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Bushwhacker Rally - (Sat) 24 Sep 16

Posted: October 13, 2016 8:35 AM - 6597 Hits

Round 7 - 2016 Northern Ireland Rally Championship


Photo: Phil Stewart-www.philpics.net

Bushwhacker Win for Mark Donnelly/ Stephen O'Hanlon as Title Race Heads for Down!

Posted: October 13, 2016 8:30 AM

The Omagh Motor Club’s Bushwhacker forest rally was once again held over some of County Tyrone’s classic forestry stages such as Lough Braden, Carrickaholten and Slievedoo, and despite the wet weather, it didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd or the competitors on a closely fought event, a popular round of the McGrady Insurance NI Championship.

Saturday's winner was 24-year-old Mark Donnelly. The driver from Greencastle outside Omagh co-driven by Stephen O'Hanlon was charging in his Super 2000 Ford Fiesta. This 2 litre naturally aspirated four wheel drive machine was some sight and sound through the fast forests, as Mark a former NI Group N champion, battled to try and get ahead of former 2wd champion, Adrian Hetherington in his Corolla WRC, who had led the event from stage one. Hetherington had a ten second lead going into stage nine, but was to drop twenty seconds when his Corolla collected a puncture after hitting a rock. Mark Donnelly pulled another two seconds on the final stage to take a maiden NI Championship round victory.
“It’s an unbelieveable feeling to win this rally” said Mark. “We had an aim at the start of the rally to be on Adrian’s pace and it was a very tough task. We succeeded on stage one when we equalled his time, but we lost time at a chicane on stage two, and also had to fight to keep Niall McCullagh at bay. We got three more stage wins however and then Adrian had some bad luck and then we were there. It was a great rally and a big thank-you to Omagh Motor Club and all the marshals who stood out in atrocious weather.”

Omagh’s Niall McCullagh was an impressive third, just seven seconds further back in his second drive in an S14 Subaru WRC. Strabane’s Martin Cairns, a former Bushwhacker winner, was fourth in his WRC Fiesta ahead of the Mitsubishis of Darren McKelvey and Tipperary’s Pat O'Connell, whilst former NI Champion Kenny McKinstry completed a troubled rally in seventh. Eighth was a fine finish by Dungiven’s Seamus O’Connell, topping the two wheel drive crews in his MK2 Escort. Cathan McCourt was ninth ahead of NI Championship leader Derek McGarrity in his Fiesta WRC. It was a difficult day for the Glengormley driver, with mechanical niggles, and he was unable to clinch his seventh title on Saturday. MK2 Escort mounted Camillus Bradley still has an outside chance of the title as the series heads into its final round in County Down.Other important class winners included Paul Britton (Subaru Impreza) who took Group N in eleventh overall, Neil Harron (Toyota Corolla) Class 1, Mervyn Galbraith (Vauxhall Nova) class 3, Alan Smyth (Suzuki Swift S1600) class 4, Bryan Jardine (Ford Escort MK2) class 5, John Gordon (Ford Escort MK2) class 6.The eighth and final round of the McGrady series is back to tarmac for the Rathfriland Motor Club’s Down Rally on closed public roads on the 15th October.

Photos

Posted: October 13, 2016 7:23 AM

Results

Posted: October 13, 2016 7:22 AM

 1 Mark Donnelly/Stephen O'Hanlon (Ford Fiesta S2000) 29:57.0
 2 Adrian Hetherington/Gary Nolan (Toyota Corolla WRC) 30:09.0
 3 Niall McCullagh/Ryan McCloskey (Subaru Impreza WRC S14) 30:16.0
 4 Martin Cairns/Gary McElhinney (Ford Fiesta WRC) 30:41.0
 5 Darren McKelvey/Graham Henderson (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX) 30:56.0
 6 Pat O'Connell/Mark Wiley (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX) 31:07.0
 7 Kenny McKinstry/Noel Orr (Subaru Impreza WRC S14) 31:10.0
 8 Seamus O'Connell/Sean Magee (Ford Escort MkII) 31:17.0
 9 Cathan McCourt/Brian Hoy (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX) 31:21.0
 10 Derek McGarrity/James O'Reilly (Ford Fiesta WRC) 31:40.0

Class Winners
Class 1:  Neil Harron/Mark Thompson (Toyota Corolla) 
Class 2:  Paul Britton/George Tinsley (Subaru Impreza N12) 
Class 3:  Mervyn Galbraith/Aine McGuigan (Vauxhall Nova) 
Class 4:  Alan Smyth/Mac Kierans (Suzuki Swift) 
Class 5:  Bryan Jardine/Lloyd Cochrane (Ford Escort MkII) 
Class 6:  John Gordon/Thomas Wedlock (Ford Escort MkII) 
Class 7:  Seamus O'Connell/Sean Magee (Ford Escort MkII) 
Class 8:  Darren McKelvey/Graham Henderson (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX) 
Class 9:  Adrian Hetherington/Gary Nolan (Toyota Corolla WRC) 
Class 10:  Mark Donnelly/Stephen O'Hanlon (Ford Fiesta S2000) 

Leaders After
SS1 Mark Donnelly/Stephen O'Hanlon (Ford Fiesta S2000)
& Adrian Hetherington/Gary Nolan (Toyota Corolla WRC)
SS2-8 Adrian Hetherington/Gary Nolan (Toyota Corolla WRC)
SS9-11 Mark Donnelly/Stephen O'Hanlon (Ford Fiesta S2000)

Stage Winners
SS1 Mark Donnelly/Stephen O'Hanlon (Ford Fiesta S2000)
& Adrian Hetherington/Gary Nolan (Toyota Corolla WRC)
SS2 Adrian Hetherington/Gary Nolan (Toyota Corolla WRC)
SS3 Adrian Hetherington/Gary Nolan (Toyota Corolla WRC)
SS4 Mark Donnelly/Stephen O'Hanlon (Ford Fiesta S2000)
SS5 Mark Donnelly/Stephen O'Hanlon (Ford Fiesta S2000)
SS6 Adrian Hetherington/Gary Nolan (Toyota Corolla WRC)
SS7 Niall McCullagh/Ryan McCloskey (Subaru Impreza WRC S14)
& Adrian Hetherington/Gary Nolan (Toyota Corolla WRC)
SS8 Niall McCullagh/Ryan McCloskey (Subaru Impreza WRC S14)
SS9 Niall McCullagh/Ryan McCloskey (Subaru Impreza WRC S14)
SS10 Mark Donnelly/Stephen O'Hanlon (Ford Fiesta S2000)
SS11 CANCELLED

Seeded Entry List / Final Instructions / Time & Distance

Posted: September 21, 2016 3:55 PM

Final Instructions / Time & Distance available on the club website, link below.

Entries Received

Posted: September 16, 2016 2:35 PM

Available at:

Event Poster

Posted: September 6, 2016 11:43 AM

Regulations / Details

Posted: September 6, 2016 11:40 AM






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