Family co-driver does the trick for Mccormack
Tour of the Sperrins
Organiser: Magherafelt and District Motor Club Ltd When: May 7 Where: Maghera, County Londonderry Championship: MSA ANICC Mcgrady Insurance Northern Ireland Rally Championship and Motorsport Ireland Valvoline Irish National Forest Rally Championship Stages: 8 Starters: 72
Marty Mccormack – co-driven by niece Caron – won the Tour of Sperrins Rally by 22.8s following a race with eventual retiree Desi Henry.
The stages were on gravel for the first time in 11 years, and the event’s local Mccormack team were fastest on SS1, Banagher, by 1.1s in their S2000-spec Skoda Fabia. Henry’s R5 version of the marque was second, ahead of rally sponsor Derek Mcgeehan.
On the short 0.9-mile SS2, Henry closed the gap to the smallest of margins at 0.1s. And, despite reporting he was cleaning the road, had a 1s advantage by first service.
Henry increased his lead to 5.9s after the repeat of Davagh’s SS6 but, on a muddy SS7 bend, left the road. Mcgeehan moved to second ahead of Michael Carbin (1m40s back), who scored valuable Irish points ahead of Group N rival Niall Devine.
Northern Ireland championship leader Derek Mcgarrity received a 10-minute late penalty to finish 41st. Results 1 Marty Mccormack/ Caron Mccormack (Skoda Fabia S2000) 29m50s; 2 Derek Mcgeehan/arthur Kierans (Mini WRC) +22s; 3 Michael Carbin/ Darragh Kelly (Mitsubishi Lancer E4); 4 Niall Devine/ Crawford Henderson (Subaru Impreza); 5 Shane Mcgirr/ Liam Mcintyre (Toyota Starlet); 6 David Crossen/ Chris Mcsherry (Ford Escort Mk2); 7 Brendan Cumiskey/ Ronan O’kane (Ford Fiesta R5); 8 John Gordon/thomas Wedlock (Escort Mk2); 9 Stephen Mckenna/ Mark Donnelly (Lancer E6); 10 Michael Conlon/ Ciaran Mcphillips (Escort Mk2).
Class winners Jason Dickson/ Vinnie Boyd (Fiesta R2); Devine/ Henderson; Ruairi Maguire/ Grace O’brien (Vauxhall Corsa); Alan Smyth/ Christopher Melly (Suzuki Swift S1600); Gordon/wedlock; Mcgirr/ Mcintyre; David Condell/ Eugene Mcgrath (Escort Mk2); Carbin/ Kelly; Mcgeehan/ Kierans; Mccormack/ Mccormack.