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Down Rally - (Sat) 19 Oct 13

Posted: January 31, 2014 1:24 PM - 6952 Hits

Round 9 - 2013 Northern Ireland Rally Championship

In Car

Posted: January 31, 2014 1:24 PM

Andrew Bustard & David Young (Ford Escort Mk2) SS6

Kevin Barrett & Sean Mullally (Subaru Impreza WRC P2000) SS4


Posted: January 31, 2014 1:22 PM

McGarrity N.I Rally Champion as McKinstry/Hulll win Down Rally!

Posted: January 31, 2014 1:03 PM

The final round of the 2013 Carryduff Forklift MSA ANICC Northern Ireland Stage Rally Championship, took place in the forests of County Down, on the Down Rally organised by Rathriland Motor Club. This event substituted for the cancelled Easter Stages event, was to decide the destiny of the coveted Northern Ireland title between Draperstown’s Derek McGeehan and Derek McGarrity from Mossley on the outskirts of Belfast.

Indeed that destiny was decided before the 10.00 am start in Lower Square in Castlewellan. Derek McGeehan was unsure of his participation in the event, with his Mini WRC at Prodrive in England undergoing major work. Unsure whether it would be finished in time, he hadn’t submitted and entry in time, and on Friday, with the car now nearly ready, it was too late to enter, and his outside bid for the title was over. That confirmed Derek McGarrity as the Northern Ireland Rally champion for a record fourth time, his first win coming in 2002. That achievement now surpasses Mervyn Hill, Kenny McKinstry and Kevin Lynch’s record of three titles apiece.

Indeed first on the road, for six stages of loose surface motoring on the Down Rally, was three times champion Kenny McKinstry with Kenny Hull on the notes in a Subaru Impreza S14 WRC. They set fastest time on the first seven mile stage but there was drama behind as number two seeds Desi Henry and Liam Moynihan crashed out blocking the stage, the other top crews all receiving Kenny’s time for the test. The rally moved into Drumkeeragh forest and Kenny McKinstry promptly took eight seconds from new Northern Ireland Champion, McGarrity in just over three miles. The new champion however was in a Group N Production based car, and led that category. Local driver Paul Killen moved his 2 litre MK2 Escort into a fine third place ahead of Shane McGirr in his rear wheel drive Starlet in fourth. Jonny Leonard was fifth in his Group A Evo 6, but moved up to third after stage three, when McGarrity dropped to fourth and Killen to fifth.

As the rally moved into the Drumkeeragh and Tollymore stages, Kenny McKinstry surged ahead extending his lead to over forty seconds. A new second placed crew were Gareth Sayers and Gareth Gilchrist in their Group A Evo, recording second fastest time on stage four and were fastest on the penultimate stage. Shane McGirr dropped out of the two wheel drive lead on stage five when he went off the road, and that helped Jonny Leonard move into third, with new Group N leader Niall Henry moving into fourth. Paul Killen was fifth despite having gearbox trouble in the Escort.

By the Castlewellan finish Kenny McKinstry and Kenny Hull had achieved a thirty nine second win, from a charging Gareth Sayers. The Omagh driver was fastest on the final stage to seal his second place, with Jonny Leonard settling for third. Niall Henry had dropped out on the final loop, and a late charge for Derek McGarrity brought him up to fourth and first in Group N, less than three seconds ahead of his friend Kieron Graffin who is the new Group “N” Northern Ireland Champion. Paul Killen in sixth took the two wheel honours, ahead of Raymond Doyle who also won the 1600cc class with his G4 Escort. Kevin Barrett and Martin McKenna in WRC Impreza’s and Andrew Bustard in his 2 litre MK2 Escort filled out the final top places.

It proved to be an excellent days rallying to finish to the 2013 Carryduff Forklift Northern Ireland Rally Championship.

McKinstry/Hull Win Down Rally While McGarrity is Crowned Champion!

Posted: January 31, 2014 1:01 PM

Kenny McKinstry and Kenny Hull emerged victorious from Saturday's Castlewellan based Down Rally but it was Derek McGarrity and James McKee who had the largest smiles as they were confirmed as the 2013 Carryduff Forklift MSA N.I. Stage Rally Champions!

In fact, McGarrity was left celebrating before the event kicked off as his main championship rival, Derek McGeehan, was too late to place an entry. McGeehan had always been an outside bet to snatch the title at the last gasp but with his name absent from the entry list, there were no doubts over who would secure the 2013 accolade.

Despite effectively being crowned champion before the rally got underway, McGarrity still decided to contest the event. But driving a Group N powered Subaru hired from Robbie McGurk, the Glengormley pilot was never going to be able to match the pace of McKinstry's S14 Impreza WRC.

In fact, McKinstry went on to secure a start to finish victory, although he did share the joint lead of the rally with nine other crews after stage one. Desi Henry, the number two seed, retired on the opening stage with broken steering. With his Evo blocking the road, nine of the following crews were unable to complete the test. They were all awarded McKinstry's stage time, resulting in 10 crew being tied for the lead.

Everyone had a clean run through stage two and it was here that McKinstry started to build an advantage. He emerged from the test eight seconds clear of second placed Derek McGarrity, while Paul Killen and Barry Savage held third from Shane McGirr and Jackie Elliott.

McKinstry continued to set the pace on stage three while both McGarrity and Killen lost precious seconds, the latter with a broken gearbox. That allowed McGirr up to second overall in his flying Starlet, while Jonny Leonard and Niall Burns slotted in to third.

Crews tackled another two stages after service, and on stage four McKinstry was fastest again. However, the men on the move were Gareth Sayers and Gareth Gilchrist. Driving their Evo, they powered into second position, three seconds ahead of McGirr with Leonard a further three-tenths adrift.

With just a handful of seconds separating three crews in the battle for second, the heat was on! While Sayers went on to set the fastest overall time on stage five, McGirr's rally came unstuck when his Starlet became beached on a bank. He was later able to drive out of the stage but unfortunately for the crew, their rally was over.

That left Sayers holding second overall, and having increased the gap between himself and third placed Jonny Leonard to more than 16 seconds, he looked certain to secure the runner-up spot.

A final blast through Tollymore Forest where Sayers claimed another fastest time ensured that he claimed second overall but it was Kenny McKinstry and Kenny Hull who emerged as the victors. They had done more than enough to secure the win, boasting a winning margin of 39.7 seconds at the finish ramp.

Sayers arrived home in second position, while third overall for Jonny Leonard and Niall Burns saw them secure third overall in the Carryduff Forklift championship standings.

Derek McGarrity and James McKee brought their hired Group N Impreza home in fourth, winning the Group N category in the process after they nipped ahead of Kieron Graffin on the final stage. Niall Henry and Damien Duffin had entered the final test heading Group N by more than four seconds but a puncture resulted in the crew landing in a ditch, putting them out of the rally.

So it was McGarrity who finished on top, leaping from third in class to first at the last gasp. He finished just 2.7 seconds ahead of Kieron Graffin and Paddy Robinson, but Graffin had done enough to secure the 2013 Group N title.

After his earlier gearbox troubles, Paul Killen and Barry Savage were overjoyed to secure sixth overall and first in the two-wheel-drive category. Thanks to the work of their service crew, who changed the Mark 2 Escort's gearbox in Castlewellan Forest Park after their stage three troubles, they were able to rejoin the stages and retake the category lead.

Raymond Doyle and Marc Nugent were next in line with their sideways Escort, leaving Kevin Barrett and Sean Mullally to complete the top eight in their ex-Richard Burns Impreza WRC P2000.


Posted: January 31, 2014 12:58 PM

1 Kenny McKinstry/Kenny Hull (Subaru Impreza WRC S14) 39m12.4s
2 Gareth Sayers/Gareth Gilchrist (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo) 39m52.1s
3 Jonny Leonard/Niall Burns (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6) 40m36.9s
4 Derek McGarrity/James McKee (Subaru Impreza N12B GpN) 41m02.3s
5 Kieron Graffin/Paddy Robinson (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 41m05.0s
6 Paul Killen/Barry Savage (Ford Escort Mk2) 41m22.6s
7 Raymond Doyle/Marc Nugent (Escort) 41m45.4s
8 Kevin Barrett/Sean Mullally (Subaru Impreza WRC) 42m15.4s
9 Martin McKenna/Michael Gilmore (Subaru Impreza WRC) 42m30.9s
10 Andrew Bustard/David Young (Ford Escort Mk2) 43m33.0s

McGarrity is Champion; Title Rival McGeehan Won’t Start Down Rally

Posted: January 31, 2014 12:55 PM

Derek McGarrity is the 2013 Carryduff Forklift MSA N.I. Rally Champion in all but name after Derek McGeehan failed to submit an entry in time for tomorrow’s Down Rally, the final round of this year’s series.

McGeehan has been left on the sidelines despite the teething problems with his Mini WRC being ironed out earlier today.

The Draperstown driver had not submitted an entry for the event, and now it is too late to slot him into the start list.

“Every other championship round has accepted entries up to the day before their events this year,” McGeehan said, “but the Down Rally Clerk of the Course won’t allow it. I hold my hands up and admit I didn’t submit an entry but I have been in touch with the club since the start of the week and was led to believe it would be OK.”

Meanwhile, Clerk of the Course Andy Gilmore said:
“We didn’t receive a completed entry form nor any sort of payment. I know he has been in touch with our event secretary but he was told that any late entry would be subject to approval by the Clerk of the Course.”

“To grant entries at such a late stage is generally frowned upon and it isn’t fair on the other competitors,” he added. “The seeded entry list had already been released and all of the road books and decals were completed. If all competitors had the same approach then rallies simply wouldn’t happen.”

McGeehan had been working hard all week in an attempt to get his Mini WRC ready. It had been at Prodrive’s headquarters in England where it was treated to an engine rebuild and upgrade. But there were some teething troubles with the car when the Draperstown driver went to collect it a few days ago, hence his hesitance in submitting an entry.

“I didn’t know if we were going to be able to get the car sorted in time,” he explained. “We had a lot of work to do to get it ready. I brought it back home knowing that there were teething troubles but I flew an engineer over to help iron out the problems today. Now we’ve got it sorted but I can’t get an entry.”

“I probably would have finished second in the championship anyway but you never know,” he added.

With McGeehan unable to score points at the final round, Derek McGarrity is set to be confirmed as the 2013 Carryduff Forklift MSA N.I. Stage Rally Champion for the second consecutive year. It will be his fourth N.I. title success, having won in 2002, 2009 and 2012

Seeded Entry List

Posted: October 17, 2013 11:26 PM

Entries Received

Posted: October 14, 2013 2:28 PM

Available at:

Poster / Details of Draw for Entry into 2014 "Tarmac" Down Rally

Posted: September 30, 2013 12:51 PM

Regulations / Details

Posted: September 30, 2013 12:10 PM

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