McGarrity wins, allen continues to impress
Organiser: Ulster Automobile Club When: January 27 Where: Kirkistown Racing Circuit, County Down Starters: 50 Stages: 6 After four stages of the New Year Stages Rally, Derek Mcgarrity and Paddy Robinson had enough in hand to ease off when rain saturated the circuit, and still win by 23.4s in one of four Subaru Impreza S14 WRC entries.
Mark Massey and Niall Burns were quickest on the partly flooded SS5 in their S14 WRC and Philip Allen, who had his rally debut at the same venue just under a year prior, was eagerly hunting the position in a first Ford Fiesta R5 outing. With a stage to go four seconds was the difference.
Allen, despite a minor overshoot, was quickest on the last stage to get the gap to second down to one second. It was only the Cookstown driver’s fifth rally, which includes both an overall and Group N victory.
The last man to beat Mcgarrity, who now has three in a row, at the New Year Stages was Kenny Mckinstry. It was fourth for the 2015 winner this time giving Eathan Mccolgan his first WRC Car co-driving position, 23.8s from Allen but the place secured by almost the same at 23.6s.
In fifth, after a steady start, Paddy Mcveigh got closer to regulars over the course of the day, and was ahead of Kevin Barrett by the end.
1 Derek Mcgarrity/ Paddy Robinson (Subaru Impreza S14 WRC) 27m29s; 2 Mark Massey/ Niall Burns (Impreza S14 WRC) +23s; 3 Philip Allen/ Martin Connolly (Ford Fiesta R5); 4 Kenny Mckinstry/ Eathan Mccolgan (Impreza S14 WRC); 5 Paddy Mcveigh/ Gary Mcelhinney (Impreza S12B WRC); 6 Kevin Barrett/ Sean Mullally (Impreza S14 WRC); 7 James Laverty/ Paul Hughes (Impreza N12B); 8 Alan Atcheson/ Mickey Conlon (Ford Fiesta 4WD); 9 Kieron Graffin/ Caron Mccormack (Fiesta R5); 10 Barry Morris/ Declan Campbell (Ford Escort Mk2).
Class winners: Laverty/ Hughes; Ronnie Mcconnell/ Rachel Mcconnell (Nissan Micra); Kyle White/ Sean Topping (Peugeot 208); Jamie Grant/ Raymond Coulter (Toyota Starlet); Morris/ Campbell; Atcheson/ Conlon; Mcgarrity/ Robinson; Massey/ Burns; Olivia Coulter/jonny Chambers (Ford Anglia).
Mcgarrity is always tough to beat at Kirkistown