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Down Rally - (Sat) 7 Jul 12

Posted: July 31, 2012 9:08 PM - 9010 Hits

Round 6 - 2012 Northern Ireland Rally Championship

Photo: Neillpics.co.uk

In Car

Posted: July 31, 2012 9:08 PM

Jon Armstrong / Martin Brady (Ford Fiesta ST) - SS1

Donagh Kelly / Kevin Flanagan (Subaru Impreza WRC) - SS7

Video Clips

Posted: July 31, 2012 9:05 PM

McGarrity/McKee Grip Hankook Down Rally Win at Last Gasp!

Posted: July 31, 2012 3:25 PM

Derek McGarrity and James McKee secured a narrow one second victory at last weekend's Hankook Down Rally, round six of the Carryduff Forklift MSA Northern Ireland Stage Rally Championship, after challenger Donagh Kelly fell foul of a bogey time.

Driving his Subaru Impreza WRC, Glengormley driver McGarrity trailed Donagh Kelly and Kevin Flanagan by more than six seconds going into the final stage of the popular Castlewellan based Rathfriland Motor Club closed road event. But a thrilling final stage dash saw McGarrity set fastest time by more than seven seconds, placing him at the head of the leaderboard at the last gasp!

Second placed Kelly was left contemplating what might have been. He had been tussling for the spoils with McGarrity throughout the eight-stage event. Indeed, it was Kelly who set the pace on the lion's share of stages, with five fastest times to his credit at the end of the rally.

However, it was stage seven that was set to prove pivotal. Kelly was fastest on the test but in pulling out all the stops, he had managed to beat the bogey time.

Regulations require that competitors do not complete a stage with an average speed of more than 60mph. If they manage to go faster, they are awarded the 'bogey' time - the time that it would take to complete the stage at the required maximum average speed.

Event organisers often erect man-made chicanes to help keep speeds down so it is rare that the maximum averages are beaten. However, on this occasion, Donagh Kelly was so fast through the seventh stage that he managed to do exactly that.

So instead of being awarded his actual stage time, Kelly was awarded the 'bogey' time, which was five seconds slower. Although he still led the event, at the end of the rally, it made all the difference between winning and losing.

With one stage remaining, Kelly led the rally by 6.4 seconds from Derek McGarrity. It was the largest gap that had separated the two crews throughout the day long event so the odds looked to be in the rally leader's favour.

However, McGarrity had other ideas. With the bit between his teeth, he powered into the final 13-mile test on a mission. At the finish control, he stopped the clocks 7.4 seconds faster than Kelly, which was enough to scoop the rally victory by one second!

With Donagh Kelly and Kevin Flanagan in second position, Kenny McKinstry and Sean Mullally completed a top three of Impreza WRC crews. They finished more than one minute adrift in third overall, and more than three minutes ahead of the Mini WRC belonging to Derek McGeehan and Damien Connolly.

In the two-wheel-drive category, Vivian Hamill and Paul Sheridan sealed the trophy as well as fifth overall. They had battled with Drew Stewart and David White for the position, and going into the final stage, Hamill held a 1.8 second advantage.

The pressure was on but on this occasion, it was Hamill who was destined for victory. Rival Stewart slipped off the road and out of the rally during the closing miles, leaving Hamill to pick up the two-wheel-drive win from John Waring and John McCarthy, who nipped ahead of Paul Killen and Enda Kennedy on the final test.

In the Group N category, Geoff McMahon and Rob Graham set a stunning pace in their Evo 9 Lancer during the early stages. They were lying as high as fourth overall after five stages but were later forced to retire. Instead, Gerard McFall and Connor O'Loan took the trophy from Trevor Ferguson and David McElroy.

Round seven of the Carryduff Forklift N.I. series has been cancelled so all eyes now turn towards round eight, the Todds Leap Ulster Rally. Set to take place over 17/18 August, competitors will resume battle on the stages in just over one month's time. More details can be found online at www.nirally.com.


Posted: July 31, 2012 3:23 PM


Posted: July 31, 2012 3:15 PM

1 Derek McGarrity/James McKee (Subaru Impreza WRC) 58m43.3s
2 Donagh Kelly/Kevin Flanagan (Subaru Impreza WRC) 58m44.3s
3 Kenny McKinstry/Sean Mullally (Subaru Impreza WRC) 59m51.9s
4 Derek McGeehan/Damien Connolly (Mini WRC) 1h03m22.9s
5 Vivian Hamill/Paul Sheridan (Ford Escort Mk2) 1h03m31.6s
6 Ray Brammer/Damien Fleming (Subaru Impreza WRC) 1h04m18.8s
7 John Waring/John McCarthy (Ford Escort Mk2) 1h04m23.8s
8 Paul Killen/Enda Kennedy (Ford Escort Mk2) 1h04m25.1s
9 Emma McKinstry/Kenny Hull (Subaru Impreza WRC) 1h04m40.4s
10 David Armstrong/Mo Downey (Ford Escort Mk2) 1h05m05.5s

Seeded Entry List

Posted: July 4, 2012 1:14 PM

Two Past winners return to do battle on the Down Rally…

Posted: July 2, 2012 3:05 PM

Two past winners are included in the provisional entry list for the tarmac 2012 Hankook Down Rally which kicks off from Lower Square in Castlewellan on Saturday morning.

Donegal driver Donagh Kelly returns to Castlewellan after his maiden Down Rally victory in 2011. The Mitsubishi Lancer driver had initially played second fiddle to Kenny McKinstry last year but leapt into the lead on the final stage when the Banbridge driver slid off briefly on the final slippery stage in Castlewellan Forest Park.

For the 2012 event, Kelly has swapped the 2011 winning Mitsubishi for the more powerful Subaru Impreza WRC and after finishing a fine fourth overall on the recent Donegal International Rally, has shown that he has quickly settled in to his new super car.

The man who finished one place ahead of Kelly in Donegal, Derek McGarrity, also returns to Castlewellan in another Subaru Impreza WRC. McGarrity last competed on the County Down event in 2009 where he finished runner up in a Ford Focus. The Glengormley driver has had many wins during the years with Subaru and can be expected to be among the pace setters for overall victory.

Banbridge man Kenny McKinstry, winner of the 2011 Northern Ireland Rally Championship, makes his fourth start in Castlewellan and with back to back wins in 2009 and 2010 and the runner-up spot last year he will be expected to challenge for victory on his local event. Joining him this time will be daughter Emma. The Banbridge lass, having recovered from a recent foot injury, will pilot another Subaru Impreza from the McKinstry stable.

Also included in the entry list is one of the new generation rally cars; the Mini WRC, driven by Maghera engineer Derek McGeehan. Many eyes will be watching to see how the Mini will cope with the challenging stages in South Down.

The two wheel drive race also provides plenty of interest, with Drew Stewart, Declan McNaughton, John Waring, Fintan McGrady, Vivian Hamill and David Armstrong all vying for top honours.

Some of the local interest this year includes Niall Braniff, John Devlin, Paul Killen, Barry Savage, Paddy Milligan and Dermot Murray, many of whom will be battling for the inaugural Bernie McMullan Perpetual Trophy.

The 2012 Hankook Down Rally starts from King Inn, Lower Square, Castlewellan at just before 9am on Saturday morning, with around 60 crews heading the short distance to the first test around Tullyree and then on to Katesbridge before returning to St. Malachy’s High School for service. The drivers will repeat these two stages again before tackling two further tests in the afternoon around Cabra and the famous Hamilton’s Folly stage to finish the day off. The winners are expected back at King’s Inn just before 6pm.

The organisers have again produced a free Spectator Information Guide which will be available from the Kings Inn, Lower Square, the Fresh Food Centre and from the Castlewellan Regeneration Centre from Friday 6th July.

Supporters can also keep up to date by logging on for live results and Patterson’s Rally Bulletin’s from the event website, www.rathfrilandmotorclub.com.

The event will also enjoy regular radio updates, just after the hourly news on Downtown and CoolFm Radio, courtesy of Carsport Magazine and fans can also keep up to speed with the live results at www.rallyscore.net

Entry Closing date extended...

Posted: June 30, 2012 9:18 AM

With several motorsporting events happening this weekend, the organisers of the 2012 Hankook Down Rally will except entries up to Wednesday 4th July so if you haven’t already sent off an entry you should contact the event secretary on 07799711681 / +447799711681

Details of the Bernie McMullen Perpetual Trophy confirmed.

Posted: June 26, 2012 10:09 AM

With preparations for the 2012 Hankook Down Rally in full swing, the organisers have confirmed the details of the first Bernie McMullen Perpetual Trophy, awarded in memory of the wife of long time event sponsor, Frank McMullen, who passed away after a sudden illness.

The Bernie McMullen Perpetual trophy will be awarded to the fastest 2000cc 8v car on stage 8, the second run over the 13 mile Hamilton’s Folly stage. It is hoped that the award will bring some recognition to the work done by the staff at the Royal Victoria Hospital where Bernie and the family were so well looked after. Any monies collected over the rally weekend will be donated to the hospital.

Saturday morning Scrutiny / Entries Close Soon

Posted: June 26, 2012 10:00 AM

Rathfriland Motor Club can also confirm that a limited number of scrutiny slots are available for Saturday 7th July. These slots are to facilitate those who are travelling a long distance and further details are available from the Event secretary, on 07799711681 / +447799711681

Competitors are also reminded that entries close this week ahead of the first Recconnaissance on Saturday 30th June so if you haven’t already sent off an entry you should contact the event secretary on 07799711681 / +447799711681

Hankook Down Rally Regulations & Entry Form now available for download...

Posted: May 30, 2012 9:37 AM

The Supplementary Regulations & Entry Form for the HANKOOK DOWN RALLY 2012 are now available for download from the website below:

The 8 stage closed road event is limited to 90 crews and the closing date for entries is Wednesday 27th June 2012.

Hankook Tyre announce title sponsorship of Down Rally.

Posted: May 25, 2012 10:39 AM

Hankook Tyres Ireland have today announced their title sponsorship of the 2012 Down Rally. Organised by the Rathfriland Motor Club, on Saturday 7th of July the 2012 Down Rally will take place for the first time on closed roads.

Eight stages comprising of 70 competitive miles will test a large entry of competitors on what is just one of three closed road events included in the 2012 calendar for the Carryduff Forklift MSA NI Rally Championship. The event will also act as a round of the Fiesta Sport Trophy Ireland.

Commenting on the announcement, Hankook Ireland managing director said
"Hankook Ireland is delighted to be associated with the Rathfriland Motor Club as title sponsor of the Down Rally. We are very pleased for Andy Gilmore and the Club that they have been granted a license to run their Rally as a closed road event this year."

Rathfriland Motor Club’s Andy Gilmore, who is Clerk of the Course for the rally commented:
"We are delighted to welcome Hankook on board for this year’s rally. Along with Niall Murray, Hankook have put a huge amount of effort and support into rallying and all types of Motorsport over the past number of years, not just in northern Ireland, but throughout Europe. It is an honor for us to have Hankook as our title sponsor, we look forward to working together for the benefit of the brand and the rally".

Based in Castlewellan, rally fans can look forward to central service area and ceremonial start & finishes in the heart of the town. The surrounding 8 competitive tarmac stages will test Irelands premier Rally Teams on what promises to be one of the most exciting events of the 2012 Championship.

Website / Details / Closed Road Tarmac Rally

Posted: May 25, 2012 10:39 AM

The 2012 Down rally with will be on Tarmac over closed public roads.

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