Lakeland Stages - 10 Sep 11

Posted: September 21, 2011 2:12 PM - 9274 Hits

Round 7 - 2011 Northern Ireland Rally Challenge
Round 5 - 2011 Ford Fiesta SportTrophy Ireland

Photo: Martin McCorriston


Posted: September 21, 2011 2:12 PM

Michael McCarroll took the Fiesta Sport Trophy Ireland honours on the Fisher Engineering Lakeland Stages Rally after his main rivals endured an action packed event.

Sunny conditions greeted the crews as they headed out to the first of the days tests on the shores of scenic Lough Erne but changeable conditions were forecast for later in the afternoon

2010 NI 2wd Group N Champion Jonny Leonard led the FST Ireland crews away from the Fisher Engineering HQ in Ballinamallard on Saturday morning. Jonny has endured a fraught season so far and a recent outing in a R2 Fiesta on the Ypres Rally, the prize for the 2010 Hankook Junior prize, had raised his hopes of better luck on his local event.

Fellow Fermanagh driver Stephen Baxter started just behind in his R2 version Fiesta, returning to the series after missing round 3 with FST Ireland leader Declan Leonard next up ahead of his brother Dara with Michael McCarroll rounding out the top 5 Fiesta crews.

The first loop of stages saw the local crews battle it out for top FST honours. Baxter held the initial advantage over stages one and two but as he struggled for grip through the third test, Jonny Leonard pounced to take the FST lead as crews arrived at the first service halt.

All was not going well with brothers Declan and Dara Leonard. Dara’s Fiesta ST suffered a fuel leak on the way out to the first stage and the resultant small fire damaged the wiring loom and ended their event before it really got going. Declan at least got as far as stage one but lost 1 minute to the leaders with transmission woes and retired on the next road section.

With the cars fully fettled after first service, the crews made their way out for a repeat of the morning’s stages. Jonny Leonard held an 8 second advantage over Baxter and was determined to stretch the gap to his rival. However, driveshaft failure just 3.5 miles into stage four blunted the attack and with two further stages between them and the next service they were unable to continue. This left Baxter out in front ahead of McCarroll and both elected to keep a steady pace to ensure a points finish.

On the third and final loop, the weather broke, with torrential rain making the remaining stages even more of a challenge. Baxter was one of the crews who were caught out by the conditions, hitting a rock on the final test and bending a steering arm which put him off the road.

Michael McCarroll had stuck to his game plan, drove his own rally and now he was reaping the benefits of Baxter’s error to take his first Fiesta Sport Trophy Ireland victory of the season.

Driver Comments:
Michael McCarroll –
“Saturday was my first time at the Lakeland stages. I don't think I even spectated before! My plan for the rally was to drive at a sensible pace and go a bit harder on the second loop but I still managed to give myself a scare at the notorious bridge on the first stage!”

“At service i learnt that two Fiestas had retired on the loop so i decided to up the pace a bit but not go mad and go off. The Last loop was very rough and the weather was deteriorating so just keeping the car on the road was a challenge! This wasn't helped by having to change the wheel just before the seventh stage. To my surprise with only a few corners to go on the last stage the final Fiesta was off the road.”

Jonny Leonard –
“We were very cautious on the opening stages (too cautious to be honest) took a while to get back in to the swing of the gravel. SS2 & SS3 were better and I started to get into the swing of things.”

“In service we decided to up the pace and have bit of a push on SS4 as we were leading FST but it unfortunately all came to an end about 3.5 miles into the stage with driveshaft trouble. We had two more stages before service so we could not continue.”

Stephen Baxter –
“All was going well although we struggled for grip at times. We were leading the 1600 class by 20secs until we hit a massive rock on the last stage which bent the steering rod and put us off the road and we couldn’t get back on so went OTL. Can't wait until the next round, the Bushwhacker.”

Lakeland Stages Results – Fiesta Sporting Trophy Ireland Round 5:
Michael McCarroll/Martin Connelly – Fiesta ST – 50:33.0
Dara Leonard/Denvir Rafferty – Fiesta ST – Retired before SS1 - Engine fire
Declan Leonard/Dermot McCafferty – Fiesta ST – Retired SS2 - Mechanical
Jonny Leonard/Jackie Elliot – Fiesta ST – Retired SS4 - Mechanical
Stephen Baxter/Johnny Baird - Fiesta R2 - Retired SS9 - Accident

Kenny McKinstry Seals Hankook N.I. Rally Title at Lakeland Stages Rally!

Posted: September 13, 2011 10:15 AM

Kenny McKinstry has sealed the 2011 Hankook MSA Northern Ireland Rally Championship title!

Victory at last weekend's Fisher Engineering Lakeland Stages Rally saw the Banbridge driver secure his sixth maximum points haul of the season, and with it, the prestigious 2011 title.

His tally of 72 points has put the title beyond reach of his rivals. Second in the standings, George Robinson, has a total of 41 points. Even if Robinson won the remaining three rounds, he could only manage a maximum haul of 71 points after dropped scores come into play.

McKinstry's success comes more than 20 years after he first won the Northern Ireland Rally Championship. It was in 1988 and 1989 that he claimed his first two titles, and he came close to making it a third in 2009. But Derek McGarrity won on that occasion, forcing McKinstry to wait another two years before he could lay claim to the trophy again.

The Banbridge driver has been in dominating form this season with his Subaru Impreza WRC. Victory at the opening round, held at Co. Down's Kirkistown Race Circuit, was swiftly followed by another win at Bishopscourt just one month later.

Then it was on to the closed roads of the Circuit of Ireland Rally, with the opening day of the event acting as a counting round of the Championship. McKinstry enjoyed an intense battle with former champion Derek McGarrity, with the Banbridge rally ace emerging on top by just 1.6 seconds. Maximum score number three.

The McKinstry steamroller continued at the Tour of the Sperrins and Mourne rallies where he secured his fourth and fifth victories, but with the cancellation of August's Dogleap Rally, he had to wait that little bit longer to put his hands on the title.

Saturday's Lakeland Stages was by no means an easy task for McKinstry and navigator Kenny Hull. Based in the forests surrounding Enniskillen, the Group N Mitsubishi Lancer crew of Donagh Kelly and Kevin Flanagan equalled McKinstry over the opening two stages to share the rally lead.

Then Kelly made the lead his own after the third test, powering ahead of McKinstry by two seconds, while 2010 champions, Stuart Biggerstaff and Anthony Nestor, were just four seconds further adrift in third.

But on the second run through the Ballintempo stage, McKinstry returned fire, swiping seven seconds out of his rivals to propel him into the rally lead. Kelly tried hard to reel him in once again, nibbling one second back after stage six, but on the third and final run through Ballintempo, McKinstry extended his lead by another five seconds.

It was a close run affair, and at the end of the event, McKinstry and Hull secured the win by just 11 seconds, with Donagh Kelly and Kevin Flanagan forced to settle for second.

Kelly also topped the Sunoco Fuels Group N tree, and held the charging Stuart Biggerstaff and Anthony Nestor at bay. Biggerstaff, who borrowed suspension from Seamus Devine to contest the event, secured third overall, 43 seconds ahead of Vivian and Paul Hamill, who enjoyed their first experience of Toyota Corolla WRC power.

In the two-wheel-drive category, Frank Kelly and Sean Ferris were on course to seal the spoils when they entered the final stage, but a fairly hefty rock put paid to their hopes during the closing miles. Instead, Shane McGirr and Niall Connolly were the surprised victors, securing a top 10 position in the process.

The Montgomery Motorsport Historic category saw Andy Johnson and Jim McSherry seal a start to finish win in their Chevette. They headed Tommy O'Connell and Sean Magee from the start, and when O'Connell retired, that left Johnson with a clear run to victory.

In Car

Posted: September 12, 2011 10:18 PM


Video Clips

Posted: September 12, 2011 10:12 PM


Posted: September 12, 2011 10:09 PM

Full Results

Posted: September 12, 2011 9:50 PM

1 Kenny McKinstry/Kenny Hull (Subaru Impreza WRC) 40m30s
2 Donagh Kelly/Kevin Flanagan (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 40m41s
3 Stuart Biggerstaff/Anthony Nestor (Subaru Impreza WRC) 40m59s
4 Vivian Hamill/Paul Hamill (Toyota Corolla WRC) 41m42s
5 Vincent McAree/J.P. McAree (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 41m44s
6 Enda McNulty/Paul Sheridan (Subaru Impreza WRX) 41m46s
7 Stephen Wright/Suzanne Wright (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6) 42m00s
8 Liam Regan/Damien Duffin (Peugeot 206 4WD) 42m21s
9 Ian Cochrane/Thomas Nugent (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 43m06s
10 Shane McGirr/Niall Connolly (Toyota Starlet RWD) 43m06s

Seeded Entry List

Posted: September 9, 2011 9:19 AM

No Driver/Co-Driver (Car) [Class]
1 Kenny McKinstry/Kenny Hull (Subaru Impreza WRC) [9]
2 Donagh Kelly/Kevin Flanagan (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX) [2]
3 Neil McCance/Jonny Hart (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX) [2]
4 Martin Cairns/Andrew Purcell (Subaru Impreza WRC) [9]
5 Stuart Biggerstaff/Anthony Nestor (Subaru Impreza WRC) [9]
6 Ian Cochrane/Thomas Nugent (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [2]
7 Marc Johnston/Colin Harkness (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [2]
8 James Gillen/Jason Harron (Subaru Impreza WRC) [9]
9 Frank Kelly/Liam Brennan (Ford Escort MkII) [7]
10 Stephen Wright/Susanne Wright (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI) [9]
11 Raymond Mason/Peter Martin (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX) [2]
12 Kieran Graffin/Tommy Speers (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX) [9]
14 Vivian Hamill/Paul Hamill (Toyota Corolla WRC) [9]
15 Shane McGirr/Niall Connolly (Toyota Starlet RWD) [7]
16 Aidan Caldwell/Niall Burns (Ford Escort) [7]
17 Pat O'Connell/Mark Wiley (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX) [2]
18 Vincent McAree/JP McAree (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX) [1]
19 John McGaffin/Lesley McGaffin (Subaru Impreza WRC) [9]
20 Enda McNulty/Paul Sheridan (Subaru Impreza WRX) [8]
21 Ray Brammer/Matt Whattam (Subaru Impreza WRC) [9]
22 Patsy Keenan/TBA (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX) []
23 Seamus O'Connell/TBA (Ford Escort MKII) [11]
24 Tommy O'Connell/Sean Magee (Ford Escort MkII) [11]
25 Andy Johnson/TBA (Vauxhall Chevette) [11]
26 Trevor Ferguson/David McElroy (Subaru Impreza N12) [2]
27 Gareth Sayers/Gareth Gilchrist (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX) [9]
28 Liam Regan/TBA (Peugeot 206 4WD) [9]
29 Paul McShea/Stephen Griffith (Ford Orion 2.4) [9]
30 Trevor Elliott/Barry McCann (Ford Escort) [6]
31 Alan Atcheson/Dean Hetherington (Ford Escort) [6]
32 Jonny Leonard/Jackie Elliott (Ford Fiesta) [1]
33 Stephen Baxter/TBA (Ford Fiesta) [5]
34 Declan Leonard/Dermot McCafferty (Ford Fiesta ST) [1]
35 Dara Leonard/Denver Rafferty (Ford Fiesta) [1]
36 Conor Kelly/David Vance (Ford Escort) [5]
37 Niall Branniff/TBA (Ford Escort) [6]
38 Robert Erwin/TBA (Toyota Corolla) [5]
39 Eugene Devine/Adrian Brolley (Ford Escort) [7]
40 Mervyn Wilson/Ricky Gamble (Ford Escort) [4]
41 Andrew Bustard/David Young (Vauxhall Corsa) [4]
42 David Kerr/Aaron Johnston (Peugeot 205) [4]
43 Amy Cox/Emmet Sherry (Ford Escort G3) [6]
44 Kris Farrell/TBA (Proton Satria) [3]
45 Tony McKenna/Michael McAloon (Ford Escort) [6]
46 Joseph McGonigle/Aidan Friel (Citroën C2R2 Max) [5]
47 Bob Scanlon/TBA (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X) [2]
48 Damien McGauran/Thomas McGauran (Toyota Corolla) [7]
49 Michael McCarroll/TBA (Ford Fiesta) [1]
50 Malachy Loughran/TBA (Ford Escort) [6]
51 Declan McGarrity/Martin McGarrity (Vauxhall Nova) [3]
52 Scott Winslow/Patrick Gillian (Vauxhall Nova) [3]
53 Nigel Hodgins/Alan McNutt (Subaru Impreza) [2]
54 Drew Chambers/Wendy Blackledge (Talbot Samba) [3]
55 James McGovern/Neil McGahey (Toyota Corolla) [1]
56 Ashley Rutledge/Brian Robinson (Honda Civic) [5]
57 Jimmy Thompson/Paul Corry (Toyota Corolla) [1]
58 Ben Gormley/Darren McGuinness (Subaru Impreza) [1]
59 Thomas Cahill/TBA (Honda Integra) [6]
60 Uel Montgomery/Leslie Hawe (Vauxhall Astra) [1]
61 Raymond Corrigan/Kieran McAnespy (Toyota Corolla) [1]
62 Robert McKelvey/Benny Grainger (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo) [2]
63 Brendan Cunningham/TBA (Subaru Impreza) []
64 Nigel Simpson/Austin Grimes (Peugeot 106) [5]

Lakeland Stages Entry Closing Date Approaches

Posted: August 31, 2011 12:06 PM

Competitors are reminded that the Closing Date for Entries for the Fisher Engineering Lakeland Stages is Wednesday 31st August.

Anyone who has not already sent an entry is urged to contact the Entries Secretary immediately to ensure they secure a place on the entry list.

Entries Secretary:
Tel: 028 66341108 / 048 66341108 ROI (before 10PM please!)

Regulations / Details

Posted: January 2, 1990 3:04 PM

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