.

"It just broke as we were accelerating out of the hairpin," Hurson rued. "We just had to pull over - that was that."

"It's a shame because we made some adjustments to the car in service and put more cuts in the tyres. We were hoping for better things but didn't get the chance."

While Hurson retired from the event, Mark Massey and James McKee emerged as the new rally leaders in their Group N spec Evo 9. Early leader Kieron Graffin had dropped out of the top 10 after an overshoot. His problems were then compounded when he was awarded a maximum stage time for allegedly cutting the stage, despite "setting a slower time than my previous run".

Graffin's troubles left Massey at the top of the leaderboard ahead of a recovering Derek McGarrity and Neil Doherty. McGarrity was on a mission, and having been as low as ninth in the Garry Jennings car, he was climbing his way through the ranks.

One stage later, when Massey lost half a minute with a problem, McGarrity moved into the number one slot...and that was a position that he was never destined to relinquish.

McGarrity kept the pressure on throughout the event, although it wasn't as dominant a display as we are accustomed to seeing from the Glengormley pilot. He managed to secure another six fastest times over the remaining 10 stages, eventually arriving home 16.2 seconds ahead of a hard-charging Jonny Leonard and Jackie Elliott.

Leonard put in a truly stunning drive aboard his Evo 6 Lancer. After promoting himself into third overall after stage four, he became embroiled in a battle for the runner-up spot with Derek McGeehan.

Only a handful of seconds separated the two crews throughout the day and it was only on the penultimate stage that Leonard managed to nip in front of his rival. He stayed there until the finish, claiming second overall on what is only his second event in the car.

Derek McGeehan and Darragh Mullen had to be content with third in their Toyota Corolla WRC on this occasion, while Kevin Barrett and Sean Mullally completed the top four in their Impreza WRC. Barrett's son, Paul, had also entered the event in an Evo 6 and had been as high as eighth overall but was forced into retirement with gearbox problems.

Kenny McKinstry and John McGaffin had looked set to take fifth in the Banbridge driver's newly acquired S14 specification Impreza WRC, only for a problem during stage 13 to put them out of the running.

"I think the exhaust's back box split and then the rear bumper started to melt," McKinstry explained. "It filled the car with smoke so we had to pull over."

"Before that happened, the car felt fantastic," he added. "On the fast stages we were on the pace but on the tighter sections, I found it difficult to get to grips with left-hand drive."

Kenny McKinstry was not alone in his woes during the closing stages. George Robinson and Tommy Speers, who had held seventh overall, were forced to pull over during the final test when their Evo encountered some mechanical troubles.

Coming home in fifth, James Laverty and Francis Regan enjoyed another solid run to finish ahead of Mark Massey and James McKee, with early leaders Kieron Graffin and Paddy Robinson taking seventh in front of Trevor Ferguson and David McElroy.

Two-Wheel-Drive

In the two-wheel-drive category, Alan Smyth and Peter Thompson took a deserved win in their Citroen C2. The finished ninth overall in the process, less than four seconds ahead of Carryduff Forklift's Barry Greer and Damien Duffin, with Andrew Wilson Christopher McKeown third in their Starlet.

There were some dramas further down the field. On stage 11, James Kennedy's Escort had a coming together with Allan Mackay's Anglia, sending both crews into retirement with two very sorry looking cars.

McGrady Insurance Junior 1000

The event also hosted round three of the McGrady Insurance Junior 1000 Rally Challenge. Seven crews aged between 14 and 17 contested a total of 10 stages, with William Creighton and Andrew Bushe picking up the spoils in their Citroen C1. They finished 14.7 seconds ahead of Adam and Brian Bustard, with James Partridge and Billy Regan third.

Results

Posted: February 1, 2014 10:20 PM

1 Derek McGarrity/Neil Doherty (Subaru Impreza WRC) 43m12.7s
2 Jonny Leonard/Jackie Elliott (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6) 43m28.9s
3 Derek McGeehan/Darragh Mullen (Toyota Corolla WRC) 43m40.8s
4 Kevin Barrett/Sean Mullally (Subaru Impreza WRC) 43m51.8s
5 James Laverty/Francis Regan (Subaru Impreza) 44m02.3s
6 Mark Massey/James McKee (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 44m33.3s
7 Kieron Graffin/Paddy Robinson (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 44m52.2s
8 Trevor Ferguson/David McElroy (Subaru Impreza N12) 45m41.8s
9 Alan Smyth/Peter Thompson (Citroen C2) 45m48.6s
10 Barry Greer/Damien Duffin (Ford Fiesta) 45m52.2s

Impressive Entry for Revamped McGrady Insurance Bishopscourt Stages!

Posted: March 8, 2013 2:49 PM

Round two of the Carryduff Forklift MSA Northern Ireland Stage Rally Championship is set to attract some of the country’s leading competitors to Bishopscourt Race Circuit this Saturday for the McGrady Insurance Stages Rally.

Ballynahinch and District Motor Club has revamped the popular event which for the first time will feature a total of 14 stages within the confines of the County Down venue. The new format has proved popular with competitors and almost 70 crews have entered in a variety of machinery.

Reigning champion Derek McGarrity will head the field off the start line in his potent Subaru Impreza WRC. Navigated by Neil Doherty, McGarrity won the opening round of the series at Kirkistown and is also a former winner at Bishopscourt. He won the 2012 event behind the wheel of a MINI WRC and is hot favourite to add yet another trophy to his cabinet.

Chasing him down will be Kevin Barrett and Sean Mullally, also in an Impreza WRC. The Triton Showers MD is still in the hunt for his maiden Northern Ireland Championship victory but his lack of familiarity with the venue may make his job that little bit more difficult.

Derek McGeehan has also entered his MINI WRC. Having finished third at the opening round of the Carryduff Forklift backed series, the Draperstown driver is out to build on his success.

Peadar Hurson and Damien Connolly join the World Rally Car crews with their hired Escort WRC. It was just last month that Hurson returned to the sport after almost four years but he acquitted himself well at the opening round of the series to finish fifth overall.

Former champion George Robinson completes the top five seeds aboard his Mitsubishi Lancer, while James Laverty and Francis Regan are the top seeds in the production category. They enjoyed at stunning drive at Kirkistown which netted them sixth overall in their Impreza.

Keith Cheshire and Adrian Murdoch will be ones to watch having upgraded their Evo 4 Lancer for an Evo 7. They start the event with number seven on their doors ahead of Kieron Graffin and Paddy Robinson, with Trevor Ferguson and David McElroy at nine ahead of Paul Barrett and Declan Tumilty.

The event has also received a host of entries from top quality two-wheel-drive machinery, and heading the 2WD crews is event sponsor Fintan McGrady. Navigated by Mark Hanna, McGrady will be ‘flat out’ in his Mark 2 Escort in a bid to fend off some face stiff opposition from the likes of Keith White, David Armstrong and David Crossen.

The event also hosts round three of the McGrady Insurance Junior 1000 Rally Challenge Ireland, a series that allows drivers as young as 14 to get behind the wheel. A total of seven young guns will take to the Bishopscourt stages, with Kyle White heading the field in his Peugeot 107 from Adam Bustard’s Chevrolet Spark.

The action is due to start shortly after 10am on Saturday at Bishopscourt Race Circuit. Located just a few miles outside Downpatrick, spectators will be treated to some high-octane action, including the famous Bishopscourt jump! More details can be found online at www.nirally.com.

The stage is set at Bishopscourt!!

Posted: March 8, 2013 2:47 PM

Ballynahinch and District Motor Club members have been busy in recent weeks and the stage is now set for the new look McGrady Insurance Stages Rally at Bishopscourt Racing Circuit on Saturday 9th March. This year BADMC have pulled out all the stops to ensure both competitors and spectators enjoy a great day’s motorsport.
Spectators will have to stay on their toes to keep up with the action as the country’s top drivers are let loose over the 35 miles of tarmac stages. The new format will see drivers competing over two stages before heading back to the safety of service.

There will be plenty to see! Not only will we have the latest in modern technology but a selection of the infamous Group B cars will run ahead of the main event! These are spectacular to watch and this is a rare opportunity as they were banned from competitive rallying back in the 80's because they were simply too powerful!

Spectators will be spoilt for choice. Not only will you have a great view of our famous jump, hairpins and chicanes, but we also invite you to take a stroll around the service area. This is a great chance to get autographs and photos as you watch the expert mechanics pull out all the stops to make sure the car is prepared for the next stages!

This fun filled day gets underway with the 1st cars on stage shortly before 10am. So if you’re looking for a bit of excitement and plenty of fast action then grab your coats, round up the kids and head for Bishopscourt to get up close and personal with motorsport at its best.

For more information follow us on Facebook where we will have all the latest news.
Competitors can download Regulations for this event from the club website www.ballynahinchmotorclub.com and if anyone is interested in marshalling, please contact: Chief Marshall on 07785 982288.

Seeded Entry List

Posted: March 4, 2013 9:15 AM

Twice the Action at Bishopscourt!

Posted: March 1, 2013 10:54 AM

Ballynahinch and District Motor Club are set to give spectators plenty of action with double the thrills at the McGrady Insurance Stages Rally, which is due to be held at Bishopscourt Racing Circuit on Saturday 9th March.

BADMC have been working in conjunction with the owners and management of the Circuit, and we know both competitors and spectators alike will be thrilled by the new format, as vast changes are set to bring you twice the action in 2013!!

As well as the Group B safety cars, the buzz this year is centred on a complete format modernisation. Drivers will be expected to tackle a loop of two stages before returning to the safety of the service area for a well deserved cup of tea.

Spectators will be treated to twice the excitement and will not know where to look as the country’s finest drivers throw their world class machinery around the chicanes and hairpins.

Derek McGarrity who won the 2012 event in a WRC Mini, commented; ‘I really enjoy driving the Bishopscourt Circuit and look forward to seeing this event come round each year, it’ll be great to see what’s in store for us.’

Derek will this year compete alongside his son Michael who is registered for the McGrady Insurance Junior 1000 Challenge. ‘This is a great way to bring the younger generation into the sport. It gives people Michaels age the chance to get some competitive experience behind the wheel in safe environment. He didn’t get off to a great start but hopefully he’s getting the hang of it now.’

If you’re looking for a bit of excitement and plenty of action then grab your coats, round up the kids and head for Bishopscourt to get up close and personal with motorsport at its best.

For more information follow us on Facebook where we will have all the latest news.

Competitors can download Regulations for this event from the club website www.ballynahinchmotorclub.com and if anyone is interested in marshalling, please contact: Chief Marshall on 07785 982288 / +44 7785 982288.

BADMC SHAKE UP BISHOPSCOURT!!!

Posted: February 22, 2013 2:28 PM


Photo: Ballynahinch and District Motor Club


The date is Saturday 9th March and the second round of the 2013 DGM/Carryduff Forklift NI Rally Championship is one you don’t want to miss.......this year Ballynahinch and District Motor Club have been busy and like the King himself, they’re all SHOOK UP.....Uh huh huh!!

In an attempt to run a competitor friendly event, the club have drastically revamped the McGrady Insurance Stage Rally. The first of many significant changes, is that Ballynahinch and District Motor Club can now facilitate mechanical scrutiny & documentation on the morning of the event, doing away with the need for overnight accommodation for competitors travelling from far afield.

Local businessman and event sponsor Fintan McGrady of McGrady Insurance, is an active club member and very much behind the changes, although as a regular competitor on this popular event he is still in the dark on the finer details. Like every other competitor it will only be when his navigator Mark Hanna calls the notes on the day, that the light will shine through and hopefully not dazzle him as he steers his beautiful Mark II Ford Escort towards the finish line.

Club Chairman, Brian Crawford said, ‘The event was stale and in need of change. The redevelopment of the Bishopscourt Circuit added many new roads and made us rethink how this event was run. We’ve looked at it over the past couple of years and thought, why do we not use that? Quite simply it takes months of organisation to make minor changes and we were always too late to look at it, but not this year.....it’s different and its going to be good!!’

As the McGrady Insurance Stage Rally is ‘All Shook Up’, keep an eye out for more exciting news in the next couple of weeks. Follow us on facebook as we keep you up to date with all the news and more details of the ‘all new’ McGrady Insurance Stage Rally.

Regulations and entry forms for this event can be downloaded from the club website - Details below:

BADMC STEP IT UP A GEAR AT BISHOPSCOURT

Posted: February 13, 2013 9:46 AM

Ballynahinch and District Motor Club are once again geared up to host the second round of the 2013 DGM/Carryduff Forklift NI Rally Championship on Saturday 9th March at Bishopscourt Racing Circuit, and big changes are in store. Competitors are due to see significant changes within the event format as the club have been busy looking at the circuit over the winter months and are radically updating the stage structure.

Clerk of the Course, Paul Conlon commented;
‘We are hoping to create a challenging and interesting event for all competitors, no one will have any advantage this year as the stage revamp will have everyone starting on the same foot.......it’s not to be missed!’

McGrady Insurance have once again come onboard as the title sponsor making it the 7th consecutive year of financial support for this ever popular event. McGrady Insurance whose aim is to provide friendly, efficient and straightforward service to both commercial and personal clients across the province, continues to go from strength to strength. Managing Director Fintan McGrady who is busy preparing his ever immaculate Mark II Ford Escort told us, ‘I’m like a six year old who ate two packets of skittles and can’t wait to get off the start line in a few weeks time!’

The event will also run as the third round of the McGrady Insurance Junior 1000 Rally Challenge aimed at younger drivers. This challenge was designed to encourage teenagers to gain vital experience in the driver’s seat at a competitive level, while on a relatively small budget.

Follow us on facebook as we keep you up to date with all the exciting news and more details of the ‘all new’ McGrady Insurance Stage Rally.

Regulations and entry forms for this event can be downloaded from the club website

Regulations available

Posted: February 6, 2013 12:01 PM

Ballynahinch and District Motor Club are delighted to announce that regulations and entry forms are now available for the ever popular McGrady Insurance Stages Rally, which takes place at Bishopscourt Racing Circuit on Saturday 9th March 2013.

The event will run as the second round of the Carryduff Forklift MSA Northern Ireland Stage Rally Championship and round three of the McGrady Insurance Junior 1000 Rally Challenge.

Saturday 9th March is without doubt a date for the diary.

The Clerk of the Course will once again be Paul Conlon, he and the BADMC team are geared up and already putting the finishing touches to what can only be described as an event not to be missed!

Competitors and spectators alike are in for a few surprises as BADMC have made several changes this year in an attempt raise the standards yet again. The event format is almost unrecognisable and is sure to bring a new thrill to all those who were just too comfortable with the previous set-up!

Saturday 9th March will see a new and exciting event unveiled, so make a note of the date and keep an ear to the ground in the weeks to come as more details are announced!

Link to club website below:

McGrady Insurance Stages

Posted: February 6, 2013 12:00 PM

Ballynahinch and District Motor Club are once again delighted to announce that preparations are well in advance for the ever popular McGrady Stages Rally, which takes place at Bishopscourt Racing Circuit on Saturday 9th March 2013.

The event will run as the second round of the Carryduff Forklift MSA Northern Ireland Stage Rally Championship and round three of the McGrady Insurance Junior 1000 Rally Challenge.

Saturday 9th March is without doubt a date for the diary.

The Clerk of the Course will once again be Paul Conlon, he and the BADMC team are geared up and already putting the finishing touches to what can only be described as an event not to be missed!

Competitors and spectators alike are in for a few surprises as BADMC have made several changes this year in an attempt raise the standards yet again. The event format is almost unrecognisable and is sure to bring a new thrill to all those who were just too comfortable with the previous set-up!

Saturday 9th March will see a new and exciting event unveiled, so make a note of the date and keep an ear to the ground in the weeks to come as more details are announced!

Regulations / Details / Website

Posted: February 6, 2013 11:58 AM






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