Mourne Rally - 4 Jun 11

Posted: June 12, 2011 9:36 PM - 11379 Hits

Modern Tyres Mourne Rally
Round 5 - 2011 Northern Ireland Rally Challenge
Round 4 - 2011 Border Rally Championship
Round 3 - 2011 Ford Fiesta SportTrophy Ireland

Photo: Paul McIlroy

Fiesta Sport Trophy Ireland - Declan Leonard's Mourne Maximum...

Posted: June 12, 2011 9:36 PM

Declan Leonard took the Fiesta Sport Trophy Ireland honours on the Modern Tyre Service Mourne Rally after his main rivals endured an action packed event.

2010 NI 2wd Group N Champion Jonny Leonard led the FST Ireland crews away from the Newry start on Saturday morning followed by Dara Leonard, Declan Leonard and Michael McCarroll. Series leader Stephen Baxter was a non starter on the Mourne Rally having damaged his Fiesta R2 on a recent Irish National event and his rivals were eager to make up some ground in his absence.

Thirteen stages lay ahead of the crews including several runs over Camlough Mountain, Big Gullion and Wee Gullion tests with dry sunny conditions forcasted for the event.

Jonny Leonard/Jackie Elliot were immediately on the pace, completing the first stage 2 seconds faster than Declan Leonard/Dermot McCafferty who in turn were 7 seconds ahead of Michael McCarroll/Connor O'Loan. Tour of the Sperrins winners Dara Leonard/Denvir Rafferty stopped the clocks on 1.47 seconds which was 1 second shy of McCarrolls time.

Fastest on stage two was Declan Leonard on a 1.44, ahead of his brother Dara who posted 1.51 over the short 'Wee Gullion' test. Michael McCarroll managed a 1.53 while Jonny Leonard had a stage to forget, throwing away 16 seconds to stop the clocks on 2 minutes exactly. So after two stages, Declan Leonard held the advantage by 14 seconds from Jonny Leonard, with Dara Leonard 1 second behind and having to keep an eye on Michael McCarroll who was also only 1 second behind him.

The crews then headed to the first run over the longest stage of the day before the first scheduled service. Big Gullion was to dramatically change the Fiesta Sport Trophy leader board. First to falter was Jonny Leonard. A spin damaged the rear of the Fiesta ST and forcing his retirement, then Dara Leonard put his ST off the road quickly followed by Michael McCarroll who wedged his ST between two bridge walls near the end of the stage. As Declan Leonard clocked into first service he knew he now only had to drive round to take the top FST Ireland win.

Declan duly continued after the service, kept out of trouble and finished the event in 29th overall and in the process ensuring maximum Fiesta Sport Trophy points and he now occupies the top spot on the points table after 3 events. The series now takes a short break and will resume in August when the series changes to gravel on the Dogleap Rally.

Mourne Rally Results – Fiesta Sporting Trophy Ireland Round 3:

Declan Leonard/Dermot McCafferty – Fiesta ST – 52:28.0
Michael McCarroll/Connor O’Loan – Fiesta ST – Retired SS3 - accident
Dara Leonard/Denvir Rafferty – Fiesta ST – Retired SS3 - accident
Jonny Leonard/Jackie Elliot – Fiesta ST – Retired SS3 - accident

In Car

Posted: June 8, 2011 4:43 PM

Shane Cullen/Russell Harold (Ford Escort MkII) SS8

Video Clips

Posted: June 8, 2011 4:40 PM

Kenny McKinstry Wins Mourne Rally!

Posted: June 8, 2011 4:37 PM

It seems there is no stopping Banbridge rally ace, Kenny McKinstry. At Saturday's Modern Tyre Service Mourne Rally, round five of the Hankook MSA N.I. Rally Championship, McKinstry secured another victory, as well as his fifth maximum points haul of the season.

With Harvey Bell navigating on this occasion, the event saw McKinstry secure an emphatic win of almost one minute, bolstering his chances of securing the 2011 Hankook title. However, he found himself languishing in fifth overall after the second stage.

While McKinstry grabbed the rally lead by two seconds from George Robinson on stage one, an overshoot on stage two saw him plummet down the order.

"I pulled on the handbrake at the hairpin but it didn't work," McKinstry explained. "The car tried to lock the front wheels instead, and we slid towards the ditch."

"I thought she would run back down the hill without having to put the car in reverse but it didn't!" McKinstry continued. "I eventually put her into reverse and we got going again but we lost something like 10 or 11 seconds on what was a 1.8 mile stage."

Suddenly, George Robinson and Tommy Speers found themselves leading the event by four seconds from Neil McCance and Anthony O'Conaill, with Damian Toner and Paddy McCague third in their Mark 2 Escort.

Reigning champion Stuart Biggerstaff, who had Karl Atkinson calling the pace notes, shared fourth with Kenny McKinstry and Harvey Bell, while Michael Conlon and Aidan Boyle completed the top six.

McKinstry started his comeback drive on stage three, fighting his way back to second overall. He was quickest through the test by two seconds from leader Robinson, leaving five seconds between the two crews.

Robinson and McKinstry were joint fastest on stage four, while it was Robinson who extended his lead by one second on the fifth test. Championship leader McKinstry was not having it all his own way, but he pulled out all the stops on stage six to move into a two second lead.

Robinson kept McKinstry honest during the remaining stages but it was the Banbridge driver who edged ahead. Going into the final stage, he was 18 seconds clear of Robinson, and went on to secure the 2011 Modern Tyre Service Mourne Rally spoils.

"After what happened on stage two, it was a case of making no mistakes and keep chipping away at George," McKinstry said. "In fairness to him, he was on a very good pace."

"Tyre wear was excessive," McKinstry continued. "It was very high speed which put a lot of stress on the tyres. Maybe I didn't have a hard enough compound. I had to borrow tyres from John McGaffin for the final four stages."

In the end, George Robinson was lucky to seal second overall. He limped through the final stage with clutch troubles, but managed to cling on to the runner-up position.

"We were lucky to finish," Robinson admitted. "The clutch just about packed up but we got out of last stage. There were a lot of noises coming from the car that I didn't like the sound of by the time we arrived at the finish."

"It's been a while since I was on that sort of pace," he continued. "Maybe doing the Circuit and the Sperrins helped. You need to be out regularly on the roads."

Drew Stewart and Steven Park completed the top three in their Escort. They had earlier trailed a number of two-wheel-drive crews but managed to pull back the lost time and top the Hankook two-wheel-drive category.

Neil McCance and Anthony O'Conaill secured fourth overall and won the Sunoco Fuels Group N category, while Michael Conlon and Aidan Boyle were fifth ahead of Stuart Biggerstaff and Karl Atkinson.

Biggerstaff had been holding fourth overall until he lost almost 50 seconds on stage nine with a puncture. Neil McCance had slipped off during the stage, and his car pulled a rock on to the road. Unfortunately, Biggerstaff clipped the rock, giving him a rear puncture.

In the Montgomery Motorsport historic category, Andy Johnson and Jim McSherry secured the spoils aboard their Chevette. They finished more than one minute ahead of Dessie McCartney and Maurice Jellie, with Harry Brown and Martin McGrath third.

The Hankook MSA Northern Ireland Rally Championship now enjoys a two month break before returning to action. The series makes a switch to gravel in August with round six, the Dogleap Stages Rally.


Posted: June 7, 2011 11:54 AM

The 2011 Hankook MSA Northern Ireland Stage Rally Championship continued with the Modern Tyre Service Mourne Rally on Saturday 4th June.

Current Northern Ireland Rally Championship leader Kenny McKinstry led the field away from the Modern Tyres HQ in Newry followed by his nearest rival on the NI Championship points table, George Robinson, at number two with front running Group N contender Neil McCance at three and the reigning NI Rally Champion Stuart Biggerstaff at four.

The first test took the crews over Camlough Mountain with McKinstry setting the fastest time by 2 seconds from George Robinson. On stage two it was Robinson and McCance who shared the fastest time, helped somewhat by a spin by McKinstry at one of the hairpins, and another top two time on stage three ensured Robinson arrived back at the first service halt with a 5 second lead from Kenny McKinstry, with Neil McCance just 1 second behind in third. Stuart Biggerstaff slotted into fourth, 8 seconds adrift of McCance after struggling with a slipping clutch and tyre wear issues in his Impreza.

After service the crews made their second pass over the mornings first loop with McKinstry and Robinson both stopping the clocks on 2.20 on stage four. Stage five saw Robinson fastest again, adding another 1 second to his lead but on stage six McKinstry retaliated, taking fastest time by 8 seconds to finish the second loop with 3 seconds in hand over Robinson.

The battle continued between the two again on the third loop, with Kenny beating George by 2 seconds on stage seven, George again took 1 second back on stage eight and then lost 2 seconds to McKinstry on stage nine. Neil McCance dropped down the order on the third loop; puncturing a left hand front tyre in the middle of stage eight and allowing top 2wd contenders, Drew Stewart and Michael Conlon past into third and fourth overall, just 1 second separating the battling Escort MkII pair.

Just four stages lay between the crews and the finish line and over the remaining tests McKinstry slowly stretching out his lead to 18 seconds until the final stage when Robinson hit electrical trouble, losing over 30 seconds and only just making it to the finish with his second place intact.

Third place went to Drew Stewart who finished top 2wd ahead of the recovering Group N Lancer Evo 9 of Neil McCance in fourth. Michael Conlon finished in fifth and 2nd 2wd, with reigning NI Champion Stuart Biggerstaff in sixth after his earlier slipping clutch and a puncture.

In the Montgomery Motorsport Historic category, Andy Johnson and Jim McSherry emerged victorious in their Vauxhall Chevette ahead of the Porsche 911 of Dessie McCartney and Maurice Jellie while Declan Leonard survived the class 1 carnage to win the Fiesta Sporting Trophy Ireland section.

With the Hankook MSA Northern Ireland Championship now at the halfway point in the season, Kenny McKinstry sits on top of the points table with five wins ahead of George Robinson. Top Group N contenders Donagh Kelly and Neil McCance lie in third and fourth respectively as the series now heads for the gravel half of the year.

Sligo Pallets Border Championship Drive of the Day Winner

Posted: June 6, 2011 12:02 AM

Sligo Pallets Drive of the day winner on the Mourne Rally:
Michael Conlon, Aidan Boyle, with Andrew Mullen & Elaine Doherty of Sligo Pallets.
Photo: Brendan Flynn

Video Clips

Posted: June 5, 2011 11:33 PM


Posted: June 5, 2011 11:32 PM


Posted: June 5, 2011 11:24 PM

Seeded Entry List

Posted: June 1, 2011 11:58 AM

List of Entries / Stage Maps / Final Instructions

Posted: May 30, 2011 4:25 PM

Available on:

Regulations / Details

Posted: January 2, 1990 3:02 PM

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