Mc­gar­rity is best of the new Fi­es­tas for vic­tory at Kirk­istown in ex-evans R5

Newyear Stages Rally

Motor Sport News - - Rally Report - By Wil­liam Neill

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.

Re­sults

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

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