Mc­go­nigle pushes to the end for vic­tory

Lark in the Park Stages Rally

Motor Sport News - - Rally Reports - By Wil­liam Neill

Or­gan­iser: Maiden City Mo­tor Club When: April 23 Where: Carn­don­agh, County Done­gal Starters: 40 Stages: 6

De­spite the bumpy na­ture of the 8.1-mile Drung Hill, Joe Mc­go­nigle and Ciaran Geaney beat the bo­gey time on each pass in their Skoda Fabia S2000 and won the Lark in the Park Rally by 16s.

The num­ber one seeded crew went 4s faster than the bo­gey and went quicker again on the re­peat. But the awarded time placed Mc­go­nigle just 2s ahead of Frank Wray’s Subaru Im­preza, which later suf­fered frontal dam­age – and a re­tire­ment – af­ter an in­ci­dent on the 0.6-mile St Columb’s Park-based stage.

Mc­go­nigle was fastest there too, touch­ing a course marker on the way. Adrian Hether­ing­ton was three sec­onds slower on the short test but, across the Ir­ish bor­der, he proved to be fast. The Ford Es­cort Mk2 stopped the clock 12s quicker than the bo­gey and 6s up on Mc­go­nigle’s SS4 per­for­mance. The gap would have been dif­fer­ent if recorded times were re­ceived but Mc­go­nigle’s win would be un­de­ni­able.

A re­turn to the park for two passes of a two-lap, 1.1-mile stage is where Mc­go­nigle dou­bled his lead from Hether­ing­ton and Ro­nan O’neill to 16s.

John Bon­ner and Leon Jor­dan re­ceived a 10s penalty for a late ar­rival on the way to third, ahead of fel­low Done­gal and Ford Es­cort Mk2 crew Bren­dan Mc­daid and Karl Reid by 9s. Group N win­ners Gary Cairns and Justin Coyle were one sec­ond back in their Lancer.

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