CIRCUIT OF IRELAND REPORT MCGARRITY IS NATIONAL MAN W
Northern Irishman steers only WRC car on the Circuit to victory. By James Casey
ith most of the hype centring on the high profile International rally, it was easy to forget there were multiple National battles to be played out on the event with Ford Fiesta WRC and Lancia Stratos on offer in equal measure.
Eighty cars started the event and, of those, it was last year’s winner and defending Northern Ireland champion Derek Mcgarrity in a DMACK-SHOD Ford Fiesta World Car who ended on the podium’s top step.
Mcgarrity – with stand-in co-driver Barry Mcnulty on the notes – bossed proceedings throughout. Part of their success was in no small part thanks to car preparation supremo Kenny Mckinstry, who worked his magic on the Fiesta’s differential after a visit to engineers at M-sport failed to remedy it. It had broken before the Circuit of Kerry the preceding weekend, forcing Mcgarrity to miss that event.
The opening stage was a tricky and long affair at just over 13 miles, with Mcgarrity setting the early running from the Ford Escort of leading two-
David Tinn/alice Tinn James Sharrock/stuart Faulds Andrew Fenwick/chris Lawrence Graeme Bell/russ Radford John Indri/ Ian Jones Craig Pennington/wayne Priest Stuart Gilks/michael Boyns Peter Stephenson/patrick Walsh Steve Quigley/tom Hutchings Mike English/andy Robinson