Henry takes win and forest title
Glens of Antrim Rally
Organiser: Mid Antrim Motor Club When: November 5 Where: Ballycastle, County Antrim Championship Irish Forest Rally Championship Stages: 6 Starters: 60
Portglenone’s Desi Henry in his Skoda Fabia R5, co-driven by Cork’s Liam Moynihan, was a happy man on Saturday night, having not only won his home rally, but also the Irish Forest Rally Championship.
Bright but cold conditions prevailed as the drivers made their way down the Antrim coast.
Josh and Sam Moffett had a close battle over the opening stages, with Henry in close attendance. The latter driver said he was driving with a modicum of restraint, finishing in the top eight uppermost in his mind to ensure the forest champions’ title.
Sam Moffett slid his Ford Fiesta R5 off the road on the third stage, the tricky Ballypatrick. At service in Ballycastle Josh Moffett led by 10s from Henry. Despite his comments about restraint, Henry’s Skoda still flirted with several ditches in stage three. Adrian Hetherington (Toyota Corolla WRC) was third, and he was another to find stage three very slippy. Hetherington was nonetheless building his confidence and was just 18s back from Henry.
Shane Mcgirr (Toyota Starlet) and David Crossen (Ford Escort) were equal fourth and fighting for two-wheel-drive honours. Crossen admitted to a few scares along the way, but was happy with his progress.
The afternoon stages brought some significant changes to the leaderboard. Josh Moffett’s Ford Fiesta ground to a halt with two punctures and only one spare in Slieveanorra.
Henry was able to throttle his Skoda back slightly after Moffett’s demise to ensure he took victory and the forest title.
Hetherington had a good run and was fastest on the final stage to reinforce his second place.
Ger Lucey in his Mitsubishi Lancer had a good run towards the end to move up from sixth to third. Mcgirr had been fourth, but he had to nurse his Starlet home when it suffered a broken rear suspension strut and he finished seventh. At least he still finished top two-wheel-drive in the championship standings. David Crossen continued his great form of late and brought his Escort home in fourth. Darren Mckelvey came up from 10th to fifth in the last couple of stages and Liam Regan, in his unusual Peugeot 206 four-wheel-drive car, did an excellent job to get sixth. Robert Mckelvey won Group N by 3s from Ashley Dickson, both in Mitsubishi Lancers.