McGarrity Wins in Wet Sperrins Rally!
May 17, 2014 by Andrew Bushe
Round three of the 2014 McGrady Insurance MSA ANICC Northern Ireland Stage Rally Championship the Tour of the Sperrins Rally, took place on Saturday. Run by the Magherafelt and District Motor Club, six closed road stages lay ahead across the undulating Sperrins terrain, and heavy rain made the conditions tricky for the eighty-five starters.
Starting off in fine form were Desi Henry and Liam Moynihan in their S9 Impreza. Third on round one, but a retirement on round two meant that their Northern Ireland Championship campaign needed a boost, and that’s just what the Portglenone driver was doing, as he opened up a sixteen second lead after four stages. However on the fifth test, engine problems side-lined the crew and Derek McGarrity swept through to take victory, after a slow start on the wrong tyres for the wet roads. For the third time however, the Belfast driver topped the McGrady points tables. This time it was in an S14 Impreza hired from Kenny McKinstry, his Mini not back from England in time. The Mini marque would take a fine second place, as Alan Carmichael and Ivor Lamont took second, although almost a minute behind the winners. Topping the important Carryduff Forklift two wheel drive race in a fabulous third place were Camillus Bradley and Crawford Henderson, in their 2.5 MK2 Escort. The local crew always show exceptionally well on these stages, and 2014 was no exception.
In a great battle for fourth, Strabane’s Frank Wray took the place in his WRC Impreza, just 0.6 of a second ahead of Anthony Cairns’ more clubman version. The rest of the top ten consisted of MK2 Escort’s with Alastair Cochrane sixth, and first in the two litre class six. Just a few seconds behind however was a fine drive by local man Kevin Bradley, taking the 1600 class in fine style. Eighth was Davy Armstrong in his 2.5 litre MK2, and ninth Dungiven’s Seamus O’Connell lifted the Montgomery Motorsport Historic prize in his MK2 Escort RS1800. There was a welcome tenth place for series sponsor Fintan McGrady, his MK2 now back to full health. Group N winners in eleventh where Brian Muldoon and Patsy Corr in their Mitsubishi Evo 9.
Round four of the McGrady Insurance MSA NI Rally Championship is on the Mourne Rally on June 7th.
To keep up to date please check out the NIRC Facebook page-http://www.facebook.com/nirallying and check out www.anicc.org.uk for the final points positions, series calendar etc. Full event results on www.rallyscore.net
McGrady Insurance NI Rally Championship- Rnd 3- Tour of the Sperrins Rally Positions
1 Derek McGarrity/ James McKee Subaru S14 WRC +38m28.3s
2 Alan Carmichael/ Ivor Lamont Mini WRC +59.3s
3 Camillus Bradley/Crawford Henderson Ford Escort MK2 +1m12.9s
4 Frank Wray/Joe McNulty Subaru S9 WRC +1m19.0s
5 Anthony Cairns/Mark Preston Subaru Impreza- A +1m19.6s
6 Alastair Cochrane/Paddy McCrudden Ford Escort MK2 +1m52.6s
7 Kevin Bradley/Graham Henderson Ford Escort MK2 +1m56.0s
8 David Armstrong/Paul Mulholland Ford Escort MK2 +2m15.2s