Mcgarrity is best of the new Fiestas for victory at Kirkistown in ex-evans R5
Newyear Stages Rally
Organiser: Ulster Automobile Club When: January 28 Where: Kirkistown, Northern Ireland Championships: ANICC Junior 1000 Rally Challenge Stages: 6 Starters: 54
After swapping his Ford Fiesta RS WRC for an ex-elfyn Evans Fiesta R5, Derek Mcgarrity and Jonny Magee adapted quickly to win Kirkistown’s New Year Stages Rally by 10 seconds.
In a Wrc-spec ex-ott Tanak version of the Fiesta and with John Rowan on the notes, Connor Mccloskey was Mcgarrity’s closest challenger, as he prepares for outings in the BTRDA and Northern Ireland championships ( see rally news p14).
Mcgarrity was 11.6s quicker on SS1 alone, while Mccloskey was a fraction faster on SS2. Times remained close with 2.1s the gap on the final run in Mccloskey’s favour. But his SS1 dominance from Mcgarrity set the scene for another win for the rally car dealer.
As stages dried Kenny Mckinstry improved to beat Mcgarrity on SS4 by 0.4s. He took third with Claire Gamble on the notes in his Subaru Impreza S14, 9.9s behind Mccloskey.
Mark Massey survived a moment on two wheels to steer his Subaru Impreza S8 to fourth with Niall Burns, proving an ageing car remains competitive.
Robert Woodside placed himself second fastest on SS1 on his first outing in a Citroen DS 3 R5, 20 years on from being first paired with Allan Harryman at Kirkistown. A high-speed SS5 spin may have cost him a chance at fourth and he rounded out the top five.
Kyle White won two-wheel-drive in an impressive debut in his Peugeot 208 R2 and Niall Henry (Mitsubishi Lancer E10) was a class winner in eighth ahead of J1000 graduate Josh Mcerlean on his debut in a Citroen C2 R2.
Juniors Sam Adams and Andrew Bushe were fastest throughout in a Skoda Citigo, 16.1s ahead of Peter Beaton.
1 Derek Mcgarrity/jonny Magee (Ford Fiesta R5) 27m38s; 2 Connor Mccloskey/john Rowan (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +10s; 3 Kenny Mckinstry/ Claire Gamble (Subaru Impreza S14 WRC); 4 Mark Massey/ Niall Burns (Impreza S8 WRC); 5 Robert Woodside/allan Harryman (Citroen DS 3 R5); 6 Martin Cairns/ John Cairns (Fiesta RS WRC); 7 Kyle White/ Sean Topping (Peugeot 208 R2); 8 Niall Henry/aaron Johnston (Mitsubishi Lancer E10); 9 Josh Mcerlean/ Damien Duffin (Citroen C2 R2); 10 Damian Toner/ Martin Mcguigan (Ford Escort Mk2).
Class winners Sam Adams/andrew Bushe (Skoda Citigo); William Herron/ Geoff Patterson (Lancer E9); Matthew Mcgaffin/ Andrew Mcgaffin (Lancer E9); Colin Price/ Mark Smyth (Vauxhall Corsa); White/topping; Alan Atcheson/thomas Wedlock (Escort Mk2); James Kennedy/ Rebecca Kennedy (Escort Mk2); Toner/ Mcguigan; Henry/johnston; Mcgarrity/ Magee; Woodside/ Harryman.
Mcgarrity’s R5 replaced his troublesome WRC and was a significant step up